My eyes filled with tears and my heart with frustration when I heard the latest news. Strangely, the news had nothing to do with “Big” John; they had to do with his son, Jon.
I called John about a week ago to find out how he himself was feeling. He told me he was feeling a little better but that his son wasn’t feeling too well after his “accident.” Well, at that moment a big question mark could probably have been seen over my head as I thought to myself and voiced, “What accident?” John then replied, “Didn’t you hear about the accident?” As I answered with a big, “No!” he continued, “Jon - (his 17 year old) was driving his car the other day, and someone came flying down the road, slamming in to his car, totaling it, almost killing him, and breaking his collar bone.” Well, one could imagine my surprise at this news. My eyes filled with an ocean of fear I asked how Jon was and if he was okay. John told me that Jon was okay but in a lot of pain.
I instantly thanked God for sparing little Jon’s life but I was surprised that I hadn’t even heard about the accident until a week later and I felt pretty angry at how people get away with driving like maniacs, putting precious people at risk. Just thinking that I could have lost someone so special to me made me cringe with a visual of the accident, wishing deep inside that I had been there to help with anything he may have needed. Yet, Jon didn’t need me, in reality because he had the “Great Physician” – Jesus Christ there, and was surrounded by His Holy Angels, so he was covered. Talk about divine intervention!
Hearing everything on the other end of the phone, I was suddenly reminded of my major accident that I’d had on March 8th, of this year and how my car was also totaled. I also remember how the day after the accident I threw up violently seven times, no exaggeration. Then the day after that I came down with a viral infection on my eyelid. No wondering about what was happening, the enemy was attacking me. No, I’m not one of those people who blame everything on satan, but I am one of those who know the truth of the matter, and the truth being that the devil loves (well he doesn’t love anything but himself), he lives (but not for long) to bring troubles to those who especially love the Lord. The closer we get or want to get to Jesus the more satan attacks us. He wants to bring us down so that we lose not only heart but also faith in Jesus. I knew this is what was happening to my precious friends-John and his family, with first a cancer scare in John, then a death scare with his son, Jon. I knew I had to pray them through and ask, through the mighty name of Jesus that satan take his grungy hands off of my friends.
One of our pastors in our church said once that we should be happy, in a way that is, when satan comes to knock us down, because that means that we’re doing right by God and are in good standing.
So, whenever satan comes trying to knock me down, as hard as it is, I get back up knowing that even though I make mistakes and sin like everyone else, I know that God loves me and knows my heart. He knows that I’m trying hard to please Him, even though I know I could try a lot harder. And I remember that God is proud of me for who I am, and that even though, “In this life there will be trouble, I can take heart because He has overcome the world.” Like I said it’s never “easy” but it does get “easier” to know and remember who’s holding us through life when the enemy wreaks havoc in our lives. It’s a comfort to know that Jesus loves me and would die all over again had it only been for me alone. This remains my heart’s cry not only for my family and myself but also for John and his. That we never forget whose children we are, despite the attack of the enemy and of this world. And may we be filled with the joy inside of knowing that when we are being attacked, that it’s because of what we’re doing for the kingdom of the Lord and that the pain won’t last forever. Knowing that God’s joy, peace, love and happiness do last that long keeps us stronger and pressing on, even when at times we’d like nothing better than to just give up. That’s what satan wants more than anything, for us to give up, to quit, to fail so that he can declare himself the winner. What a looser!
I know when Jesus Himself was on the earth He was attacked by the enemy many times, as well as tempted. But He shouted to the enemy with all His might, “Man does not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.” “Be Gone!” And with that, satan fled.
Jesus was also afraid in the Garden of Gethsemane, just before He died. He could have run away, knowing what was about to happen to Him and saved Himself, but He didn’t. He chose to stay there, and to pray, then to hang on a cross, a doom that should have befell us, not the Savior of all mankind, just to save us. What an awesome God we serve.
And so, since He chose the nails for us, we can choose to carry our crosses for Him too, and be pierced, even though we’d rather go a different route. We can just remember that Jesus did it all for us and now our turn has come. We can hold on to the fact that this sorrow will not linger for eternity. To God it is but a moment. And moments come and go, but they make us stronger, especially if we carry our faith with us wherever we are, never letting go.
Like I said, I never said it was easy, neither did the Lord. But He did say, “All things are possible to those who believe.” And trust me, there are times when believing is the hardest thing I’ve ever done in my life, but I hold on like I’ve never done before, to the hand of the one who walks with me through the toughest of trials and tribulations.
We, as children of God have to just keep on praying and calling on the name of Jesus, for “By His stripes are we healed”, and through the reverence of His Holy Name the enemy flees.
And even though Jon’s Dad, “Big” John didn’t yet finish all of his tests yet on his body, with one remaining still, I know that everything will work out fine, praise God. The enemy can scare us but he cannot and will not take us down, because no one can take our salvation and the prize waiting for us at the end of this life. We are held higher by a greater authority. We are children of the Most High, who will “Never leave us nor forsake us.” We are never alone. What a comforting thought, to know that no matter what we go through in this crazy place we call our “temporary home,” we’ll never go through it by ourselves.
“God never allows us to go through anything we can’t handle.” Let’s rest on that promise tonight, as I will, as I continue in the prayers for my friends. For though the enemy may try, only “God Is In Control.”
Just like Clint Brown's song says, "No matter what the weapon is I want you to know that I win!" And we will, in His Name! Thank you, Jesus!
I was never so happy as when I saw John and his family sitting in church this past Sunday morning. While I was up in the choir during worship I looked for them up in their usual spot, so I’d know they were okay, since they weren’t at church the week before, for reasons I now know and understand. And seeing their whole family sitting up there lit me up like a firecracker inside and I just felt so much joy and thanks to God for touching their lives and keeping them safe.
Shortly before service ended I literally raced upstairs to where John and his clan were sitting because I knew that they’re usually in a hurry after service because either someone in the family has to work or they have to run one or more of their myriad of errands and I knew I was not about to miss them again, like I usually did.
When I came face to face with my precious friends I embraced them so close. First I hugged “Big” John and his precious wife, Naomi, who of course made me laugh, even through these events, and then, their young son, Jon, who, poor thing stood before me in an arm sling. And as I stood there holding him, I thought to myself how I never thought I’d ever be so thankful for anything as I was for the gift of being able to see and hold little Jon again, knowing he was okay and going to make it through. I ruffled his hair and squeezed him a little, but not too much, for fear of hurting the rest of him. The indescribable joy I felt was immeasurable as it welt up within me. I knew I had witnessed, yet again the power of God and of His great love that the enemy could never match or come against.
God is so good. And in our lives when we come face to face with the enemy, with doubts, fears, pain, suffering, sorrow, or whatever else satan may blow our way, we can “Be still and know that He is God,” as Steven Curtis Chapman sings. “Come rest your head upon His breast.” He’ll take care of the rest. And everybody says, “AMEN and AMEN!” Thank you, thank you thank you. I could never thank you enough, dear Lord. You Rock You Rule and You Reign! Praise YOU Forever!