Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Shopping (03/01/07)
TITLE: Chased By The Devil In Wal-Mart
By Marilyn Klunder
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For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world, and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.--Ephesians 6:12
By the title of this piece some may assume that this would be a humorous story, but I can assure you that the devil’s work is serious, and very, very real. It is his desire to separate us from God through his lies and deceit and convince us that it is our choice to do so. Several years ago, he had done a pretty good job of this and had a strong stranglehold on my life.
From my late twenties and on I had found myself increasingly restless in my marriage and in my life. I can’t tell you how many times I looked out the window of a traveling car and silently asked the question, “is this all there is?”
In my early thirties, after the final reconciliation and break up of my marriage, I found myself one day shopping at a local Wal-Mart shopping center. Shopping, in those days, was not something I did out of necessity, but out of boredom and compulsion. I spent money I didn’t have on stuff I didn’t need in order to fill an empty spot that couldn’t be filled. On this particular day I would end up taking home more than I ever bargained for.
I had just finished perusing the clothing and shoe section and had found myself walking toward the linens and towels. Again, there was nothing that I truly needed, but that certainly wouldn’t stop me from looking. As I walked toward my destination, I noticed at the end of the short aisle that there was a man who seemed to be walking in step with me. As I turned and looked down the aisle, everything started to move in slow motion. He was a handsome man, and he wore blue jeans, a black turtleneck, and a red jacket. We were still walking in step; him at one end and me at the other. When I looked at him, a thought ran through my head; if I were to imagine what the devil looked like, he would look like this man. I don’t know if it was his dark features or maybe the goatee and mustache but the thought made me turn my face away from him. When I turned back to look at him again he was gone. I was so shocked at his disappearance that I even turned and backtracked down several aisles to find him. There was no sign of a man in a red jacket anywhere.
The eeriness of this shopping excursion stayed with me for a long time. I spent days questioning what it meant. Was it just a coincidence? Did I imagine this man there? Was it a sign? Within a couple of weeks of this experience I felt compelled to make a change in my life. I remember talking to my daughter on the phone and telling her it was time for me to find some new friends and find a new direction. I called the pastor of the only church I knew of, and he invited me to come talk with him. I did. And that began my journey into the Kingdom of Light.
I wish I could play back like a movie my journey up to now so that you could see the sin that God has cleansed me from. Through tears and confession, He emptied me out, and then He filled me back up again with His Word, and I know I will never be the same. Where there was restlessness there is now a mission. Where there was boredom there is now contentment. Where there was no direction there is now a future. Praise be to God!
“I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not harm you, and plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11
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