Last night, a violent storm tore through town like a kid having a tantrum. Stout trees were broken or felled, taking down electrical lines with them; basements and fields were flooded, and a few people even lost their lives. This morning, folks pick their way through the debris, altering their plans to deal with this new reality. We may not like what happened last night, but at least we can name the enemy (capricious weather) and we know what we have to do today (clean up).
I wish the personal storms of life were so easily identified. It’s hard to figure out what makes some periods of life so challenging. We mentally run down the list: did I forget to pray this morning? Am I allergic to something? Did I buy a “lemon,” and the natural consequences are playing out? Am I exercising enough, sleeping enough, relaxing enough? Have I been maintaining relationships that are important to me?
Recently I slogged through a dark time without knowing why. Finally it occurred to me that perhaps I was challenging the enemy with some of my witnessing activities. Maybe it didn’t have to do with my physical or emotional life, but with my obedience to God! While the storm raged in my mind, I kept analyzing my life to see where I might be off track. It kept me preoccupied with something other than prayer until I finally reached up and grasped Jesus’ hand. Whatever or whoever caused the storm, my Lifeline was still intact.
Spiritual warfare takes many forms around the world, and we don’t always name the correct enemy, do we? Today, millions of people are wrenched this way and that by the enemy of souls, and all they have to hang onto is a string of beads, an incantation or a depraved spirit. The debris of their brokenness is strewn within and around them. We who have the Hope of the Ages have what they need! I challenge you to decide today how you will share that hope with the unreached. Will you be the one to connect them to the Lifeline? The overwhelming majority of these people can’t come to you. Will you go to them?