We have to call evil for what it is: evil. And only the power of God can combat evil. Knowing God is with me and in me as a believer in Christ, that is why I can continue to wake up and face each day. Not because I can do anything to fight, but because I know He will triumph and can fight. The church and the believers in the church are told to be salt and light to the world. The Bible tells us the church is holding back the power of satan over the world through the Holy Spirit which has been given to us. (2 Thess 2:6)
Which is why I’m writing this. Please hear me, I rarely talk about spiritual things I have “done” or will “do” – because it becomes a show and tell experiment in spirituality. We see someone else talk about doing some “thing” for Jesus and suddenly it becomes a comparison game. Or it can make me feel like, well, as long as I’ve done 10 things, I’m fine… instead of constantly being on the lookout for ways to spread the gospel of Jesus. But I’m going to break my rules because I also want your input – I need help learning other ways you and I can combat the evil in this world. I consciously made the decision to watch for opportunities this week to battle against the evil inherent in recent tragedies – including another one which occurred last night.
Here are 10 ways I chose to fight back:
I cried. We see crying as weakness. We need to see it as being moved by grief and understanding the pain and suffering in the world and if you are not affected by news or tragedies, but instead jump straight to politicizing or talking about who did what and why and what laws should be changed… you need to pause and remember that grief is real and refusing to face it or ever deal with it is not what I believe God would support. He gave us grief as a gift of emotion – so that we can experience on a human level the grief God feels over sin and, in turn, process it. If we are not grieved by sin… heaven help us.
I spent the day with my kids. We had a day off where none of us had anything on the schedule and we didn’t have to work. I spent the day with them and ended up talking to them and enjoying the day. How is this battling back? Because it is saying to my children, you are important, my relationship with you is important and I want to always have good communication with you and is a way to keep close to them in order to help encourage their own walk with God. I can show by example and by my words what I believe about our God.
I volunteered. During the year, some friends of mine help lead a Bible club for children of refugees who have moved to the area. During the summer, we move this club to a yard in front of apartments where a lot of these refugees live. We have a playday with the kids and show them love and friendship and lots of snacks. They are now our friends – it’s not us “helping” them, it’s us having friends who come from different backgrounds and understanding how to relate to others that have different names or different skin tones than me and my kids.
I chose to go out of my comfort zone and talk to an elderly couple who were sitting off to the side of our playdate. This couple was sitting in lawn chairs, and I could tell they were watching us. I took some snacks over to them and introduced myself – the man stood up and talked for a good ten minutes straight about his wife (who was sitting there quietly) and when he had moved to America. Honestly? I understood only a few words he said, but enough to understand his wife is undergoing kidney dialysis and he moved here from Vietnam in 2009. I offered to pray for them and for her sickness and strength.
I prayed. I admitted to God I have no idea what to do in these times. Selah.
I went to breakfast with a friend. We all have our tough situations we are facing – we can compare or feel our trial isn’t as important or as serious as her trial… but truthfully, we are all given trials and situations which can be used by God to sanctify us and grow us in our relationship with Him. Being able to talk with a friend and process out loud is an encouragement and a gift from God.
I sent money. Practically speaking, money does have its benefits – I sent extra dollars in to the charities we support. Sometimes I question whether this does any good, but I also know it is a way I can do something. Anything to help in a practical manner.
I read the Psalms and Lamentations. Psalms is sometimes called the hymnbook of the Israelites. In these Psalms, we see joy, we see grief, we see the mighty King David crying and coming before God with his pain. These ancient songs speak to our souls and help us see our need for God. Lamentations is a crying out of a prophet for his people and shows the struggle of the prophet to understand what is happening to his nation and people. I am bolstered by this ancient faith of his. It is the same God we serve.
I volunteered at my church. Remember up above when I suggested it was the church who is holding back the power of satan in the world? (Even if you don’t agree with that – keep reading…) This is partly why I am invested in my local church. My family and I will show up and support the ministries there. We will support our friends there. We will volunteer and do what the Lord enables us to do to help in order to strengthen the church.
I wrote this out. Thinking through the choices I make helps me grow and acknowledge the power of God in my life. I am a weak, melancholy, selfish person at worst – He has made me a new person in Christ and clothed me with the grace of God and given me those around me to affect and reach for His glory. Amen.
…bonum est praestolari cum silentio salutare Domini
I say to myself, “The Lord is my portion;
therefore I will wait for him.”
The Lord is good to those whose hope is in him,
to the one who seeks him;
it is good to wait quietly
for the salvation of the Lord.
Lamentations 3:24-26 –