Peace for the Day

Devotions for our daily angst.

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The Devil’s in the Distractions

“…but I resort to prayer” (Psalm 109:4b)

There’s an enemy afoot who would like nothing more than to distract me, but in the hard won lessons of battle, I chose to resort to prayer.

I learned this lesson years ago when my husband was laid off and could not find a steady job for an extended period of time. This led to severe financial problems which led to horrible marital problems, which led to anger, bitterness, resentment, and distrust with a fairly strong dash of hate, – on my part. That’s the cleaned-up, toned-down version of what was a very dark period.

In the middle of it, the Lord sent friends to drag me to a retreat I did not want to attend. What good could it do being around happy, faith-filled women? The thought of “up” people made me want to bang my head against the nearest wall. My friends ignored my drama. They paid my way, drove me there, deposited me in our room, and had the good sense to leave me alone long enough to allow the Lord to work.

Extend your arms straight out in front of you and make a fist. Start punching the air. That’s what I was doing. I was fighting out there – with my husband, with the bill collectors, with anybody who didn’t understand our plight and attempted to comfort me with platitudes. I battled it out, punching blindly, becoming more and more entangled in hopelessness and life-sucking bitterness.

Then, something happened right there in the middle of the retreat. The speaker taught that the enemy wants to distract us by getting us caught up with everything occurring out front, out there. He keeps us so busy scrapping and fussing that we don’t turn and run to the only One who can take care of it all.

The Lord fiddled with my vision knob and adjusted my sight. Bang! I saw the situation with clarity and light. It was a true God moment.

I left that retreat a changed woman. It made me a dangerous woman. At home, as soon as I felt myself begin to duke it out with external situations, I literally forced myself to turn, to run to a safe place, and to pour my heart out to God. It took time and every last bit of resolve I had; but with God’s grace, eventually, I learned to turn to the Lord before I was sucked into a distracting fight.

Lord, prepare me for battle. Teach me to be a warrior, not an angst-filled worrier.

“Let us pray, let us pray, everywhere in every way. Every moment of the day, it is the right time. Let us pray without end and when we finish start again. Like breathing out and breathing in. Let us pray!” Steven Curtis Chapman, Album: Signs of Life, Song: Let Us Pray