Sunday, October 31, 2010

Preparation for Hard Times~Warplanes

 Michael had a very nice birthday yesterday! I only got 2 pictures because I need a new battery for my camera. As you can see in the picture, Michael wanted a pumpkin pie for his "cake." I made some blueberry muffins and we had pizza from Papa John's. The evening was very enjoyable with good food and lots of gifts!

Each with his sword at his side, prepared for the terrors of the night. Song of Songs 3:8

Because it's Sunday, I'm going to give you the lesson I've put on my Bible blog. I hope you'll read it with thoughtfulness and make application to your life. This is Chapter 9 of Meeting God in Quiet Places by F. LaGard Smith. The title of this chapter is Preparation: Warplanes. It's about dealing with hard times.

Kelly, my granddaughter, is married to Eric, a Harrier pilot. He just got back from a tour in Afganistan. His life on the job is training in his Harrier jet with his squadron. You're probably wondering: What does this have to do with my spiritual life?

In this parable, LaGard talks about his walks into the beautiful Cotswold hills, where he can look down on life below, almost Godlike. But it seems that the hills and valleys of this area are perfect for practicing wartime manuevers for the Royal Air Force. So one day, when he was deep in reverie, war planes came swooping down at him, which was not only jarring, but shook his body and nerves to the bone. It felt like an invasion!

Life is like that, isn't it? Our lives resemble a war zone, because life is about conflict. You may be going along very well, when suddenly--out of nowhere--comes bad news! From peace and security, you're thrown into catastrophe! The bad news may be unbelievably bad...your husband has cancer, your teenager is pregnant, your child is very sick and may die. Or even less life-threatening news, but still disastrous--you've lost your job, or your child has failed a year in school...and so on and so on. From a position of control and security, you suddenly feel adrift. Like a Harrier jet, catastrophe just swooped down and shattered your life into bits and pieces. And there is no escape.

Remember how Job lost everything? Flocks and herds, servants, and even his sons and piece of bad news after another. What had he done to deserve it? it turns out...nothing! It can happen to any of us: death and disease, alienation, fear, loneliness, and many other kinds of disaster are part of this world. And since you're in it, you may experience more than your share of bad news.

And yet, you may have managed to get along with all your problems, with nothing being really catastrophic. You may simply experience sneak attacks of depression or loneliness or anger. And just when you thought you were doing so well! Here I want to quote LaGard directly:

"Nothing is more terrifying than those spiritual intruders--those secret thoughts, forbidden relationships, and fleshly desires that drag us down. Those moments of weakness that attack us just at the point when we think we are strong. Even those times when we get so tired of fighting off temptation that we are tempted to let the intruders win, hoping in vain that we can find some peace in compromise."

I know that Eric would never allow intruders into our territory. He knows who he is: a Marine who understands why he's fighting. He knows that he's a Christian fighting an Islamic threat to the security of our country. And I feel safer and more secure knowing that he's on our side. But I'm really talking about your own personal invaders. Will you fight, or will you compromise to have some peace? Tomorrow I'll give you some ways to deal with those spiritual invaders that are destroying your peace and happiness.

Think about what your own spiritual invaders might be and have a wonderful Sunday!

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