There is a boy standing with him that chuckles and I think about how strange that is...
We listen, hoping he'll breathe in between his words, but he really doesn't. I ask to see his paper about this fund account and he goes on about a woman that he met there in the parking lot last night, promising to give him more money 'than the $20 she gave him, but she didn't do it'.
I know what I must do, not for him, but for me. I reach into my wallet and pull out the only money I have: $5. I know deep in my heart he isn't being honest, but it doesn't matter. I must do this. God will deal with him. God has been working to bring me more freedom with money. I gladly hand it over and then I only wish we had done one more thing: prayed with him.
So the darts fly. 'You blew it again. He'll never know the Truth. You had an opportunity and you missed it.'
I read it on Facebook: 'I hate my bro.' Words from my boy to his brother while they are at Amy's sharing her laptop; well, they're supposed to be sharing. Those words sting my heart. Are these the tender-hearted children I birthed? Publicly shredding one another. MY first instinct is to ban them from Facebook. Maybe then they'll get it...or perhaps take away the X-Box. Will that show them how serious I am? And to top it off, I've walked in on Love in the middle of this 'heart-training session' and just began barking out 'consequences' for their actions...
Flaming darts fly straight to my heart: 'Will you ever learn how to submit to your husband? Trust him to lead? You failed again. Attempting to change their hearts, you control the external.'
...though the darts be engulfed in flames, aimed squarely at your heart:
"And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns." Philippians 1:6
...and you've tossed and turned about from a fitful night of warfare because there is unrest about you:
"Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour. Stand firm against him, and be strong in your faith." 1 Peter 5:8-9a
...and you want to lash out and fight with words, defend yourself and set the record straight:
"...Be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on all of God's armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all the strategies of the devil. For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in the dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places." Ephesians 6:10-12
...and you feel as though you're going backwards when communication is strained, tension fills the air around you:
"...humble yourselves under the mighty power of God, and at the right time he will lift you up in honor. Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you." 1 Peter 5:6
...and they will fly because our adversary is bent on stealing our joy:
"Can anything ever separate us from Christ's love? Does it mean he no longer loves us if we have trouble or calamity, or are persecuted, or hungry, or destitute, or in danger, or threatened with death? (As the Scriptures say, "For your sake we are killed every day; we are being slaughtered like sheep.) NO, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us." Romans 8:35-37
So when the darts fly, flames blazing toward the heart and tormenting the mind, and be assured they will fly, just remember that we have been given a breastplate, body armor to protect our heart and protection for our mind: God's righteousness and His helmet of salvation.
I will remember this:
"We now have this light shining in our hearts, but we ourselves are like fragile clay jars containing this great treasure. This makes it clear that our great power is from God, not from ourselves. We are pressed on every side by troubles, but we are not crushed. We are perplexed, but not driven to despair. We are hunted down, but never abandoned by God. We get knocked down, but we are not destroyed. Through suffering, our bodies continue to share in the death of Jesus so that the life of Jesus may also be seen in our bodies." 2 Corinthians 4:7-10
"And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God's love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow--not even the powers of hell can separate us from God's love. No power in the sky above or in the earth below--indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord."
Fog filling the yard, while everyone is still sleep, I dance in the joy of my salvation, remembering one more truth:
"What shall we say about such wonderful things as these? IF GOD IS FOR US, WHO CAN EVER BE AGAINST US? Since he did not spare even his own Son but gave him up for us all, won't he also give us everything else? Who dares accuse us whom God has chosen for his own? NO ONE--for Christ Jesus died for us and was raised to life for us, and he is sitting in the place of honor at God's right hand, pleading for us!"Have a great weekend remembering how deeply loved we all are~