To each Listening on the Journey…reader who is a mother, who has longed to be a mother, or who is a mother-of-the-heart, today’s post is for you!
Mother’s Day snuck up on me this year—partially, because my sense of time and scheduling has been turned upside down by the Covid-19 quarantine and partly because of a spiritual struggle.
Around the first of May, my soul seemed to engage in a wrestling match. The opponent was a skillful wrestler named REGRET.
At times, my opponent pinned me down, nasty voice taunting, “Hah! you blew it! You know mothering do-overs don’t exist!”
Then, I’d manage to pin down REGRET, reminding my bullying foe, “God’s grace is bigger than my mothering mistakes!”
Several days passed before I recognized what was happening.
First, cultural upheaval had upset my routine equilibrium. On top of that, raw emotional motherhood regrets, which surface easily for women this time of year, emerged.
The enemy of my soul recognized my vulnerability and snuck up on me!
While I don’t give a lot of attention to the work of the enemy, I have experienced and believe theologically that a very real spiritual enemy exists.
During my struggle, I was reminded of important truths, two of which I’ll discuss today:
First, any message delivered by my soul’s enemy will always be untrue, and when I realize I’m in a spiritual wrestling match, my first strategy must be to lean into what I know is true!
Of the devil, Jesus said, “He has always hated the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, it is consistent with his character….” (John 8:44 NLT)
Adjusting to quarantine has been unsettling. Recognizing and coming to grips with the emotion of regret also felt confusing since this is not something I struggle with typically.
Even though I know full well I made my fair share of mothering blunders, I also know I did the best with the knowledge I had at the time, and with subsequent realizations, I’ve sought and accepted forgiveness. Being a good mom will always be a top priority for me, even as I realize it is for most reading these words.
Even though it can be difficult to lean into uncomfortable emotional issues, this step is important. The enemy’s preference will prod me to overly dissect, deny, or discount what is taking place in my heart.
The second thing I realized is the enemy of my soul is cunning and always on the lookout for weaknesses in my character or vulnerability created by difficult or unexpected circumstances.
Peter, who knew a thing or two about the devil’s tactics, warned: Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour. (1 Peter 5:8 NLT)
Several years ago, Ron and I went on a night safari in South Africa and came upon a lair of lions. One big fellow lay lazily a few feet from the open seat where I sat. The guide promised we had nothing to worry about as long as we stayed in the vehicle. He also warned if we were to exit, that lion, who appeared benign, would in a split-second pounce on us. Just in case anything unexpected happened, the guide assured us he carried a high-powered rifle!
When we refuse to lean into lies that sabotage our ‘story,’ we give our enemy an opportunity to ‘pounce.’ But we need not fear because the ‘high-powered’ spirit of Jesus is a whole lot greater than the tactics of any enemy. (See 1 John 4:4)
In my next post, I’ll expose some of the enemy’s common tactical lies as well as ways we can fight them.
Giver of Every Good Gift,
Thank you, God, that Your very character is Truth,
And that You desire to lead us into messages that are true.
Give us insight to recognize lies perpetrated
The enemy of our souls.
Give us strength to lean into every lie and
Turn quickly to the truth of Who You are and Whose we are.
Blessings to all…