Tuesday, July 29, 2008
Attacking Our Joy
August 21, 2008
I woke up this morning feeling restless and irritable. For a while, I tried to think about it logically. Why was I feeling this way? Had something happened to propel me to stress or anger? No.
My feelings manifested into actions. I got angry with John. I became angrier with Noah. I told Scooby to stay clear of me. When it was time for me to sit outside in the beautiful sunshine, beneath a baby blue sky peppered with gorgeous white clouds and have my quiet time, I put it off. I didn’t want to hang out with God.
Do you ever feel this way? Sometimes it’s physical, absolutely. Sometimes it’s emotional, brought on by circumstances. But as I finally gave in to prayer and sitting at God’s feet, it became clear to me I was under a spiritual attack.
John’s going on a WAAG this weekend. WAAG stands for Weekend Almost Alone with God. It’s a very cool activity that my brother Phil’s ministry Caleb’s Heart does. John is going with 6 to 8 guys up into the Rocky Mountains. The spiritual leader, Robb, will take each man to their own spot in the forest (secluded) and leave them there. For hours. Alone.
The point is to facilitate a time where each man can just be alone with God. No retreat speaker. No manly activity. Just God. For hours. Alone. They get together for meals (I hear the food is phenomenal) and to talk about what they are hearing, but most of the weekend it is just each man alone with God.
This ministry has had a life-changing effect on many men. John warned me on Monday that this week may be a difficult one. The enemy doesn’t want John to go. The enemy doesn’t want John to have a good time. The enemy doesn’t want John to hear God’s love.
Satan has been working on John. Poor guy has had a heck of a week at work. Things have broken, tempers have flared and John has had to stay late several nights. Talk about stress. But John has persevered and comes home at night, still proclaiming God is the One. He doesn’t actually walk into the house and yell, “God is the One!” or do anything churchy or super-spiritual. But in his prayers before dinner and at bedtime, I hear his sacrifice of praise. I hear his faith. I see it when he doesn’t come home angry or nervous, ready to be shnappy with me or Noah.
So, what does the enemy do? He attacks John’s wife. It would’ve been soooo easy to skip my quiet time this morning. So easy. I wasn’t in the mood at all. It would’ve been sooo easy just to stay put in the restlessness and irritability. But for me and my house, we are praising the Lord.
Barbara Johnson who wrote Stick a Geranium in your Hat and be Happy said, “We all have seen dreams turn to ashes – ugly things, hopeless experiences – but beauty for ashes is God’s exchange. Offer yourself to God and ask for a spirit of praise so your whole being will be restored.”
I say, “God is the One!” in faith. I don’t feel much better. Restlessness is still lurking. But the feelings will change and God will restore my joy. I know He will. That’s His job.
John is going to have a wonderful time at WAAG. If not, why would Satan be on our backs?
PS - So my blog's date is broken! Anyone know how I can fix it?