I held my baby on one hip as I looked up at my oldest daughter straining to meet me as she reached out her hand, groaning a fearful “M-o-m-m-y!”
There she was, stuck in the enclosed playground at a local restaurant. My knees felt weak, panic was starting to take over. We had been there for 20 minutes and much of that time was already spent trying to coerce her down with verbal instruction. Coaching her fruitlessly to move this way or that in order to climb down.
The outing began innocently enough, “we don’t have lunch at the house, let’s get out for a bit and play,” I thought to myself.
My daughter, newly two, loves climbing and playgrounds and “being brave.” We’d been to this particular playground many times, none of which did she need any more assistance than some general encouragement to climb around or gentle guidance where to place her feet to get down. In fact, just a few days before we visited a brand-new outdoor playground with a 3-story jungle gym that she couldn’t get enough of. She climbed obstacles I’d never seen her use and slid multi leveled slides with ease, but today… today on this dinky (in comparison) playground, she was stuck.
And, on the ground, I was feeling just as stuck.
A wave of weakness swept over my body, it felt as if my blood sugar had dropped suddenly and unexpectedly. Fear seized me and tears began to well in my eyes as I looked up and around, trying to decide my next move. My daughter, however, refused to move, even when other kids offered her help. She only wanted me; except from my current vantage point, I couldn’t help. My youngest was still too young to be left alone, she was barely sitting up on her own and I certainly couldn’t climb up with her still on my hip. I honestly wasn’t sure I would be able to fit through the small openings myself.
I realize that this may seem inconsequential to you, maybe on a different day it would have felt inconsequential to me too.But on this particular day the only explanation was spiritual warfare.
I had recently been feeling prompted by the Lord to continue some projects I had been called into a few years before. Adding a second child to our family had consumed my time and I’d put it on the back burner. I had been asking friends to pray for me as I began to seek the Lord and ponder what it would mean to pick up where I’d left off. I had also just started a new Bible study the day before and began reading a book on taking our thoughts captive in order to live a life freely devoted to God. My husband, also, was taking ground in areas of his life that had been stagnant and pushed aside for some time. We’d both been sensing the Lord moving in new and profound ways and felt much spiritual attack as a result.
Consequently, this seemingly simple outing set me overboard. I felt completely out of control and for some reason, afraid to ask for help. The enemy knows my buttons even more than I do sometimes and they were pushing hard. I called my husband with tears in my eyes and asked him to pray. After hanging up the phone I saw an acquaintance in the restaurant that I knew from a mom’s group I had been involved in and knew that was my opportunity to ask for help. She held my youngest as I climbed up through the jungle gym and assisted my eldest daughter down.
I was reminded that day that God is sovereign. What the enemy meant for harm; my God used for good.
As I continue to pray through this event, God has begun stirring up heart issues, insecurities, and lies that I’ve been believing; all the while reminding me that He is bigger than it all. He defeated death so that I could be free to live in fullness. To be bold enough to speak the truth, believe the truth and trust in him.
If you’re struggling today let me remind you that God is for you! He will never leave you or abandon you. In my quick search, I found a variation of that phrase in 6 different verses in the Bible. I’ve heard it said that if something is repeated more than three times it’s important to remember.
As Christians, spiritual warfare is a very real certainty in our daily lives, but we can also rest in knowing that God is ultimately victorious!
“God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.” -Psalms 46:1 NIV
“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” – John 16:33 NIV