Fortunately, the saying, “You can’t get there from here.” while humorous or ironic or just plain ridiculous, is not true for us as followers of Jesus on our journey to the heart of the Father. We have a long way to go, for sure and there are some daunting obstacles to overcome. But we are amply provided for and our successful arrival is guaranteed, regardless of our starting points and the tangents we might choose to explore along the way. It is inescapable that life will include incidents which produce sadness, fear, anger, disgust, despair, shame (those six big emotions previously mentioned). Each of these normal human emotions cause joy levels to plummet, pushing us to find our path back to joy, serenity, peace, delight, hope and confident acceptance (these last six are how we were designed, how we were hard-wired, how we intuitively anticipate our stories being written). Since the roads we travel are not always fully accommodating, we find ourselves needing to develop strategies for getting back to our Divine, created roots, to seeing, once again, the face of the Father beckoning us onward.

The time between the interrupting ‘incident,’ the glitch, the temptation, the rebellion, and our re-found equilibrium is, truly, the Enemy’s playground (or battlefield, to continue the war analogy from Tuesday’s note).  To cite a random, unlikely example, it’s like someone who passes out while a nurse is collecting a blood sample. There is often no warning of the incoming darkness or the indecorous, limp dishrag descent to the cold, tile floor. As consciousness returns, painfully and yes, humiliatingly, the sense of disorientation can be overwhelming. In fact, it is momentarily tempting to return to the dark side, rather than having to deal with the awaiting consequences of shame, ridicule, and embarrassment (It should be noted that the nurse is not exactly thrilled either, although she was probably able to finish the phlebotomy while said patient was out). As I said, just an unlikely scenario.

Regardless how the ‘interruption’ occurs, it is fertile territory for the Enemy. He loves to strike in moments when we are unprepared, fatigued, out of sorts. Ideal timing for misinformation to multiply, old wounds to be resurrected, past slights to be relived, abandonments and disappointments to be reenergized, once-settled questions to be posed again. All this takes place in secret, in our gray matter, silently obscuring God’s image, challenging previously held firm convictions, luring us further afield, loading us down with fresh batches of shame. In fact, it is stunning that so much destructive distraction can bloom in such a short time, at such slight provocation. It’s warfare at its most insidious. “Little children, you can be certain that you belong to God and have conquered them, for the One who is living in you is greater than the one who is in the world.” 1 John 4:4 TPT. Did I mention we are in possession of ample provisions for the entire duration of the journey? Onward, Christian soldiers!  PD

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