“The story of your life is the story of the long and brutal assault on your heart by the one who knows what you could be and fears it.” – John Eldredge
A colleague of mine has an annual fight with her husband. Same time every year. It’s not scheduled of course, but it always seems to happen. Her husband goes on their church retreat, hears Scripture all weekend, bonds with his friends, and feels spiritually renewed. And then something goes wrong, and the argument starts. She is fighting her beloved, at the conclusion of this spiritual retreat. Every. Single. Year. After knowing her for a few years, and listening sympathetically each time, I started to notice the pattern and asked, “Did you ever wonder if there’s something deeper going on?”
For a lot of us, it’s hard to really see our own story. Our perspective gets clouded by the drudgery of each day. When we are under attack, we get battle fatigue and we look around for someone to blame, but we don’t see any options. Blaming some mystical spiritual presence seems laughable. Sounds like #fakenews. It’s not something we see other people taking seriously, so we don’t take it seriously ourselves. So we keep fighting, essentially blind-folded, not knowing where our enemy will strike next.
The part of this chapter I found most heartening (and simultaneously disheartening) was the reminder of the story of Daniel, when he prays for an answer and God sends an angel right away….and it takes 3 weeks of entanglement in spiritual warfare to get to him. Doesn’t that sound so familiar? You pray for an answer – for something good, something you know God would want to bless you with – and you’re met with massive delay that rivals the DMV.
So you’re sitting there, waiting for your number to be called, wondering if God’s forgotten. If He’s not in the mood and you should just come back and try another day. I know people in our church who’ve waited a lot longer than 3 weeks for an answer. I know people who’ve waited a year, 5 years, 10 years. I know people who are still waiting. There is more going on here. More than we can see. But not more than we can spiritually sense, if we can be awakened to it.
I don’t know about you, but when I first watched the Matrix, I thought. “I would have taken the blue pill….” It seemed like a pathetic thing to think as I was watching, until I heard one of the characters in the movie, bemoan this same sentiment aloud. “Why, oh why didn’t I take the blue pill?” Because there was no turning back.
It can be frightening, overwhelming, even panic-inducing. If this is where you are, I truly, truly understand. Maybe the first step is asking God for the courage to really step into your own story. There is a role to play that is yours alone.
- Bekah Arias