And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people. Pray also for me, that whenever I speak, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may declare it fearlessly, as I should.
Sunday, January 23, 2011
All Dressed Up and Nowhere to Go
The Jones family has been under the weather for the last week. I came down with some kind of weird stomach bug last Sunday night. I tossed and turned all night with a horrible stomach ache that stuck around for several days. I finally consulted Dr. Google, who diagnosed me with a stomach ulcer. That would make sense since I tend to be an overly anxious person. Remember my resolution not to freak out about things?
When Jackson started complaining of a stomach ache on Wednesday, I knew my problem had been a virus and not an ulcer. That's good news. The bad news is that Jackson had to go through it and now a week later, this virus is still in our house! Jackson refused his breakfast this morning and said his stomach hurt. It sort of appeared as though he'd learned to wield the power of the bowel complaint and was using it dishonestly. Surely the virus was not still in his body five days later. I busied myself getting ready and we finally got in the car to leave. A minute down the road Jackson's complaints got louder and his face was as white as a sheet. Curtis turned the car around to drop us back off at home and I started crying. I just wanted to have a normal Sunday! My attitude was pitiful. The kids and I had missed Wednesday night church because of this, too. I was and am so ready for everyone to be healthy and for us to get our lives back to normal.
I had Jackson lay down in his bed and he didn't fight me. That's a pretty good sign that he wasn't bluffing. A few minutes later he was in the bathroom puking. Bless his heart. My pouty attitude quickly changed to compassion and thankfulness that God did not let Jackson get sick in the car or at church. This was the first time we've seen puke all week and I'm definitely grateful for that. Hopefully this is an extension of the first bug and not a new one. Ugh!
So many weird health issues have come up lately that I'm wondering if there is a spiritual component to all of it. If the Lord brings us to mind, will you pray for my family that this infirmity would leave our house? I know without a doubt that there is a spiritual battle going on around our family - and yours too - and I would be grateful for any of my friends' prayers for our marriage and children.
As weird as this sounds, when we turned off our TV we became much more aware of the battle. For example, one day I started feeling unreasonably afraid for my kids' safety. It had been quite a while since I'd fretted about it and this paralyzing fear came out of nowhere. I might have blamed it on something scary I'd seen on TV, but that was no longer an issue. Because I was able to discern the source of this fear as darkness and not truth, it was easier to reject it and not let it set up shop in my mind. (I'm sorry I keep talking about the TV thing, but it has brought so much fruit into our lives.)
God is building our faith and giving us vision, which is incredibly exciting. He is answering prayers that we've been praying for years, but it has definitely turned up the heat. Pray that we will not shrink back from the enemy's intimidation, but that we will fight the good fight and believe our powerful, almighty God. Thank you, friends.
Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.