Last week I watched our littlest fur baby suffer before passing away. It was just awful, and I cried out to God asking, “Why don’t you do something?” I realized I was mad at God all over again. (See more here.)
But before I could look back at the past and focus on the other times I’d watched loved ones suffer from cancer or the times we lost other fur babies to sickness and disease, before I could really start questioning God and start pointing my finger at Him (forgive me, Lord), I heard His still, small voice whisper:
“He’s after your faith.”
I’d heard God whisper those very words to me another time in my life when I had too many questions and not enough answers. And when those questions came fast, leaving holes of doubt burning in my heart with no answers to act as salve, I became an easy target.
Satan is after my faith. Perhaps he’s after yours too. He knows if he can get our faith, if he can take our shield of faith, then we’re open to whatever he throws at us. We’ll be exposed and he can pierce our lives with his lies, causing us to pull away from God.
That’s just what Satan wants to do and he will fight as dirty as he needs to so we will turn away from God. He will attack us when we’re empathizing, when we’re in agony over someone else’s suffering. We feel helpless while we feel their pain. We hurt with them, crying out for mercy, and we wait for it to come. (It’s like holding your breath for too long while you’re under water and your chest starts to burn.) We’re physically drained and mentally exhausted so we loosen our grip on our faith. In that very moment Satan strikes with a fierce lie: God doesn’t care. It’s a poisonous lie from the father of lies that will spread if you don’t see it for the deceptive trash that it is.
My friend, God DOES care. He knows when a sparrow falls. He created everything on this great big planet and knows their intricacies. Those gossamer wings of a butterfly, the highest peak of a snowcapped mountain, they have His touch. Your tender heart, the way things move you to tears and hurt you deeply, He created those fragile and delicate areas in you. He knows how to comfort you and love you when you agonize in those places.
I realized something when I fell apart last week: God strengthens our faith and protects us while we’re hurting. When we’re too weak to lift our shield or to carry our faith another step, He doesn’t just walk away, leaving us slumped on the floor alone and in tears. He comes to us, meets us right there on the floor, and covers us with His arms and reminds us:
“I am your shield.”
“The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and I am helped.” (Psalm 28:7a NIV.)