Most people are used to dealing with distractions and minor inconveniences in life, so much so that we often don’t even take notice of them. We call them “the small stuff”, and while we may become a little irritated for a moment, we roll on, doing what needs to be done.
But because “the small stuff” can be so minor, we may not notice it until it begins to pile on. You rarely notice the dust in your house until you move the filing cabinet and find that huge filthy pile of it on the floor underneath. And in this same way, the enemy finds ways to get to us.
Oh it starts off innocuously enough. Maybe a few days of rain that force you to change your plans with friends. Perhaps a little ache in your back from sitting too long at the computer. But the rain continues, nearly an entire month. Things people do that you would have easily ignored become major issues. Social media becomes a mental and emotional drain as you are bombarded with negative thoughts and articles. The suffering of people around you becomes magnified as you start to think about your own life. The enemy is now inside your head.
Once he gets into your head, he can start telling you things that you have difficulty distinguishing from your own thoughts: “You’re getting old and you’re falling apart.” “The whole world is a mess and there’s nothing you can do about it.” “You aren’t a good parent/child/spouse.” And you believe these things because they are coming from inside yourself. So you turn inside and reduce your interactions with people and wallow in your own self pity.
That’s the kind of month September has been for me. Distraction upon distraction, but none large enough to fall upon my knees and cry out to the Lord for rescue. Only in retrospect do I realize how cunning the enemy is in keeping me from prayer. These are just little things; why do I need God’s help? Yet these little things are slowly eating away at my peace, my joy and my enthusiasm for the work I am doing.
Today, I finally fully recognized the tactics of the enemy. I have been played. September is a month I can never get back, but I can repent of my lack of faith, my lack of prayer and rush back to the arms of our Heavenly Father. On my hands and knees I can find my place again, at the feet of Jesus, hearing his soothing words which restore my peace and reassure me of my relationships as a father, brother, son, and most importantly child of God.
It’s difficult to write about the ways you have failed, but I feel like we’ve all been there, following the general path the Lord has put us on but needlessly straying to the left and right, influenced by our emotions and not able to keep our bearings due to lack of prayer. That kind of journey is fraught with restlessness and worry instead of the peace that can be found in the love of Christ.
Tomorrow is a new day, a new month, and God’s promises are new every morning. His faithfulness is constant even when ours is not. Blessed be the name of the Lord.