O Lord, see how my enemies persecute me!
Have mercy and lift me up from the gates of death,
that I may declare your praises
in the gates of the Daughter of Zion
and there rejoice in your salvation.
I can’t say that I have any human enemies to speak of. At least not ones that I am aware of day and night. David knew what it was like to pursued by people who intended to kill him. That kind of enemy – I have no knowledge of it.
But I still have an enemy. And boy is he good at getting to me. My weakest places become footholds for him, and he attacks mercilessly. Were it not for God’s saving grace, I would be doomed! Satan loves to attack me in ways that seem so subtle and yet are designed perfectly to get to me. He does it for each of us. For me, it’s depression that sets in, but long before that happens Satan is laying the trap. He magnifies disappointments, adds in a dash of lack-of-sleep, and finishes me off with my assumptions about time – that I have either plenty of time to take care of the tasks before me. Add in some entertainment that is slightly (okay, very) addictive, like television and smart phone apps, and it’s a perfect setup for me to fall into a dark hole of misery.
I’ve been learning a lot this year about myself, but more than that, I’ve been learning a lot about how to listen to God. He’s constantly working in my life, and He breaks through and grabs my attention in ways that speak directly to me. God, even more than Satan, knows how to enter into my existence in ways that are perfectly designed for me. Because unlike Satan, whose primary agenda is to draw me away from my Father, God is drawing me to Himself. And so He will speak truth into my heart where the devil speaks lies. He reminds me that I am His daughter, His creation, His beloved. He shields me from the worst of Satan’s arrows, and He wakes me from my apathy towards life. It’s not always easy, but it’s possible because of God’s work in my life.
That’s why it’s so important to me to keep the commitment I’ve made to write these posts – not because I have the power to do it or that I need to somehow earn my relationship with God. It’s because I know it strengthens me, and by posting here I have accountability for my time in Scripture and my focus on joy. God has been calling me to look for joy for almost six years now. It’s why this blog has the title I chose for it. Funny how it took this long to start looking to Scripture for joy. But God isn’t done with me yet – and in that knowledge, I can rejoice. I’m still a work in progress, stumbling and getting back up, always being shaped and molded into the image of Christ, a little more every day. And when I get to heaven, reunited with my children, I can fall into the arms of Jesus and know that I’m done!