When pain and anger run so deep our human reactions are sometimes violent. Good news…we get to choose how we put those feelings into action – it doesn’t have to be violent. As a teacher, I’ve spent some time teaching kiddos how to react without the violence. How to choose wisely. As a mom, I get to do it all over again…while also reteaching myself that violence is not the answer when I’ve asked my 6-year-old to brush her teeth for the 3 millionth time in the last 30 minutes. Violence is not the answer. I get it.
Anyone sensing a “but” here?
Let me tell you about the exception to violence I’m looking for. I mean, if there is one. Satan. I would really, really like to fight Satan. (Also, I’d like to be able to physically beat him. Think David v. Goliath, but you know, Me v. Satan.)
Here’s why. He is a ruin-er. He has successfully taken down some of the best people I know. He started with Adam and Eve in the Garden, he moved on to Judas in the New Testament…then He almost got me.
I’ve felt a lot of anger in my life, but little compares to the volcanic heat of emotion that erupts when you lose a child. When John Karl died, I went from sad to angry very quickly. God and I had words. They weren’t nice ones from my side of the conversation. But He is God and full of the most amazing grace, so he took them, and He waited. He waited patiently (that’s His thing), for me to be ready to throw a tantrum and stomp my feet, and then return to Him. What I often wanted to do was just walk away from Him. Forever. He wasn’t helping me. He wasn’t answering me. Here I am praying and praying and talking and talking and nothing. Radio silent. Except not really. God was speaking to me – through our friends, our family, the actions of others as they were not just the hands and feet of Jesus but the light of Christ in our darkness.
Even bigger, God was fighting for me. In a battle I just couldn’t see. In Job 1 God has a conversation with Satan in which God allows Job to be mistreated and hurt by Satan in ways I can only imagine. Not to mention Job stood by while his friends ridiculed and blamed him for Satan’s actions. He didn’t lash out in violence against his “friends” even though they acted like idiots. Could you have done this? Would you have done this? Job is strong, he never resorts to violence. God knew he wouldn’t. (I probably would have…we can’t all be Job.) Even in all that pain, God was fighting for Job. He was fighting for all of us. The picture was so much bigger than Job could see. Job didn’t even know that God would send Christ to bridge the gap created between man and God after the fall. He didn’t even know!! And still, Job stood strong. That takes some stones, people.
Job and his friends couldn’t see all this “behind the scenes” action from Job 1, they didn’t know that a larger battle had be waged. They couldn’t read the rest of the story and know in the end – God wins. Satan loses.
I wonder what the purpose is in our “unseen battle”. I am certain John Karl’s life served a bigger purpose and our pain rests in a bigger plan. Someday, God and I will sit down at a table with some fries and a drink and discuss this. (There are totally going to be fries in heaven. I’m sure of it.) All my questions will be answered on the other side of those gates. And maybe, I’ll still want to go a couple of rounds with Satan for causing all the pain and questioning in my life.
Until then, Imma fight him. I will fight Satan daily for the control of my life, my choices, my faith, my family, my friends, my children, my marriage, my husband, my Savior. I’ll fight with my actions as I pour into my relationship with the Lord, learning from the truth of His word and living in the light of His mercy and grace. Not today, Satan.