The Devil Made Me Do It

I’m operating on a level of tired that has no words.

As I drag myself into the shower to begin my day that begins before my children wake up, I try to remind myself that my shower time is the only peace and quiet time I will get until I rest my head on my pillow again later that night–use the time wisely. I try to use my shower time to pray. Unfortunately, I am easily distracted. Squirrel!

It’s been a tough couple of months.

Here’s a quick recap… We took a vacation {let me pause right here. Mom’s know how tough vacationing with the kids can be. Add in two kids with autism, 8-year-old’s diaper blowouts, food allergies, liver disorder, and driving 15 hours each way…I could end it right there with why I’m so tired.}

The day after vacation, we received three homeless children into our home, one of them was a newborn. I won’t go into too many details here, so I’ll just give you a handful of words to ponder. Dented refrigerator. Chipped walls. Broken stuff. Disrespect. Hitting. Poop. Mouthwash. Roaches.

The children’s presence in our home was also incredibly stressful for Junior. Since the kids have left our home, we have had to begin a new therapy with Junior. The clinic is an hour away.

My husband threw out his back again. He injured his back about 30 years ago and never got medical attention for it back then. Of course, it reminds him of that every so often. Why does that make me so tired? Because he’s the good cook, remember?

Our homeschool just started back up. Enough said.

Wait a tick, that’s not all. The heavy rainfall has caused some damage to our home. Damage in the form of cracking from our foundation all the way up to the second floor on the exterior of our home. On the interior, where the crack begins at the foundation, it cracks inside and through my kitchen area, a good 12 feet across. From end to end–over 30 feet of continual cracking.

And both of the a/c units have given out on us. We live in Florida. It’s still summer here. It’s still hot. It’s still hot and humid. It’s still nasty.

Ok, I’ll stop there.

I will be the first to admit, that I have struggled immensely with some contentment these last few weeks. It has been easy to let doubts creep in and to let worry consume me. The devil is working overtime to distract me. And I almost let him. Actually, he did for a little while. I’ve had a pretty bad attitude and have not been content whatever my circumstances (Philippians 4:7, 11).

This past week, as I have been nursing Tamer back to health, I have been tempted to pray for him. I know that may sound odd to be tempted to pray for him. Now I am not saying that I don’t pray for my husband. Because I do–all the time. But I was convicted as I began praying for his back, to stop praying for selfish or self-beneficial things. Basically, stop telling God how to bless me. True, praying for someone isn’t telling God how to bless me, but a blessing on my husband brings a direct blessing to me.

So this week, as I’ve been in my shower prayer time, my quiet moments during the day, the long drive to therapy appointments, and the silence of rest at the end of the day, I have made a deliberate choice not to pray for anything that would be of benefit to myself. As I felt ready to pray for Tamer, instead I chose to pray for Syrian refugees and civil war, for Israel, for millions of babies crying out to their Father as their lives are being cut short. I chose instead to pray for Christians both near and far that are suffering persecution, wrongfully imprisoned whether for a few hours or for eight years. I chose instead to pray for the courage and boldness to be the hands and feet that do my Father’s work.

The pastor at the church where my family attends just finished a series on the Lord’s Prayer. That is no coincidence. I totally needed every single morsel of bread in those words. (Matthew 6:9-13)

Instead of praying for what blessings I wanted, I reminded myself that God already knows what I need and he will provide.

Something amazing happened. When I stopped telling God how to bless me, God provided exactly what I needed. He provided contentment for the struggles I was facing. He provided healing for Tamer’s back. He has shown us that Junior will overcome his anxiety and stress. He reminded me that while my home is suffering some minor cuts and bruises, millions are homeless refugees, while others mourn their lifeless children washing ashore. And all the while, God has reaffirmed in my ear, that He is enough. (Psalm 73:25; 17:15; 23:1; 34:8; 55:22; Genesis 33:11; Matthew 5:6 just to name a few)

How did Tamer’s back heal? He and I discussed not praying for his back. The prayers of our faithful friends have healed his back. And by faith, not one or two, but four people confirmed to me to use the Tens pads on his back. Within hours, his back felt relief that shots, narcotics and rest could not bring. Not exactly a miracle, no. But God did make sure those four people told me about Tens, and God made sure I listened. And God made sure that Tamer felt immediate relief.

So, as my title says, the devil made me do it. What did he make me do? He was a little too pushy. His pushing me made me realize that I was letting the devil encroach on my faith in God. And it backfired. Because what the devil really did, was make me trust in God more, to pray like Jesus, and to accept, believe, and trust that He alone is all I need.

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