Friday, January 27, 2006

Hands Off!

"Skin for skin!" Satan replied. "A man will give all he has for his own life. But stretch out your hand and strike his flesh and bones, and he will surely curse you to your face."

The LORD said to Satan, "Very well, then, he is in your hands; but you must spare his life."Job 2:4-6



That letter from the attorney, the one hired by our church’s insurance company, is unsettling. I can’t give them what they want.

I don’t blame them. They want to recoup as much of their money as they can. But I cannot help them. I haven’t any assets. Do they want my ‘84 Honda? Do they want my ‘78 Ford van? Those won’t go far in recovering over 2 million dollars.

Jeremiah has a good heart. He has been through a lot. He has been beaten and starved and abused. He has been through war and death and shoved from one home to the next. And like all of us, he sometimes listens to the Whisperer who seeks to keep us in the dark, as far from the Lord as possible. Those are the real reasons our church burned.

I’m his dad. I will do what is right. I will take responsibility for my failures, my lack of supervision of this young man with the 46 IQ. But I cannot pay the money they seek.

We had a solemn assembly at our church last Sunday night. It was a time for us to corporately examine our failures to each other, to our community, to our Lord. I told our congregation I repent of the harm I may have caused any of them by not closely watching what my son was doing that night, when he found himself alone with a candle and a lighter.

And they forgave me.

The elders and our pastors already gave me their forgiveness. They even helped us pay for the counseling and the fire safety steps we had to take (and continue to take).

Sunday night was a step in making things right with those who were affected by the displacement of classes and programs in our church. It was an act of repentance for any hurts we had caused the body.

He doesn’t like that sort of thing.

A couple of months ago I tossed him out of my home. He landed in the street, cursing (of course), and has been prowling around the edges of my life ever since. He is a tiger of ancient anger. He doesn’t like what I’ve been up to.

I walked throughout my home, praying over every corner of every room, every door, every window, inside and out. I claimed freedom from all darkness in His name around the foundation of the house and along the peaks of every roof. I prayed over every corner of the property, sprinkling oil over it all.

In Jeremiah’s room there was a moment when I got the heebie jeebies. There was a knocking in the wall. As if someone was inside the wall, knocking slowly. I prayed. It faltered, stopped.

A few weeks later Jeremiah said he saw something dark looking in his window. Isaac complained of bad dreams. I bought another large bottle of olive oil. My sons and I prayed around the house again, along the property lines.

But he doesn’t give up.

The sores on my skin have never been worse. The itching is constant. The rashes are turning to scars. The splits come every few weeks, opening up the fingers of my hands. I leave small spots of blood here and there, little patches of the swirls and whorls of fingerprints marked with tiny slices where I have sprung small leaks. My hair is starting to come out again.

He doesn’t give up.

My wife is tense. She is getting better. I started praying over her each night, but the letter from our church's insurance company’s attorney set her back.

He doesn’t quit.

My sons are better, I anoint them with oil each night. But strange stresses are hitting them from odd directions. Yesterday was a bad day for Jeremiah.

He doesn’t stop.

I started painting images of spiritual import, praying more, writing words encouraging others to follow my Lord. And doubts creep into my heart about my health, my mortality.

He just doesn’t stop.

And neither does He.

I have a powerful ally. I have a big brother who loves me so much He came into the world to rescue me from him. I have a friend who loves me more than I love myself. I have a master who is gentle and asks no more than I fulfill what I was created to be. I have a Lord who is ancient, and wise, and the embodiment of love. And in His name I have something to say to him:

You can’t have us! We belong not only to our maker, the Lord God Almighty, we belong to your maker.

My son is covered! He is mine. He is His! He is dedicated to Jesus and you can’t have him!

My home is sanctified. I have taken what was not glorifying my Lord and tossed it out, jettisoned it! Go with it!

Prowl around as much as you like, but you are not getting in!

I don’t like the idea that you are powerful, and ancient, and knowledgeable. But you are not all powerful. You are a made thing, just as I am. And you may be knowledgeable, but you are not wise. You have cursed what cannot be cursed, and it cost you everything.

You may be the prince of this world. You may whisper and taunt and afflict, but for me and my family, we will follow the Lord.



Father, Lord, Holy spirit... I lay all I have, all I desire, all of who I am, at Your feet. I know it is safe in Your keeping. Amen.



26 comments:

Anonymous said...

Lord please put your loving arms around CS and family, comfort them, give them the power to withstand this darkest that wants in, in your name AMEM

curious servant said...

I'm tempted to delete this diatribe of a post... but I think I would be doing it for the wrong reasons, because it shows me in less than a good light. I want to be more honest than that.

So... for now... I will leave it here.

This is how I am today.

Anonymous said...

this is your blog, and that is how you are feeling, that what a blog is for isn't to write how your feeling ? why delete?

Seeker said...

Victory in Jesus!

Fox's Mom said...

CS-not a diatribe, but a profession of faith, and I thank-you for it. I heard a whisper tonight, but not from the enemy; I heard a whisper say "Check out your friend's blog, CS has done something wonderful." Honest. peace-Bianca

Hope said...

Keep standing firm there brother. Bless you for being honest and vulnerable. There is no shame in that. None. Don't forget that, k?

Lillee said...

What a power filled post. I felt that power way back here in the back row!! Don't delete it.

Coco said...

NO, do NOT delete the post!

It is a powerful post!
It reflects your love for Christ, your family, and Church...
It also reflects your fight against evil...

I pray that all will be resolved.

Blessings.

MMM said...

It is said that a mind, stretched by an idea, never returns to its original dimensions.

Deletion would be pointless now, CS, and if you said it, and it went public, and we heard it, and were blessed....

anyway.


ammmen. and ammmen.

Fred said...

I'm glad you left the post up.

Alexa said...

God bless you CS. Remember that He is the LIGHT of the world.
Do not be afraid.
I'm glad you told us what you're going through.
I will continue to pray for you.

Alexa

curious servant said...

It is getting worse...

Fox's Mom said...

I am praying for you and your family to stand fast despite everything thrown at you. It will probably get much worse, CS, the Enemy doesn't like anyone to witness against him. Heavenly Father, keep this family strong in a sense of your presence, amen.

Anonymous said...

CS, remember God is greater then anything!!

see-through faith said...

God is on your side. Give Him the glory and the focus. He will never give up on you, or give you up. the enemy is a roaring lion a lot of noise mostly and cowers at the name of Jesus. I pray for you and your family, for God's protection to sustain you and enable you to sleep well as night.

This was a wonderful post. Full of God.

We are called to persevere. Keep asking for blessings and protection.
You are forgiven and you cna walk with your head held high because you are the son of the almighty, adopted into His family and will never be disinherited. You hear me? God read Ephesians. Youare a co-heir with Christ and what's more nothing will separate you from His love (Rom 8)

be blessed

curious servant said...

My Father (my master), who art in Heaven (and everywhere else), hallowed be thy name (I whisper your name, sacred... holy... set apart...) Thy kingdom come (start here, Lord, in my heart!), Thy will be done (tell me what you want of me and I shall do it), on Earth (here

Brenda wants to talk... back later.

Anonymous said...

There is comfort from his love! :)

God please be with CS hold him tight in your loving arms, and God please be with his wife, comfort her, and be with, this homeless man, sofing his heart, let this man know your love, and in knowing you, he won't be homeless in your loving arms!
Amem! thank you jesus!

Fox's Mom said...

Good morning CS. I was up late, and woke early; I spent the night in a prayer watch for you and your good wife and I want to share with you a curious consequence (no pun intended) of so doing.

This time of year is quite difficult for me due to a tragic anniversary. Suffice it to say that in 2002 I was involved in a case where Man's inhumanity as a deliberate choice cost two little girls their lives, and caused me (and my colleagues) to sink into utter dispair.

I try to take my mind off it, but it is not easy. Reading blogs written by good people like you helps.

When I checked your blog Friday night I saw that you and yours are being attacked by the Enemy, who fights with many weapons, as you know, including attrition.

I began to pray constantly for you all, and as I did, I was taken completely out of my personal difficulty.

Praying for you and your family has renewed my strength somehow. I am still praying, and will continue to do so, I feel that things are rather especially perilious for all of you just now.

I read the comments left by the other readers of your blog, and am furthered strengthened in knowing how many people there are out there praying too.

I know that you pray for me, and that knowledge too is strengthening-I thank-you for all of the prayers you have said, and will say for me, for all of us. The sense of fellowship is strong here.

And I thank-you for the prayers you have sent when I have made a specific request on behalf of friends, and I dare ask you to do so again.

From what I have learned of you, I know that you, on reading about the grief of my colleagues when we were not able to find those little girls in time to save them, said a prayer for them and me. I know too, that you prayed for the families of those girls, and I thank-you.

I ask you and your other readers to also pray today for a young friend of mine in Israel named Ilan. I 'met' him on Christmas day when I somehow clicked my way onto his blog site. He has not posted since the 15th of January, and I am becoming VERY worried about him and his family. You may understand from news reports that the political situation in The Holy Land is deteriorating rapidly since the PM's stroke and Hamas' election success.

I feel a bit uncomfortable asking you to take time away from your prayers for the physical and spiritual safety of your family until I am reminded of how praying for you and your family has been such a blessing to me...

forgive me please, if I have offended.

Bianca

curious servant said...

It is an honor to serve my Lord, and that is what a prayer request is about.

(Lord... we are concerned for Your people, Your city, Your Land. We are convernerd for this young man and we ask for Your strength and Your guidance. It is fearful what is happening in the land of Abraham. It is frightening to hear what is happening on the soil that You walked. Lord, please touch this situation. I know that You are hearing many prayers for this situation. I am not wise enough to request a specific outcome, but if my earnest prayers lend strength to angels, or lend peace or love or assistance of any kind, I offer them up heartily. Please touch this place, please touch these people. Please bring safety and healing and grace and love tous and those who belong to You. --Amen.)


I want to thank you for your prayers. I'm not sure what to say about the events in my own life. Three good friends have died in recent months. My eyes have been opened to the fuller range of the challenge my children face and it is daunting. My wife isn't as strong. And sometimes there seems to be a nearly tangible evil here. This letter of an impending lawsuit is unsettling and nearly put her over the edge. Well... perhaps it did for a while.

But I believe prayer helped bring her back to safety.


What a curious thing that letters, words, sentences and paragraphs on my glowing screen is reproduced on hundreds of other glowing screens each day and many of those pray for me. People I have never met.

My heart aches. When I think about Willy, that he would be 15 today... when I thiknk about my hoppes for teaching my children the love of reading and of science and of art and I know they can never do those things, it nearly breaks.

And the afflictions of my body...

Sorry... I am starting to whine.

I love my Lord. I want to... I will do His will.

Thank you for your prayers. I will continue to pray for you and yours.

And oh yes, Brenda is gentle and contrite this morning. She is once again the woman I know.

I will try to write another post this afternoon.

David said...

May GOD encircle your home and your family with HIS angels to protect you all and keep you safe and lead you through these trying times.

FTS said...

It's not a diatribe. It's the beginning of what will be a powerful witness and testimony. Just remember how Job's friends pushed him, how Satan was allowed to torment him to the point of insanity, yet Job never lost faith. He was restored -- and then some.

music.angel said...

your honesty is awesome. you are in my thoughts and prayers.

Through His Eyes said...

My thoughts and prayers are with you...God Bless

Donna

Live, Love, Laugh said...

You are so transparent. I am always so moved when I read your posts. Satan may mean all of these things that have happened in your family for bad, but already even through this blog, God is using it for Good and for HIs glory. His ways are not our ways, and His thought are not our thoughts. He carries us when we can't go on. May God surround you with ministering angels to fight off the fiery darts of the evil one!!

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