There was a conflict in my home last night ~ a family conflict. It came on suddenly, and it grew, and grew and grew until it had a life of its own.
Words flew, confusion ensued, and emotions ran the show. I can tell you right now ~ it was not a show that I haven’t seen before, but I never signed up for a repeat performance.
You see, the enemy entered my house at some point and I didn’t see him coming. I don’t think any of us did.
I think it’s because he snuck into our hearts first. He came in through the back door.
This is what I was writing about the other day: This!
- This is the ugly I want for God to show me when it’s coming.
- This is the ugly I want to be on guard for, so I can avoid being caught unaware.
- This is the ugly that the world tells us is unavoidable, so we get weary of looking for it and heading it off at the pass.
This is the ugly that is not beautiful in its own twisted way.
What is really sad is that we all have a full set of the best armor ~ It’s God’s armor. The sad part is that I can’t even say we weren’t armed…we just armed ourselves with the fake and cruddy stuff. We grabbed the armor of self ~ the glittery and really convenient kind. We grabbed what seemed like it was closest.
News Alert: It didn’t work. Fake stuff never does.
So today…today remorse is trying to win. Today condemnation is trying to win. Today the conflict and the life of its own that spun a web of fire and tried to burn things down has subsided, but the embers are still there ~ threatening to catch on fire again.
Today it is time for God’s water. It is time for God’s light in the midst of the darkness. Today it is time for God’s mercy and compassion and love. Today it is time to dump out the vestiges of remorse, bitterness, condemnation.
It’s going to hurt.
I am anxious today. I am anxious because everyone has to go their separate ways to do life and their individual responsibilities and we are all separated. I am anxious because there is talking and understanding to be done and we are unable to come together to do it.
I am holding on to the anxiety and struggling to turn it over to God.
But I am believing today, friends. I am believing that God can draw us together in spite of the physical separation.
I am believing.
I am believing that He knows each of our hearts and our desire to make things right.
I am believing.
I am believing that He can heal us and He doesn’t even need our help to do it.
I believe He will use the space of separation to draw us together.
This morning, as I took two of my children to school, my son said “I realize I have anger issues and probably always will need God to help me with that.” All I could think was ~ “don’t we all?”
Anger is an ugly monster. So is selfishness.
And so is condemnation.
When we fail to stop in those moments to put on our armor, we give all of our energy to the match of ugly and evil that is trying to grow into an out-of-control bonfire.
I didn’t use my armor. Few of us involved in the ugly conflict did. We all have “anger issues.”
Today I am going to sharpen it and put it back on.
And I’m not going to forget to remember who my enemy really is.
This is war. And I know who is going to win.I need to stop forgetting to remember that. I need to remember that we are on the winning side.
No one ever said that war would be pretty. But there IS beauty in that kind of ugly.
I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.” John 16:33