Saturday, March 19, 2016

Satan's attacks started the minute I woke up today, and they didn't stop all morning. My back was extremely sore; despite being bone tired, I was unable to fall back to sleep after waking at 4:00 a.m.; my shower was cold; I had to make sure my daughter (a dilly-dallier of the highest order) was ready for an early Cantata practice; and I knocked an open coffee canister off the counter.
As I packed things into my "church bag," I was wholeheartedly regretting my earlier decision to take Jon's place teaching Children's Church so that he could get some respite from all of the activities on his own plate. Trying to keep several young children occupied and acceptably quite for any stretch of time seemed well beyond my abilities, and I was wondering if I'd make it out alive.
Thankfully, the Spirit was whispering to me throughout the morning. I was prompted me to pray, to lift the Lord's name in songs of thanksgiving, and to recite encouraging Scripture verses, and by the time I got to church I was at peace with the idea of teaching Children's Church. When Children's Church started, my mood was lifted even more by the smiling faces that surrounded me; and by the time Children's Church came to and end, my heart was overflowing with thankfulness for all the amazing growth I'm seeing in the hearts of our church's youngsters.
Left to my own devices today, I would have been a tsunami of anger (probably flattening a few kids in my wake!). Because of God's grace, however, I found myself in the position of role model and confidant to budding hearts and minds, a blessing beyond compare.
-Trish Gerstel
Finally, be strong in the Lord and in His mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God.
And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.
-Ephesians 6:10-18

1 comment:

  1. Trish, this Sabbath I was reminded full force of God's presence, protection, guidance in our lives starting with our day of preparation - Usually simply (or not so simply) getting the minutae out of the way so we can fully observe and be renewed by a day of Sabbath rest. Early Friday morn I found myself in a situation of lock-down. (I volunteer at the GF Senior Ctr. and all of downtown GF was in lock-down until law enforcement captured a person who had broke into and robbed a nearby place of business.) It was unnerving and I knew my daughter Karyn was going to be downtown about that time. Praise God, the situation was taken care of. Satan was very busy. At the end of the day I came home exhausted - slept thru the night - and woke up at 8:15 - long after the alarm had gone off and long after I would have needed to be on the road to bead for Berlin on Sabbath. So I had a restful am, then as it was so beautiful out, I decided to drive to a city park, do some reading and watch the ducks on the pond. Instead I ended up in Lake George, took a brisk walk along the south lake shore and thoroughly enjoyed my time there. Now to the best part of my day - on my way home I stopped into Cool Beans for a sandwich, a woman I have known only peripherally was behind the counter and our conversation developed into a discussion of faith (she had lost a son a month prior) and what we truly believed regardless of the denonimation to which we belonged. This is all a long way of saying how God is at work daily in our lives and He puts us where He wants us to be at any given time. I just need to remember that when my day isn't going well, maybe I'm just supposed to be learning something from it all. Hang in there - Bev