Where have I been?
For the most part I have been in a fatigued, freezing mode of survival! Wow–does that sound dramatic!
Can it be that one whole month has passed without a blog–not that you need to read any words from me, but often, I need to write. It is a catharsis for me-an exploring of who I am and where I am in this journey to NOW.
This month has disappeared into that abyss of swallowed expectations and longed for hopes.
I do have an excuse for these days and weeks, this time forever lost in productivity. I have been recovering from an ear infection that has literally sapped every ounce of creative energy and physical exertion.
March mornings, pregnant with promise, changed quickly into cold, dreary days. Like the spring winds that hammered gustily at the doors and windows of the house, so my soul has been pummeled— with thoughts and questions penetrating the tiny crevices of a once strong faith.
As I brooded on life’s purpose– my purpose– this week , I realized that I am being held prisoner by subtle, yet overpowering, life thieves. True, I may understand why this month has been slow and void of anything constructive, but is it any different from other months?
Really . . .
I have carefully and painfully paged through a life changing book this month–Ken Gire’s, The North Face of God , and have gained a fresh view of the devil. I have given the devil very little credit over these years–you know–“the devil made me do it” syndrome that so often is used to explain away an action or to answer questions of an unaccomplished dream. I have never believed the devil could “make me do” anything and have not blamed him as the cause of my own inadequacies.
I believed my flesh was the perpetrator –I was the bad one! I was my own worst enemy in being unable to fulfill a dream; I am the reason that I cannot ( that can be true in some areas— but maybe, just maybe, it is not the reason to every agonizing battle I have fought!
Gire expertly guides the reader through David’s cries in the Psalms of “where are you, God”, “how long, God”, “where were you, God”, and compares them to the perils and feats of climbers of Mount Everest. It is only in the final chapter that the author suggests the devil’s cunningness, his relentless pursuit, his ruthlessness —can and does take a toll on dreams and hopes for a life that longs for Jesus’ touch and perfect will . —And then . . . in some individuals, he fights with a vengeance to prevent you/me from achieving God’s desire.
Gire goes on to say that the Holocaust can only be explained in this light. As can be the murder of 800,000 Tutsis in Rwanda’s 10 day massacre of 1994–that “these were great awakenings of evil where Satan has reclaimed territory and horrible things happened as a result.” (p 184)
“The professional age in which we live has influenced our theology; if not in the truth of it, at least in the practice of it. For even if we believe in the existence of the devil, we don’t talk about it. And if we do, it’s all very hushed, like some embarrassing family secret. If we talk about evil at all, we talk about it abstractly. As a problem, not a person. As a puzzle to be solved, not an enemy to be opposed. The result is that the insidiousness of the person behind the evil is masked by our intellectual discussions.” (p 190).
Suddenly there was released in me such a freedom; I began to understand the devil’s role in my life. Here is what Gire says about Satan: “He watches us, stalks us, lies in wait for us. He knows your name, as he knows mine. He knows where we live, where we go, and what we do. He knows the names of our kids. He knows where we are vulnerable. And from these facts, he forges a plan of attack.” (p185)
In my lack to give credence or validity to the devil’s power in my life, I have failed to know how to fight, how to pray, how to live. And maybe this is not an appropriate blog–perhaps it should stay hidden in the stack of journals where my grandchildren will discover the wrestlings of their grandmother.
Nov even Tom knows of my tears, my struggles, my cries to fill pages and books with the thoughts that swirl around me like snow flakes. Am I only a “want-a-be writer”, with a head full of impossible possibilities? Have I allowed the negative voices from childhood to strangle the very potential that would free me? Times when I am resolved that –yes, I can do this, I know I can write something– a dark venomous coil begins to wind from head to hand, and frozen words fall on pages that were poised for life.
Never before could I understand this. I am not lazy; I am not undisciplined. Could it be–just maybe—the devil has kept me bound. The final words of The North Face of God powerfully freed me as he used images from Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings to unmask the face of evil in our world.
There is no way I can summarize justly this new insight, but perhaps it will give you a bit of hope in your struggles–(or at least into mine!) that you, indeed, may be fighting a heavily armored force, and must call out all reinforcements!!
Ken Gire concludes by telling us to “resist the enemy by fervently loving the Lord Jesus, by fiercely trusting him, by faithfully serving him.” (p195)
“The Lord will fulfill his purpose for me; your love, O Lord, endures forever. Do not abandon the works of your hand. Ps 138:19
Will I write in a more productive way? I do not know. And you may tell me, “Greater is He that is in you, than he that is in the world”–and that is true–but now, I know of the force I must fight.