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Inspirational Articles by Lygia Lovelace

 

Rock 'Em Sock 'Em Robots

 

 

Elijah 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.

 

For 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!

 

It's quite mindless, really.

 

The boys tired of the game quickly. After all, the punches were the same. Defeat was inevitable. It was the same strategy every single time…

 

The 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.

 

And 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.

 

What are your weaknesses? Go ahead and think about them. After all, the beginning of a new year is a good time for introspection.

 

What 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?

 

What 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.

 

What 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.

 

For 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.

 

Harsh 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.

 

But it was a "falling away" that I allowed to happen and now, there are some exposed parts of my heart that need tending.

 

I have work to do, as I trade my sadness for joy, my despair for hope.

 

But I will tend. I will grow. I will be more vigilant of the punches.

 

Josiah, 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.

 

One morning, almost a year ago, Josiah came down to the kitchen and showed me his tooth.

 

"Something's wrong with it…" he observed.

 

I 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 white tooth.

 

His 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.

 

"Oh…Josiah…your 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…"

 

This 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 "pulling" habit.

 

Gradually his face began to relax. He understood. But it took some time.

 

Now, when Josiah feels a loose tooth, he quickly comes to me, opens his mouth, and points.

 

He knows the drill. Through perhaps some pain or discomfort of his teeth-pullings, there is definitely a gap. But then, there's growth.

 

It's 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.

 

I'm 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.

 

No more sucker punches for me! No more hits below the belt! I'm back in training and growing stronger every day.

 

Will 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!

 

Hey, Satan! Why don't you read the end of the Book?!

 

WHAMMO! Game over!

 

But 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
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Copyright © 2010. Faith Matters by Lygia Lovelace. All rights reserved. KenLovelaceMinistries.com




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