Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Stand and Fight

The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life. John 10:10

What a truly amazing day! May 14, 2010, launch day for the last planned mission of the Atlantis Space Shuttle. A NASA employee for his entire career, my husband always hoped to attend a shuttle launch in person. Government programming now caused the retirement of the shuttles so only a few launches remained.

Backtrack, 2 days to the Wednesday prior to the launch. While driving to an appointment, I heard about the upcoming launch on the radio. I felt the sudden inspiration to check if I could spontaneously get my husband down to Florida in time. With our anniversary and Father’s Day just around the corner, it would make an amazing present for him.

Once home I made a few phone calls and got online to check into flights, hotels, costs and availability. Miraculously it looked possible! My husband’s work trip for that Thursday and Friday had just been canceled. Would his schedule still be open enough he could suddenly get off work? A phone call later, and a yes in hand, I booked the fights, booked a hotel, and printed off the confirmation information for what would probably be the best present I’d ever give my husband- something he could cross off his Bucket List.

Back to launch day…The day of the launch had perfect weather. My husband stood on the very front lines of the crowd on base. The launch went great and he got to witness it all. My son and I watched live via TV to share at least a little in his experience. Tears rolled down my cheeks as I watched the shuttle power through the sky, so thankful God had allowed this special gift for the man I loved.

I felt such a high all afternoon. That is until I happened to glance out my window. While on the phone with a friend, I about lost it when I saw the last foot and a half of a snake slithering from my flower bed into the rock pile nearby. YUCK! My first thought was I need my husband; my second, Why does this kind of stuff always happen when he’s gone? I must confess I deflated pretty quickly as I worried about that snake. I needed to do the yard work that weekend with him gone and I knew I’d have the willies all weekend as I cut the grass and trimmed the bushes. I eventually found a picture online that matched the snake I’d seen out my window. It was not poisonous.

As the evening progressed, a severe round of thunderstorms suddenly developed and headed our way. I kept watch on the weather radar map while my son watched TV. Suddenly his show was interrupted with a weather alert. With a tornado spotted in the county next to us, they advised all in the listening area to seek shelter. Although the tornado was already past us, several strong storm cells still headed our way. It took so long to get my wheelchair bound son into our basement, I decided it better to be safe than sorry. I started the 15 minute process to get his necessary medicines, equipment and person downstairs.

In my many trips up and down the stairs I found myself in an emotional battle. I hated storms and the thought of facing a potentially dangerous situation alone with my son created waves of fear. As the fear started to take hold, I found myself getting a bit angry at my husband, off on a surprise vacation that left everything on me.

But that’s when I pulled up short. I suddenly saw my emotional low in stark
contrast to my earlier high. How did this happen? And just that quickly I recognized the culprit. Someone disliked the blessing I’d helped give my husband and now wanted to steal my joy. First a snake, and now a tornado? Seriously? Could it be any more obvious when two of the things I hated most happened to me in the same day, while my husband received a blessing of my love? John 10:10 flashed through my mind “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life.” 1 Peter 5:8-9 flashed through my mind next, “Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith.” Then I started to smile. Understanding that the enemy wanted to steal my joy from blessing my husband put things in perspective, and I had the courage to stand up and fight. Goodbye fear. I actually got a little cocky that my obedience to God would be enough to make the enemy ticked enough to mess with little ole me! Soon I was laughing again! The very God who made the gift to my husband possible was the same God who watched over me. What did I have to fear?

How often do we lose perspective and get overwhelmed by our emotions? We do have an enemy what likes nothing better than to steal our joy or keep us scared. We have an amazing, most powerful God who treasures us and wants to lavish his love upon us. When we keep our trust and faith in God, we will find the courage and ability to stand up and fight against our enemy… the one who roars loud, but has no teeth. Let’s praise our awesome God, and stand with him, ready to fight.

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