The devil has been successfully hitting me where I am weak—in the areas of my relationships, my self-image and my sensitivity. Not only have I been vulnerable, but I also felt separated and alone. Satan made me feel like I was trapped in a box where no one could see my pain or hear my cries, and I felt as if God was not there to deliver me.
Days went by, and my brain constantly was in fight-or-flight mode. It’s like my heart was on high alert from another worldly attack. I soon became content with these feelings where my old self would find a home—a place that the devil called home because it was full of walls that constantly were locking me in and Jesus out. The phrase “one step forward and two steps back” often appeared to be accurate in my case.
Every night I prayed, retraced my steps, prayed, retraced my steps. I prayed that I would get rid of what was distracting me in any way I could.
One night, I finally unlocked the door and let Jesus back in. Wow! It was a fresh start. A new day. A reset. I realized I was moving so fast, I had started leaving God behind.
One morning, I read about sin and suffering. The author said: “Suffering hurts more, but it will not last. Sin though, has consequences that last into eternity.” He continued, noting that we follow Jesus in suffering, but suffering isn’t the final word. Jesus’ resurrection leads the way to our own resurrection, and there is nothing Satan can do to stop it, he pointed out. That was encouraging. The devil promises freedom, but he delivers slavery and guilt. He convinces people to walk away from God and then condemns them for doing it, making them think God would never forgive them. Having the reminder that the battle is already won makes the small fights easier to win. I decided to use the suffering I was going through as motivation.
Romans 5:3-4 says, “But we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope.”
Hebrews 12:1 follows the same idea: “Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us.”
Carl, a member of the church here, texted me: “Sweet child of God, we may live in the world, but we are never alone.” I cried. I am not alone. You are not alone. Everyone sins, everyone struggles, everyone hurts. But God is sovereign over all of these hardships, and he delivers us. Every morning is a fresh start to turn from sin and cling closer to God.
Do you need a “reset” with God?
Danielle French is a student at University of North Texas, serving with Go Now Missions in McKees Rocks, Penn., near Pittsburgh, in a ministry focused on building relationships with children and and teens in the inner city.