When I say demons what comes to mind? An ugly physical creature that can scare the life out of you?
The enemy is more clever than needing to play the boogie man who hides under our bed. The enemy doesn’t focus on our reality of what we can tangibly see. He focus’ on our feelings (hurt, pain, shame) and our emotions (fear and guilt). The enemy’s goal is to keep us from a full embrace with God. When we are wrapped in our Father’s full embrace nothing can get in-between. But often even one of those emotions when molded and shaped by he enemy, can create a wall that comes between us and God’s full embrace.
We all have our demons that haunt us. They are past hurts that keep us from moving forward. Or they are current sinful vices that trip us up and keep us in shame and turned away from God. Or they can be those ‘empty arguments or lies’ we hear that we take possession, like “You are not good enough.” or “You can keep trying but you’ll never succeed.” Or like what I’ve been hearing this week: “You failed.” Or “What a fool for ever trusting that person.”
This week I had one blow after another attack these emotions and feelings. I found out someone who was a mentor to me, who had a great amount of knowledge and understanding of faith, was convicted and sentenced for a heinous crime. A crime of abuse. Someone whom I looked up to and trusted had fallen hard to the enemy’s ways. Devastating. Why? Is what I long to know. How? How could the enemy have infiltrated that brilliant, talented and faithful mind? Was I a fool for not seeing? Just like my grandfather and no one could see the demons that were on his back.
One blow, then another. I found out a young woman I’d mentored a few years back committed suicide this summer. The woman who had connected us a few years ago after she’d tragically gone through a kidnap and rape was in my bible study and came up to me after I spoke. She introduced herself and when she said this young woman’s name it hit me how I hadn’t heard from her in a while. After I’d worked with her for about a year she would call occasionally to tell me how she was doing and what was going on in her life. When I asked this dear woman how she was she looked at me shocked and then broke the news. I literally was thrust back by the force of shock that hit me. My heart aches for the pain that overtook this young woman and for her family. There were other ‘demons’ in her life that she was battling besides the trauma of the rape, but I couldn’t help but immediately think, “Did I do enough?”
It has been one long week and though the ‘demons’ are trying to nip at my heals and trip me up I know my God has me in His firm embrace, there to catch me no matter my stumble or fall. I am getting rid of the ‘empty arguments’ and focusing on the greater good that God brings.