No one has to convince me God is real—I know He is. Still, blatantly seeing God's realness so vividly at work before my eyes are baffling. The same is true of the works of the devil. Seeing people victimized by demonic activity is aggrieving and staggering. Seeing so vividly the reality of wicked supernatural forces tormenting men, women, and children are shocking. There’s no denying the reality of such wickedness after you’ve beheld it. Then, to see God so blatantly reign in power over such evil forces makes my soul want to spin in delight. Witnessing darkness turned into light leaves a simpleton like me wonderstruck. Seeing God exalted as the King He is and the devil wholly shamed is crazy satisfying.
A few winters ago our family took a ski trip to Utah. My firstborn invited a college friend to join us for the week. Our lodging was quite far from the airport, and Peyton’s friend’s flight was several hours after ours, so I got the bright idea to schedule her a shuttle. What could go wrong? The signage claimed “easy, comfortable, and on time” service. So I phoned her and explained how it would work. She needn’t worry! When my phone rang at 11 o’clock later that night, I began to freak inwardly out. The shuttle service had dropped her off at the wrong address. In freezing cold temperatures. With no idea where she was! So she commenced to knocking on doors. But everybody in the units were tourists—no one knew how to help. That’s when I ran to the car in my flannel pajamas. Erin, Peyton and I piled in. Peyton kept Shannon on her phone while I tried using Google Maps™ on mine. But we soon ran into another problem. Being in the mountains, the cell range was spotty. Just when we’d hear her trying to give us an address, the call would drop, the phone would freeze or die entirely. When we couldn’t call 911, I turned frantic. Every condominium looked the same at night. That’s when we did what seemed best: We rolled down the windows to the minivan, honked the horn incessantly, and screamed out the windows while racing down the streets, “Shannon, can you hear us?” Luckily, we found her an hour later. Deep sigh.
This reminds me of how Satan would give anything to keep us in the dark—lost, cold, scared, and frantic. He’s hoping we’ll lose any desire for God somehow, someway. Satan hopes we’ll get so turned around in the darkness we will not know where to find God. The devil knows our prayer lives get spotty sometimes—he’s always watching and listening after all.
My great hope for you and I is that we would amply apply in our daily lives what we did at that moment by throwing open the windows of our souls and screaming for God without shame: Lord, can You hear us?! We will find Him—He’s near. No matter how long a sense of bondage has carried on in our lives, Jesus’ power is mighty to save us. We’ve not worn God’s patience so thin that He’ll not listen to our desperate cries for help. Go ahead and permit yourself to throw a necessary fit, friend. Wail. Sob. Weep. Scream. Let your soul’s misery rattle God’s eardrums today, right now. Like the bellowing agony of a mother who has lost her only child, give your guts permission to spew forth its grief. This is not the time for fanciful, dignified praying. Your heavenly Father will not plug His ears from the cries of His beloved child. Surely He will come. Surely He will save. Surely He will blow a refreshing wind into your weary soul; wind that expands your capacity to breathe, to catch your breath, and to steady your frame from the suffocating sense of fear, bewilderment, confusion, or demonic torment.
In circumstances of trial, difficulty, addiction, and relational failure we are often bankrupt of knowing what we should do. We so easily forget our God is always near to us. Alas, a whisper away. We also forget our God has committed Himself to us, among other things, as Savior, Healer, Helper, Sustainer, and Interceding Lord. God does not consider us a bother or a burden—no, no. To the contrary! Our Lord longs to pray for us, to sustain us, and to equip us in the power of the Holy Spirit. The best thing you and I can do when our backs are slammed up against a wall is to lift up our eyes to the One, who hung on a tree. The One who willingly committed before the foundation of the world to be our everything from birth until He comes again. Let’s enjoy the privilege of calling on Jesus, the only One, who is big enough to free us from the enemy’s snare. The One who is sweet enough to kiss our tearstained face. Our Lord is affection wrapped in the tenderest skin of restoring salvation. Don’t let the devil convince you: You’re too messed up for help. That’s a big fat lie. He’s too messed up for God’s help—not you. If you’re still breathing, call on Jesus. He’s near. He’ll quickly be on His way.