For much of the past week, the flu gripped me like a vice, leaving me feeling defenseless. It has been many yearsÂ since I felt so thoroughlyÂ miserable.
While enveloped in the fog of fever from which I have finallyÂ emerged, my thoughts got away from me into a place that I do not like to visit – a dark and lonely place of self-doubt and questioningÂ – aÂ place where nothing I do isÂ quiteÂ good enough.
BecauseÂ I did not have the mental or physical strength to pull myself out of this funk, I spent the entire week lying in bed and questioning myself. Things that I was confidentÂ and excited about just a few days earlierÂ were putÂ on the chopping block because I was sowing seeds of self-doubt.
Simultaneously, I felt the almost tangible presence of the adversaryÂ -Â a feeling so unnerving that it is difficult to describe. It feltÂ as if he wasÂ right next to me, watching and laughing while I foughtÂ in my weakened state to get on top of the sameÂ insecurities that almostÂ broke meÂ many years ago.
Thankfully, as the fever subsided, clarity started to return to my mind, along with a measure of peace. I quickly came to my senses and realized what was happening before allowing my thoughts to continue on their destructive course.
The haunting memoryÂ of the battle, however, still remains clearly etched into my heart. It serves asÂ a staunch reminder of the reality that we allÂ have an enemy in this life whoÂ seeks to bring usÂ down, and he does not play fair.
He waits until we are weak, until weÂ have beenÂ beaten down by the challenges and frustrations of life, untilÂ we are confused and disoriented and don’t know which way to turn – and that is when he strikes.
He preys on our weaknesses and insecurities, trying to convince us that we will never be strong enough to come out on top. He knows if he can get us to doubt ourselves and our innate ability to do good, we will never reach our God-given potential, and therein his victory over usÂ begins.
So he sits by and laughs as we struggle, working tirelessly, cunningly,Â subtly to convince us that we are powerless against ourselves and, ultimately, against him.
That is one big devilish lie.
James teaches,Â “ResistÂ theÂ devil, and he will flee from you.” (James 4:7)
The truth is that the father of liesÂ whose goal it is toÂ destroy our peace and happinessÂ only has as much power over us as we give to him. We each have the abilityÂ to resist him and rise above the deception, temptation, and self-doubt that he holds over our heads.
We are stronger than we realize, and we must fight like there is no tomorrow. Our very souls are on the line, but there is hope, for darkness cowers in the face of light. Every. Single. Time.
God isÂ light, which makes usÂ children of light. We were born to chase darkness away.
We were born to shine.
We must not lose hope. We must fight on, especially when we are tired,Â weak and overwhelmed.
Our Father, whose light we wereÂ born to carry, will come to our aid when we call. He will give us strength and help us to overcome our personalÂ weaknesses.Â Of this I am sure.