Rock 'Em Sock 'Em
and Josiah got this game for Christmas. Have you seen it?
Plastic robots trade punches in a boxing ring. As the boys
played the game on Christmas day, I watched.
a few moments the robots both seem indestructible -- that
is, until just the right punch. The strategic jab is boldly
delivered by one robot, and then WHAMMO! The head of the
other robot pops up ominously. Game over!
quite mindless, really.
boys tired of the game quickly. After all, the punches were
the same. Defeat was inevitable. It was the same strategy
every single time…
enemy is like that. Have you noticed? He is not very clever.
True, he knows us well enough to know our weak spots. Then,
he begins to punch and jab -- anything he can do to lead
us away from the Father.
at first he succeeds. But then, round after round, surely
we, the "pawns," begin to catch on? Well, you'd
think so…but that isn't always true with me.
are your weaknesses? Go ahead and think about them. After
all, the beginning of a new year is a good time for introspection.
seems to lead you away from the Father? Is it worry? Is
it laziness? Are you too busy? Is it fear? Are you afraid
of stepping out of your comfort zone, yet you are so bored
with life that you look around hopelessly for something
more exciting? Truly? Is it that the world has things to
offer that just seem more interesting to you than leading
the Christian life?
does the enemy see in you? Are you weak in your faith? Maybe
things have just not gone well for you. Perhaps some really
bad things have happened -- things you just don't understand
-- things God could have stopped from happening. But He
didn't. And now, you don't understand, and there is a weak
spot in your Christian life. A weak spot of doubt, of frustration.
Maybe even anger.
are your weaknesses? Truly the enemy knows what they are.
He isn't very clever, but he is a murderer. He desires to
steal your joy, to destroy your hope, to end your kingdom
work, to kill your faith, and so much more. He doesn't give
up. And sometimes he delivers quite a punch.
me this year, one of my biggest weak spots has been through
discouragement. I just let things get me down. That was
my unfortunate choice. Life is always going to "deal
bad hands"…sometimes more often than not…but I can
choose how to react to them. And this year I chose discouragement
for many months.
words from a child, false accusations, criticism, sickness,
dishonest people, and difficult circumstances…I know God
could have used these happenings this past year to grow
me, to strengthen me, and even to encourage me, but I chose
instead to weaken my walk as I allowed the enemy to punch
and punch and punch me in the tender spots of my heart.
It wasn't some wise, well thought-out fight that Satan devised
against me. I knew the drill, this punching routine. The
enemy had used this strategy on me before.
it was a "falling away" that I allowed to happen
and now, there are some exposed parts of my heart that need
have work to do, as I trade my sadness for joy, my despair
I will tend. I will grow. I will be more vigilant of the
our African son, lost his first tooth almost a year ago.
Because he was barely 5 years old at the time, I hadn't
even thought to tell him about loose teeth yet. It just
hadn't come up in our conversation.
morning, almost a year ago, Josiah came down to the kitchen
and showed me his tooth.
wrong with it…" he observed.
wiggled it with my finger and noticed that it was very,
very loose. Being the "official teeth puller"
of the family, I grabbed his tooth and pulled gently. It
popped out nicely! Victoriously, I showed Josiah his tiny
eyes grew large. Backing away from me, Josiah began shaking
his head no! It was then that I realized he had no idea
why I pulled a tooth out of his head! What must he think
of me? It would have been hilarious, except for the look
of sheer horror on his face.
teeth are supposed to come out! They're just baby teeth!
You'll have a big grown-up tooth come in real soon…really!
See? I've pulled out the bigger kids' teeth before…"
really didn't seem to make Josiah feel any better. He still
continued to shake his head no and back away. His older
brothers began to reassure him, showing him in turn their
own gaps and "grown-up teeth" as a result of mom's
his face began to relax. He understood. But it took some
when Josiah feels a loose tooth, he quickly comes to me,
opens his mouth, and points.
knows the drill. Through perhaps some pain or discomfort
of his teeth-pullings, there is definitely a gap. But then,
a new year. 2011! A new beginning. I will fill in the gap
in my heart -- the tender spot. How? I have already begun.
I have at the ready verses on joy, on hope, and on perseverance.
ready for the fight! I'm taking these verses into the ring
with me, so that when the enemy throws a particularly painful
punch at me, I will block and jab with the Word of truth.
more sucker punches for me! No more hits below the belt!
I'm back in training and growing stronger every day.
you join me? We can dance the ring together, flying like
butterflies! Stinging like bees! We'll put the enemy down
for the count because, praise God Almighty! The
battle has already been won!
Satan! Why don't you read the end of the Book?!
we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this
all-surpassing power is from God and not from us.
We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed;
perplexed, but not in despair, persecuted, but not abandoned;
struck down, but not destroyed.
We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so
that the life of Jesus may also be
revealed in our body.
II Corinthians 4:7-10
© 2010. Faith Matters by Lygia Lovelace. All rights