Wanna Pick a Fight?

Whoever said “If looks could kill” must have seen the elderly woman who accused me of cutting in front of her in the post office line.

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For being petite, her voice was like a boom box. “EXCUSE ME!”

I spun around, holding my large package. “I’m sorry. Were you in line?”

“What do you think?”

Everyone else in line turned around. They stared at me like I was a monster. After all, what kind of person picks on little old ladies?

“I’m…I’m sorry. I thought that woman was the end of the line.”

“And why would I be standing here?”

I waved an imaginary white flag and walked behind her.  “I thought you were waiting in line for that other window.”

I pointed to a window in the lobby.

The woman glared at the window. Then at me. “What’s that window?”

“It’s for people who only need to pick up packages.”

She waved a pink slip in my face. “You mean this?”

I nodded, hoping I’d redeemed myself.

“Well, I’ve been standing here forever! I hope they can help me.”

She stepped out of line and went to the other window to wait. While I snuck out of  the post office…..without mailing my package.

I HATE conflict.

That’s how I’m wired. I’d rather be a peacemaker than a warrior. I don’t want to get injured. I don’t want people to think unkindly of me. And yet—

Does that passive mindset creep into my spiritual walk? Am I afraid to confront Satan? 

My mentor, Loretta, told me, “We need to be willing to fight when it comes to spiritual intimacy with God.”

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  • Fight the Enemy who loves to distract us from spending time with God.
  • Fight spiritual indifference when it creeps into our life and makes us settle for second best instead of God’s best.

When we’re indifferent about our spiritual growth and relationship with the Lord, we tend to neglect the things of God. We lack motivation.

Other times, we make ourselves attend church, read our Bible, and pray. Try as we might, we’re just going through the motions.

Nothing can separate us from the love of God, but pursuing intimacy with Him is our choice.

If our relationship with God is important, we’ll sound the battle cry and:

  • Put on the armor of God. (Ephesians 6:10-18)
  • Worship God in song regardless of our feelings.
  • Rebuke Satan with scripture and prayer.
  • Claim God’s promises.

That woman in the post office didn’t need to pick a fight with me. I wasn’t the enemy. A soft word would have sufficed.

And yet, that’s how I want to react when busyness or apathy steals my rightful place near God. I want to look the Enemy in the eye and shout, “Get thee behind me!”

Scream for Help

“Get over here now!”

The young mom screamed at her two-year-old son who trailed behind as she marched into the women’s restroom.

Stopping at the entrance, the boy began to cry. The mom hollered from within, “Shut up and get in here!”

The toddler stood his ground, wailing. The mom emerged, grabbed him by the shirt collar and carried him into the bathroom.

My neck grew warm. I hurried into the bathroom, ready to intervene for the defenseless boy.

Just as I entered, the mom smacked his bottom and fussed at him, “hurry up and pee.”

Then her angry commands turned to pleas, “Stop crying!”

Heart pounding, I walked to the open stall and stood in front of them. The boy gazed up at me, whimpering, while the mom yanked up his pants; her face bent towards the floor.

“I know you’re exasperated.”

I spoke softly, hoping a gentle answer turns away wrath.

“Perhaps if you didn’t scream at him, he’d stop crying.”

She didn’t respond.

 “Is there anything I can do to help?”

Without looking up, she spoke succinctly, “I have this under control, Ma’am.”

Certain the situation was defused, I left them alone.

Minutes later, she came out of the restroom carrying the quiet child, his head on her shoulder. Was this the norm? Screaming fits between mother and child? He who screams loudest wins?

I shuddered to think how she handles conflict in the privacy of her home. I feared for the child. Even if she doesn’t beat him, no child should hear his mother’s berating tone.

But as much as her behavior repulsed me, I longed to reach out. Show her a better way.

Would she receive my words? Accept my help?

 Even now, my heart remains heavy.

Is Jesus’ heart any less grieved by what He sees?

A hand is reaching out in the sky for help Stock Photo - 11432611“MY Hand is not shortened and it is ‘stretched out still,’ longing and waiting to be allowed to bless and help and save.

Think how tenderly I respect the right of each individual soul. Never forcing upon it My Help, My Salvation.

 Perhaps in all My suffering for humanity that is the hardest, the restraint of the Divine Impatience and longing to help, until the call of the soul gives ME My right to act.

 Comfort My waiting, loving, longing Heart by claiming My Help, Guidance, and Miracle-working Power.”—God Calling

And so I pray even in this … for that mother to know the love of Christ.