I should have expected it—the attack. God had already spoken to me about being vigilant when I wrote about spiritual terrorism in response to remembering the series of attacks the enemy will inflict on us in an attempt to scare us into thinking victory is not ours.
Yes, we may know Christ already won the war. But after a catastrophic event changes our lives forever, we don’t feel victorious. We can focus on the pain of losing a battle rather than the war and begin to wonder if we are included with those on the winning side.
Holding onto Ourselves
In fact, in the days following Reggie’s passing, my church’s assistant director of music, Grammy-nominated, Dove– and Stellar-award winning Gospel music artist; and radio host of Blessings on Blessings with Anthony Brown on WHUR radio Anthony Brown taught us the Harvest Song. I used to cry every time I sang the song because it’s about expecting a harvest. I felt like I just lost my harvest.
I was living in the land of the impossible—living without Reggie—and the Harvest Song talks about the possible. At that time, the impossible was so big that I couldn’t see past it to the possible. The Harvest Song expressed the expectation of fullness at a time when I felt so empty.
It’s okay, even appropriate, to feel some emptiness in the wake of a catastrophe. Grieving is a necessary part of the process. Once safe again after an attack in the first season of The Walking Dead, everyone was trying to figure out what to do next. Then, Lori blurted out, “We haven’t had one minute to hold onto anything of our old selves. We need time to mourn and we need to bury our dead. It’s what people do.”It’s okay, even appropriate, to feel some emptiness in the wake of a catastrophe. Grieving is a necessary part of the process. Click To Tweet
I was trying to hold onto my old self. Yet, when I discussed my struggle with my pastor, Pastor acknowledged my pain by hugging me, but at the same time, encouraged me that one day I would have another harvest.
Of course, he was right. In the ten years since Reggie’s death, I’ve experienced many harvests. I’m experiencing one as I write this post.
So, as Anthony wrote in the Harvest Song, we should expect a move of God (Psalm 62:5). We should be on the lookout for our next harvest (2 Chronicles 16:9).
My soul, wait silently for God alone, For my expectation is from Him. ~Psalm 62:5
For the eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to show Himself strong on behalf of those whose heart is loyal to Him. In this you have done foolishly; therefore from now on you shall have wars." ~2 Chronicles 16:9
As I mentioned in the opening sentence, having been attacked before, I should’ve been on the lookout for more attacks. As someone who is high risk for negative outcomes due to COVID, I’ve spent most of the COVID pandemic physically isolated. I still connected with people virtually, just not many physically.
Once vaccinated, I felt God nudging me to re-enter society, but it has been a slow process, hindered in no small part by the spikes due to the Delta variant. This past Monday though, I spent the morning on The National Mall. Because most of the museums are closed, many of the sites had little to no foot traffic.
I had a wonderful time! The weather was great. The company was good. I left The Mall eagerly looking forward to my next opportunity to be out and about.
Then, I woke up the next morning with slight nasal congestion—first attack. Of course, the enemy wanted me to think it was COVID, so I wouldn’t continue looking for healthy, less risky ways to continue my re-entry into society, or worse, retreat—second attack. Yes, it was possible that it was COVID. Either way, I chose to trust God that I would be okay.
The enemy wants to keep us from advancing in our assignments.
Thankfully, I was tested and don’t have COVID. I was suffering from the normal seasonal nasal challenges I have been known to experience at this time of year.
Instead of a reason to retreat back into my home, I see my sniffles, which were gone in a few days, as a reminder to remain vigilant. Yes, there are safe ways for me to re-enter society, but I have to be sober meaning self-controlled and vigilant meaning alert (1 Peter 5:8). The enemy is out and about too—on the lookout for whom he can devour.
Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. ~1 Peter 5:8
I want to be ready for my next harvest, but I don’t want to be devoured along the way. I can’t be ready if I only look for harvests. I need to look out for attacks too. That means I have to be ready to fight the attack by trusting God.
The enemy wants to keep us from advancing in our assignments. By spending the day on The Mall, I advanced. Now, the enemy wants to keep me from making any more progress, but I am going to trust God.
I am going to trust God that my harvest is coming. I can get out more, even when attacked. The sniffles may slow me down, but I’m going to re-enter society. I just need to be vigilant to look out for both harvests and attacks along the way—because either could be around the next corner.
- What are you expecting?
- How are you being/remaining vigilant?
- Are you trying to hold onto your old self?
- If so, how?
- If not, what are you holding onto?