On a recent mission trip that my family attended, I found myself sidelined with an injury. As I sat down, annoyed at my misfortune, I was reminded that I had also been sidelined with an injury, on my very first day, on my very first trip, three years before.
I had been picking up shingles and turned my back in just the right way that brought me to my knees in pain. I walked and prayed, afraid to return to the roof. I took some ibuprofen. At first, I asked God to please stop the pain in my back.
I knew He had brought me there for a reason and I couldn’t imagine that it was for me not to participate. I ended up repeating the verse over and over, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Philippians 4:13
I spent that day getting to know the homeowner and hearing his story. It was a blessing. I woke up the next day very close to pain free and I went back on the roof.
I was a little wiser this time and I prayed and watched. Another adult had a minor injury too. When the third approached me looking for something in the first aid kit, I went on alert. Three could not have been a coincidence. We were under attack.
I began to diligently pray that God would keep us safe and that Jesus would intervene and remove whatever it was that we were fighting.
By Tuesday all was well. The rest of our week proceeded without incident.
But, the lesson remained with me long after I returned home.
When we are doing God’s work, we tend to think we are somehow bulletproof. We forget that is when Satan is most likely to come after us and so we let our guards down.
Think about it, if we are out doing what we are not supposed to be doing, Satan will leave us alone. Why bother? But, when we are doing God’s work and following Christ, we have targets on us.
Fortunately, we have the Armor of God to protect us. However, armor is no good sitting in the corner. We have to put it on and Ephesians 6:18 says to pray always.
It’s easy to focus on the safety of the physical, but we sometimes forget that the spiritual is a serious force to be reckoned with. The Bible tells us that the unseen is where our biggest fight is.
Make no mistake, we can win because Jesus will win. But, along the way, we are called to be vigilant.
A small injury reminded me. Perhaps you needed reminding too.
Have an awesome day!