Have you ever found yourself needing to hear a word from God? I mean really needing to know the He is there, that He sees and feels your struggles, needing His guidance and assurance? And yes that is a rhetorical question, because if you are living and breathing, of course you have! Well that has been my past week, plus some. I find myself in this glorious yet painful season of the latter part of my life. I can’t even say “mid-life” anymore, because unless I live to be 104, that’s not even accurate. The purely glorious part is being able to date the love of my life now. When the incomparable Chris Krukar entered my life, we were instant family of 5, so we never had the slow, leisure opportunity of dating and spending quality time together – it was family time from the get go. (Not to mention, money was an infinite struggle, as you young families definitely can relate.) So this part of the season is thrilling, relaxing and so fulfilling. But with this season comes the reality of the failing health of parents, being there for them in a capacity you were never quite prepared for. Also comes the reality of having children who are now independent adults whom you love beyond life but realizing your influences no longer have the same impact. This is where Proverbs 22:6 really has been my daily prayer: “Train a child in the way he should go, and even when he is old, he will not turn from it.” And now for a little extra measure, let’s sprinkle in some feelings of self-doubt, enough to make you question your purpose and effectiveness and maybe even your abilities. That place, my friends is where I have waddled in lately. Where the once bubbly, encouraging personality burst forth, I am now found withdrawn into an emotional exposed nerve. Not a happy place indeed!
GOD GENTLY NUDGES
It has been quite some time since I’ve participated in the Women’s Bible Study and the title grabbed my attention from the start: The Armor of God by Priscilla Shirer. But of course, the week the study began I was incredibly busy and couldn’t attend the first session. So I ruled it out as: “Maybe next time.” (Boy, the evil one loves busy-ness, doesn’t he?) It’s quite the effective ploy. However, after a painful week of dealing with my broken-hearted mom as she grieves my dying step-father, the 2nd Tuesday rolls around and God prompts my heart to consider joining in the study. But Satan says, “It’s too late, you can’t participate now. You’ve already missed the deadline.” But in the quiet of my heart, God calls me again, so I act on His voice instead. Week 2 of the Study: The Belt of Truth. From the second I opened the workbook and began, I was struck to my core that this is exactly where He wanted me to be: not on Week 1, but Week 2! This was a word to me, Jenny Krukar from my heavenly Father who loves me. This was no accident in the least, but divine intervention! Praise You Lord!
Phrases like “Satan is the master illusionist, he knows where my weakness is, and he distorts my reality constantly” jumps off the pages of the study. But the Belt of Truth, the light of God’s Holy, perfect Word allows you to stand firm against the schemes of the devil. And the schemes this week resulted in a heaping ugly pile of negativity.
Even prior to delving into the study, I was sharing my struggles with my lifelong precious friend, and she said to me, “sometimes God just wants us to stand – nothing heroic or amazing, but just stand.” (However, I will emphasize that some days, to stand, is indeed quite heroic!) And then I open my first lesson and guess what? It spoke of a strong core specifically to stand firm. Ephesians 4:14 “Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of people in their deceitful scheming.” So, I’m awe-struck by an intimate word from my Father through the words of my dear sister in Christ.
His Word, His Truth keeps me grounded, keeps me unwavering when trials come. And trust me, the trials I am undergoing are miniscule compared to what some of my precious friends and family are experiencing regularly. We’re a people easily distracted, even despondent at times. We’ve been lulled and complacent, unaware of being in a spiritual battle 24/7.
GIRD YOURSELF IN TRUTH
“Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.” – 1st Peter 5:8
Wake up! The enemy had maximized my emotions and feelings where that was in the forefront of my mind. That was my reality and I was reacting and responding from a mess of feelings. I had allowed the enemy a foothold and he was slowly robbing my joy, my hope. I had slipped back into this place more easily than I would’ve liked.
But His mercies are new everyday – thank You Jesus! And today, I am sitting with my lovely cup of Café du Monde coffee and my Bible study and bible app in hand. Today, I will gird myself in His Truth. I cannot wait to hear what my Victor, my Savior has to tell me today.
Arm yourselves, my friends, our enemy is quite crafty. But our Lord is the Winner and we can stand in that truth!