Thursday, September 13, 2018

When One Screams, We All Scream!

Robbie and I used to be on a team at our church that provided meals to families going through difficult seasons like illness or injury. It’s so rewarding to just take the focus from yourself and your own problems.  

I remember I had prepared a meal for a woman in our church who was going through treatments for cancer. It seems like a small thing to do for someone battling cancer, but she had a family with young children so it was just one less thing she had to worry about.

I cooked a large chicken potpie that would feed her whole family. Robbie and I delivered it to them early that evening. We spoke briefly to the family and let them know we were standing with them in prayer and went on our way back to the car. We smiled and waved at a couple of the kids looking out the window at us as we got into our car. I got in first on the driver’s side and then unlocked the door for Robbie to get in. However, as soon as Robbie got into the car I saw a huge brown spider just sitting on her shoulder. I guess he decided to hitch a ride to somewhere he really needed to go but there was no way I was going to give him a lift anywhere.

I have to tell you, I hate spiders, bugs, snakes and any kind of creepy, crawly thing.  I know God created them, if for no other reason but to watch me run away screaming, waving my arms in the air. I lose full control when I’m in the presence of these creatures and anything is bound to happen. 

As soon as I saw the gigantic spider perched on Robbie’s shoulder I let out a scream that could be heard throughout the neighborhood. Robbie, without actually knowing why, also let out a huge scream. She didn’t understand why we were screaming, but she assumed something bad was happening and so she joined in the scream fest immediately. 

My first instinct is usually to run away when I see a spider, but as I was in the car and eyeball to eyeball with the hairy beast, I decided to be brave and fight. So I used what was in my hand at the time, the car keys, and started beating the spider as hard as I could. This made Robbie start screaming even louder. She knew something terrible was threatening us, but she wasn’t sure what.

As I steadily whacked away at Robbie’s shoulder, she began to grab the car handle to escape, but in all of the excitement I had hit the childproof lock on the door. She was trapped in the car with a mad woman who was beating her with car keys.  No matter how hard she pulled on the door handle the car door wouldn’t open. 

Now you have to imagine how all of this looked from outside the car, specifically to the neighbors staring out the window at us. Here we had just delivered a meal to them, told them we were praying for them, smiled and waved. Then, as soon as we got in the car, I started screaming and beating Robbie with the car keys. Robbie is screaming and trying to get out of the car as if she’s trying to escape a monster.  What were they thinking about us? 

Finally, the car door somehow opened for Robbie and she jumped out of the car, but I also jumped out of the car and chased her around the car. I wanted to make sure the spider was dead, baby. At this point the neighbors were locking their door to make sure I didn’t take a run at them. It’s a wonder they didn’t call the police and tell them a mad woman was on the loose chasing another woman around the car. They probably thought I was trying to kill her.

Suddenly I came to my senses and stopped beating Robbie with the keys. The spider was nowhere to be found in or out of the car. Of course, by now he was obliterated to a million pieces. He was no more. The threat was gone and the area had been secured.

Robbie and I got back in the car, waved goodbye to the family once again, because they were all staring out the window at us now, and headed home. The next day when Robbie awoke she walked into the living room holding her shoulder.

“I’m so sore,” she said.

Then she remembered she was sore because she had been beaten with car keys the day before.

“Do me a favor,” said Robbie. “The next time you see a spider, just run away. Don’t try to destroy it, especially if it’s anywhere on or near me.”

I apologized but I knew I wouldn’t be able to accommodate Robbie’s request. Spiders must be destroyed on sight. There’s just no other solution.

The spider was certainly an unexpected part of our day. He just appeared out of nowhere and changed a quiet, peaceful evening into chaos and terror. Life can change quickly and so can our circumstances. We have to be battle ready at all times. When the enemy pops up in the middle of our day we have to be prepared to take him out without hesitation.

“God is strong, and he wants you to be strong. So take everything the Master has set out for you, well-made weapons of the best materials. And put them to use so that you will be able to stand up to everything the devil throws your way. This is no afternoon athletic contest that we’ll walk away from and forget about in a couple of hours. This is for keeps, a life-or-death right to the finish against the devil and all his angels.” Ephesians 6:10 (MSG) 

We must always be prepared to do battle with the enemy because he can show up at any given time, especially when you’re doing something for God. His whole aim and purpose is to kill, steal and destroy. But if we determine that we will battle through our circumstances, problems, and unexpected events in life, we will have a reward in the end that will make it all worthwhile.

“Here’s the reward I have for every conqueror, everyone who keeps at it, refusing to give up: You’ll rule the nations, your Shepherd-King rules as firm as an iron staff, their resistance fragile as clay pots. This was the gift my Father gave me; I pass it along to you—and with it, the Morning Star!” Revelation 2:26 (MSG)

Don’t back down or give up when hardships or unexpected interruptions occur in your journey. Fight back with the weapons you’ve been given. Make sure you know and understand who you are in Christ. Make no mistake. We are battling from a place of victory. We’ve already won and that makes the daily battles even easier to fight. And don’t forget. God fights right along side of you. You are not fighting alone. When you feel like you are weak and can no longer stand against the enemy, don’t fret. God will fight your battles for you. He is strong in our weakness.

Don’t let the enemy get a foothold in your life and hitch a ride on your journey. Be strong and courageous. Fight back!