Hebrews 12:1-2 teaches us to "throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us... to fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith..."
These last few weeks have been hard, really hard... The details of the story don't matter, it's what happened as a result of the circumstances that is at the heart of this post...
As the story unfolded, I found myself entangled in anger, bitterness and resentment... Is anger appropriate sometimes? Absolutely... Ephesians 4:6 starts off... "In your anger..." But anger that is given free run of the heart and mind brings on sin and that's why the rest of the verse reads, "do not sin."
Ouch... it didn't matter what the actions of any other person were, I was sinning. I knew that I was being held captive by the circumstances, but I just didn't know what to do.
I tried praying... I was confessing... I was repentant... Why couldn't I let go?
The answer came from the most unexpected place... These photos of our son wrestling the top wrestler in the state, in his weight class... (he gave me permission to use these!)
As I looked at these photos and the others in the series, I was struck by the parallels to my own battle... His opponent had completely entangled him and Nick worked relentlessly, with total determination, to remove each part that was entangling him. For him it was arms and legs, for me it was anger and bitterness.
And that's what I knew I had to do with the enemy of anger and bitterness that I was wrestling... I had to keep fighting! I had to wrestle it as hard as Nick did, and like Nick, not allow it to pin me helplessly to the mat of life... I had to relentlessly remove every tendril that had entangled my heart... But not in my own power... And that was the other thing about the photo that took my breath away... Nick was on his knees...
THAT is the only place to fight a battle of spiritual proportions... On our knees, in total humility, realizing that we can't do it in our own strength. Zechariah 4:6, says "'Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit.' says the LORD."
I am thankful to say that God, in His mercy, is bringing relief to my heart. Does it creep back in from time to time? Yes, most often in the middle of the night... and sometimes it blindsides me for no apparent reason... But by the power of the Spirit, through persistence and determination (and the memory of those photos etched into my heart), I am not giving up...
Each time it happens, I find myself back before the throne where I fight to peel away the entanglements, forgive again and fix my eyes back on Jesus who is far bigger than it all!!
Another sister in the good fight,