Victory doesn’t always look like we’d like it to.
It’s crazy actually…that I want victorious living to look cookie-cutter perfect. Easy. Natural. Anything but hard.
The longer I live, the more I realize that victory is both simple and difficult. Simple because Jesus has blazed the path and won it for us. Difficult because reaching out and claiming it as ours can still have it’s share of battle wounds.
Victory is beautiful, but sometimes it looks like a bloodied warrior. Bruised. Scarred. Weary. Sweaty.
I’d prefer it to look different. I’d like to get to the other end unscathed. Free of any wounds or blood-shed or sweaty brows. What’s up with that? It’s silly really, but it’s my heart…to have the easy way out.
Truth is, victory for me last week looked different from I wanted it to. You know times when you’re just cruising along and then BAM! Something happens that knocks you off your feet? I’ve had that happen last week.
Last year at this time, I might have folded. Completely. I’d have walked out on prison ministry and sunk into depression. This time? Things went down differently.
Jesus walked with me through battle school (granted, it was probably only second grade!) last year. Up close and personal…day after day…learning to hold onto my shield of faith and deflect the fiery arrows. Learning to keep my helmet of salvation on tight so the lies couldn’t get to my head. Learning to wield the Sword of truth like a warrior instead of a wimp.
So last week, when the spiritual attack came, I was caught off guard…and I did go down for a second. Reeling from the pain. Surprised by the sudden assault. I buckled to my knees. This wasn’t physical. This was mental, emotional and spiritual battling.
But I remembered by training. The first thing I did was be honest: this was an attack and I had to recognize it as such. I also knew a very important truth: I couldn’t do it alone. My friend, MaryEllen stood there and hugged me. There on my knees, my mind raced…I had to battle. I had to get up and fight. So I did.
My cry was barely audible through my tears. “God, You’ve got to help me. This hurts.” MaryEllen began praying over me out loud.
I could feel His Spirit rising up in me. Calling me to battle. Telling me to get up and fight.
Maybe I’m visual…but I could see myself sitting there in a heap and my Captain standing over me with sword drawn. He wasn’t going to leave me alone. He fought for me, protecting me from further attack, all the while calling out the warrior in me. He told me to rise and fight. To be proactive.
Slowly, I began praying through the tears. Crying out to the Lord for healing. Praising Him in the middle of the storm. Thanking Him. I wept. Sobbed. I pleaded with Him to give me JOY in the midst of the heartache.
I could feel His peace washing over me.
Just then, MaryEllen passed me a paper towel…because that’s the only kind of tissue we had in our cabin. I took it and then looked at it in my hand. “PAPER TOWEL? I’m gonna be raw!” We both bust out laughing. Yes, Jesus is here. He smiles and holds our heads up and says we are beautiful.
Beautiful warrioress…keep fighting. Be courageous. Be bold. Pray like a mad woman and don’t give up. Your Captain has never lost a battle and He won’t ever…so fight like you own the battlefield. I’ve read the end of the Book…and He’s guaranteed to win!
“For they did not take the land by their sword— their arm did not bring them the victory— but by Your right hand, Your arm, and the light of Your face, for You were pleased with them.” Psalm 44:3 HCSB