Those of you who know me IRL, know that I am not a "demon around every corner" type of Believer.
I don't go around binding and rebuking things.
I've never cast anything out of anyone.
But I DO believe in spiritual warfare and am living in the line of fire right now.
My beautiful Ezekiel landed in the hospital just a week before my family's scheduled trip to The Philippines to begin work for The Bartimaeus Project!
And second-to-youngest son got the flu.
A few days later I was preparing to speak at our church's Christmas Brunch for ladies. I began
to have that nagging, powdery throat that signals something is coming on. I went on to enjoy the brunch but by the end of that day, I was in bed with a fever of 103 and the flu.
Yup . . . more flu.
And now twice-daily skypes with my Philippine travelers are muddled by so much coughing from the US side of things.
And middle son came stumbling into my bedroom in the wee hours of last night to tell me every joint hurts, his head was burning up and he has "watery eyes" . . . fourth victim of the flu emerges . . .
The weather is dreary and now I'm glued to my facebook as I pray for the healing miracle of a BEAUTIFUL little girl with Down Syndrome who appears to be close to dying from sepsis and a host of other complications . . . the effect of this on my spirit has been surprising even to me. Please pray for her. Her name is Aziza and she is a dark-haired beauty all of six years old . . .
I don't know this family directly but her mother and I have many mutual friends online. You see, the Down Syndrome community is very close-knit, even online. When one of us loses, we all lose. We all know it could just as easily be our own child and one day might be. And the reality that God doesn't always heal is not lost on any of us. We have held all-night candle light, leave-your-porch-light-on vigils and all-day fasts for the healing of other children and God has chosen to take those children Home. And sometimes the reminder of the fragility of life leaves me questioning. I feel faithless but He doesn't always heal. He gives and takes away.
And the enemy is hard at work to take the combination of all that I mentioned and twist it into the shape of a dark cloud and plaster it over my head. I'm an easy target. Sick. Sick kids. Husband and teens across the ocean.
But the enemy will NOT gain a foothold in this heart and mind. Not today! Because greater is He who is in me than he that is in the world"!
I have to be willing, not just willing but eager, to take from the hand of the Lord, both the good and the bad. You see, I learned long ago from the reading of the story of Job, that the enemy has boundaries. And God is sovereign.
So I choose to use this time to flex the muscle called "counting it all joy" . . . which is rusty because life has been pretty darn good for me up until the whole hospitalization of my angel baby, for a long long time it's been sweet.
So I'm counting it all joy as my husband, adult son and almost-adult daughter minister to children on the other side of the world . . .
"Count it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, when you encounter various trials, knowing the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, lacking in nothing." James 1:2-3