My! I didn't realize how pitiful I was. How ferocious the battle was. How far it took me down. How I didn't think I'd ever get back up again.
I didn't expect it. I didn't see it coming. I had never been more enamored and in love with my Savior. There is no way you could have told me that what hit me would have hit me and knocked me as hard as it did and would leave me wounded and writhing. I felt sorry for myself just while reading all of the old things about it that I'd written in the midst of it. Bless my heart! That was true anguish I suffered! I am truly a picture today of the binding up of the broken-hearted that Jesus came to bind!
It simply started with a phone call...... and from there it took me years to recoup and heal from that call! Talk about being "sifted as wheat"! My goodness, that was a true straining and sifting! After that, it's a wonder that there's anything left of me at all!
Without my seeing the true significance, God warned me of it coming. And, too, without me totally grasping the meaning of the picture, He showed me that He would protect me, as well. It wasn't easy. And it was LONG! But, wow, looking back on this side of it.... woe, my Savior is GOoD!
Before the battle had truly begun... when I was just barely on the tip of the iceburg of what was about to happen... when I only thought that the battle was fierce (having no clue of how fierce it'd get), God gave me a visual to hang on to. Wow! What kind of God is He that He would do that!
Here is a copy of an email that I sent to a friend sharing my wonder of what God had just done. This is in the earliest throes of the war... when the battle had actually only barely just begun.
A lot of my day happened before I saw the picture at all. But then when done, wow, for it seems to hold such meaning.
I went to the pond to feed all my critters. My feelings were hurt. I cried a whole lot. Basically because of the "snake in the pond" that slithered into the midst of my fun in the past two days that I had been there. Both a physical snake... and a spiritual one.
I don't like calling and labeling my "friend" a "snake." I was thinking of that while I sat there. I don't like him pictured that way. And then I thought, "our battle is not against flesh and blood, but against......." And it made me feel somewhat better. Because I know that my battle is not against him. Surely he hasn't meant to come in as something evil. I surely don't think that was his intention at all. Honestly, I think he felt a bit lost... and somehow and for some reason I felt safe to him in some weird sort of way. Perhaps he is getting caught by the evils of this dark world and the power under its deceit innocently enough, as well?..... if you can call it that. For lack of a better way to know how to say it, that's the best way that I know how to at the moment.
Anyway, I was irritated as I went to do what I so enjoy doing (feeding my creatures), because I constantly had to look around to see if I saw the enemy slithering back up close to me again. What was he doing in my garden? It was so eerie. And it made me mad. With every head that popped up (which normally I so enjoy seeing), I looked to see if it had a hard back attached to it, or if it trailed a long tail. Ugh, I hate snakes. And this one seems especially evil and mean. I hate the visual, the picture, it seems to portray! I hate the symbolism it seems to bear.
I even woke up thinking of it this morning. And I woke to this Scripture rolling in my mind over and over again, "Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour." I'm sure you'll believe it when I tell you that the very first email that I opened this morning was this very same verse!!!!
There were a ton of geese at the pond today opposed to my normal mom and pop and six duckling family, plus two ducks on the side. A flock of them had evidently flown in from somewhere last night. They are not my most favorite to feed. I know you already know that it's the turtles that I favor so much. But because of the 6 babies and all of the envaders of the land, mom and pop were mad too! Fit to be tied would be more like it. They sqawked and honked and kept flying at the other geese to run them away. Then they would come flying back to their babes with heads held really low to the water as they did their slide on the surface leaving a great wake. I'd say that they had their ears back, because it surely appeared that they did, only they don't have the ears to hold back.... Even so, it still looked like it, because it was so evident that they were ferociously mad at the enemies that had come into their territory.
After a few minutes it dawned on me of how preciously sweet it was that mom and pop were so furious in their protection of their children. They weren't tolerant of the enemy at all! They had no patience! Gave them no lee-way. They were not in the mood to be messed with when it came to their babes. That's so like God. I so feel His protection over me. I so feel His Fatherly fury at the enemy that dares to come close to threaten. I thoroughly enjoyed the geese after that and tried to feed them extra because of the hard work that they were doing in keeping their babies protected and safe (because they kept having to do it over and over again... running the enemy off each time the enemy flew back). I think God wanted me to see the picture. I think He wanted me to know how much He cared and to what extent He'd go to in order to protect me from the enemies that lurk and desire to have me.
I was almost finished feeding... when guess who came from out of his hiding? I saw him slither out from that same place and swim to the midst of my world, then back to the rocks on the land on my opposite side. Ugh! What is that? What is he doing???? It's like he's doing it on purpose! And so trying to say something and make his point loud. And oh my! Cause I soooo feel there's a deeper greater uglier meaning. UGH! But then after the picture of the mom and pop in their protection of their babes, I felt so much safer somehow.
I almost missed it though! I almost didn't see it! But the mom and pop continued to run off the other geese over and over and over again each time they came. They flap and fly and squawk them off, then come landing back on the water with a force that had them sliding deep and going far with a mad-look on their faces at anybody getting close to threaten their kids. Finally, I so saw what God was trying to show me! I had almost missed it. I wasn't even looking. You know why? Because I had my eye so focused on watching out for the enemy, looking around to see if and when he'd come, that I had forgotten to see my Savior watching me and trying to protect me from what the enemy's come for in his hope to "devour" me.
How's that for a Savior speaking to His saved one? How's that for a Father speaking love to His child!