I had such an opportunity today! On Sunday Pastor Tony preached about proven weapons. It was one of those sermons that ring true right to your heart. He preached that some of our greatest weapons against the devil are ones that we have been proven in our lives. He went on to give a few examples. If you have been prayed for and healed sometime in your life and you are faced with sickness later on, the proven weapon is the scriptures on healing. If you have been bound by an addiction and Jesus has set you free, the proven weapons are scripture on overcoming and freedom in Christ. If you have been saved from your sins and the Devil comes to tell you that you are not saved, the cross and the blood of the Lamb is your proven weapon!
But the weapon that struck a cord with me and that has stuck with me this week was the weapon of joy. He said that sometimes you come into situations in life that are very frustrating and you may feel defeated....this may be the time that you just need to laugh! And he shared a circumstance in his life that he was discouraged and he just had to laugh. I know now why that stuck with me, because that was the weapon that I needed this morning. JOY!!!!
Here is why. I asked Brooke to go downstairs to the freezer and check if we had some almonds. She came up all panicky saying, "Something red burst all over the freezer!" Knowing this could only mean bad news I went down to the basement to check on the situation. What I saw made me want to cry....instead I yelled! Yes, me....I yelled, a deep from my belly....a moaning/desperate yell!!!! All I could think of was hours and hours of hard work melted into a puddle. Somehow the door on the freezer got left open (a life lesson for one of our children. But that's another whole story) and things were thawing out. This is the freezer where we keep all our our garden produce and jams.
If I had bought this all from the store if would not have been near as frustrating. But knowing all the hours we had put into picking, cleaning and blanching these things made it seem so much worse! So we got the crew together to clean up as quickly as possible and try to salvage what we could. I can tell you that I was not in the best of moods. I had my morning planned, a fun morning of getting ready for Christmas. Cleaning up such a mess was definitely not part of the plan! To top it all off some of the raspberry packages had leaked and so there was red sticky juice over a bunch of stuff meaning most of the packages and containers had to be washed off.
And THEN.....that moment when you realize that the sermon that you heard on Sunday was just for this moment! The moment when you realize that you can be a doer of the word or just a hearer. The moment where you realize that as a mom you can be an ungodly example or a godly example. I am sad to say that up to this moment, in this situation, I had been an ungodly example. But that didn't make me defeated because I still had a choice to make.
So I said to the boys, "This is the time that we need to live out the sermon that we heard on Sunday." And I said, "Everybody laugh!!!" And so we did. NOTE: Some people had to be tickled in order to get a chuckle out of them! But you know what immediately happened? The mood got lighter and we started to feel joyful inside! As the clean up progressed and we started to get a little grumpy again I said, "Everybody laugh!" And we did, and the mood lightened again!
Now I realize that joy is so much deeper than just laughing, it's being content in your circumstances, having that deep peace no matter what comes your way. But I also believe that sometimes our actions can change the way we look at things. In this case laughing (an outward demonstration of joy) was just what we needed to get our day back on track!
So next time you are faced with a situation that seems hopeless or overwhelmingly frustrating, choose a secret weapon from the Bible to help you to overcome. When Jesus was tempted by the devil in the wilderness he always came back with scripture. May I live my life this way and use the "proven weapons" that have been given to me.
*Apologies to Pastor Tony if I paraphrased your words a bit, I didn't take notes. I tried my to be accurate. Please feel free