Trials seem to come to me like attacks in an Indiana Jones movie: everything is copacetic (or at least doable) one minute and the next I find myself on a battlefield in a barrage of arrows coming from all directions.
A rude word screams in from over there, a rejection flies in from that place, one of the children faces his own crisis, the car and the house vie for which will break biggest and best. Add to that a health crisis and I want to run and hide behind a rock and nurse my wounds.
The attacks catch me off guard every time. My tendency is to get my eyes focused on the circumstances and/or people who shot the arrows. That would be a good thing if I were in a physical war, but I’m not.
God tells us that “we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.” Ephesians 6:12
Our war is not with what or whom we see, but with the unseen spiritually dark forces that wage war with God’s children. They fight to stop our growth, our witness and our voices from speaking to the world the name of Jesus Christ because it is the power unto salvation.
God knows we’ll find ourselves being the target of some pretty big and pretty fiery arrows so He’s given us a piece of spiritual armor to protect ourselves.
“…above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one.” Ephesians 6:16
When we find ourselves in the arrow zone, we must hold fast to our faith in Christ and all that entails—faith that He’s with us and will never leave us. That He’s infinitely more powerful than all other powers combined. That God loves us always, no matter what. That He has a reason for allowing them. That He’ll use them for good if we allow Him to.
When we remember and know who we are in Christ we’ll know the arrows are nothing but lies and half-truths and vain attempts to refocus our attention away from the Lord. Away from doing His will. And away from showing God’s love, even to the very ones who have hurt us.
Maybe it’s those very people who need someone to show them the love of Christ and the enemy wants nothing to do with that.
Stand strong in the faith and “Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you,bless those who curse you, and pray for those who spitefully use you.” Luke 6:27-28
Seeing others as people who need Jesus instead of as our enemies and then praying for them takes the sting out of the arrows. Standing in faith gives us the strength and confidence of the Lord to walk through the battlefield.
We may be wounded, we may be scarred, but we will come through the battle looking even more like our Savior than we did the battle before.