This past week I have been having some serious stomach pains; so much so that I spent the second half of yesterday in the doctors office and eventually the ER. They sent me home, not being able to identify what is going on, but (praise the Lord) eliminated our worry that it could be appendicitis. Basically, unless it gets much worse or I start having other symptoms, they can’t do much to help me. It’s a little frustrating that the reason for my pain is unknown but I’m beyond thankful we were able to rule out our main fears, and hopefully it will pass on its own.
Anyway, as I was going through this it reminded me of some things that some of the leaders from my church said to me a couple weeks ago while we were serving in San Antonio. I believe it was on Tuesday (so pretty much half way through the week that we were spending there) that we found out that someone our age, who was a friend and peer to many of the students from our church, had passed away suddenly. I didn’t know him but many of my friends did and this brought quite a bit of sorrow throughout our group.
So me and another girl were discussing the event with one of our leaders later that day and she told us that whenever we are feeling confident in our faith, the Devil will try his hardest to knock us down. We still had a few days left to serve and this had shaken up our focus quite a bit, but quickly we regained our purpose and our mission and stood together to help those who were grieving and continue what God had called us to do.
Then later that week, when we were heading home, our van leader brought up another point of view. She explained that Satan was, in fact, attacking us then. But on the trip we were surrounded by fellow believers, surrounded by the Holy Spirit within our group, surrounded by support when bad things came about. She followed that by saying this (or rather something along these lines):
The Devil will wait until we are out of fellowship, when we are back home and doubting our faith, and he will take advantage of that and he will strike us. So prepare yourselves.
So, contemplating that, I started wondering which statement was more correct. Does evil tend to strike in our times of strength or in our times of weakness?
I came to the conclusion that the Devil doesn’t stop trying regardless. But, whenever we are feeling confident in our faith and are surrounded by other believers, it’s easier for us to see that it’s Satan coming after us. And when we are alone and doubting, then we have trouble and are more susceptible to being overwhelmed by the pain and sorrow.
But either way, there is a common theme: if we didn’t believe, then the Devil would have no reason to sit around and wait for a moment to bring us down. It’s important to stay strong in our faith and ask God for the wisdom to learn something from our pain and use it to help others. For everything evil that comes our way, God already has a plan to use it for good if we look to Him for strength. Besides, we wouldn’t have a mission if there wasn’t evil in the world.
When you meet enemies, it means you’re going in the right direction.