These past three days have been the best of our lives!
That’s a pretty sweeping statement to make considering “our lives” encompass 16 years of history, but there is just something so incredibly wonderful about spending concentrated time with my best friend.
After the way this year started with Crystal’s sickness and being on complete bedrest for 7 weeks, I felt that we had been robbed!
My good friend, Aaron, preaching about John 10:10 this summer during our series, One Thing, and in it, he hammered on the reality that “the thief comes to steal, kill and destroy…” and I literally felt that our adversary had stolen so much from us. We were powerless to do anything about this burglar, as if he had marched himself into our home in the middle of the afternoon with all of us standing around. Without even masking his person, he sat down on the couch, grabbed the remote out of Grayson’s hand, started watching some ridiculous show, like Game of Thrones, and demanding that we bring him sweet tea. He stuck around for weeks in the same position just making demands of us and sucking the very life from our existence!
We’d hear him laughing and carrying on at night when we were all trying to rest and recover from this awful experience. He just wouldn’t go away!
We’d try to make those neat phrases to make guests know that their time to stay had passed. You know like, “well,we’ve got to get dinner together”, and “thanks for stopping by, it was so good to see you again,” but he just wouldn’t take the hint.
Why is it that we try so hard not to offend the devil when he is literally ROBBING us!
Finally, I saw what was going on, came to reality of what was being taken from us and I began to demand that he get the hell out of our home, and the hell he was getting out was himself!
I began praying that the Lord make him pay recompense x100 for all that had been taken from us and those around us.
He had stolen so much time.
He had stolen energy.
He had stolen opportunity.
He had stolen experiences.
He had stolen moments of life change at our church.
To this day, I still pray that the Lord would bring back what’s been lost. That He would make the devil pay and pay sorely for all that’s been taken. I pray that we’d recover X100 what was taken in medical expenses.
I pray we’d see X100, people accept Christ because of it.
The devil wanted us out of this church, this role in leadership and influence and because of that, he’s going to pay, sorely, for all he thought he’d get away with!
So that brings me back to the last three days. It had been my plan for a while, and I believe the Lord just gave it to me, that I should surprise Crystal with a trip away, just she and I. No agenda, just time together. So I did.
I told her to block off three days, don’t plan anything!
I lined up my parents to be at our house to hang with the grandkids. They were already traveling in the area and it wasn’t much for them to plan a few days to be with the kids. So graciously, the took me up on it.
Over the last three days, we’ve had nothing but fun and acted like kids. We’ve come to HGTV Mecca: Waco, Texas, where every woman tries to dress like Joanna and somehow the single word, Magnolia, has healing power.
We rented a convertible and cruised down the Texas freeway with the top down for 90 miles.
We’ve laughed and spent lots of time just being together. and eating, lots and lots of eating. Tacos and BBQ and coffee, and tacos.
We stayed in a tiny house village, which to my surprise, is incredibly fun and was actually one of Crystal’s bucket list ideas!
We drove to every antique store we could and browsed for hours for rusty, stained and ancient metal, photos and newspaper articles!
It’s hard to see that experience in the past now, but for me, for us, it was a step in recovery and celebration that where the devil sought to destroy, the Lord is using to move faith forward.
I say all this to make you a little jealous. 😉
I also say this to help you see that the devil is a liar, cheat and a thief . He’s always going to try to steal and I just can’t help but wonder if he’s pulled up a chair in your home. You’re serving him your dinner and wondering why there’s not enough food for your family! Why there’s not enough time in your day! Why there’s not enough worship in your life! It’s because of that dang thief and he’s sucking the very life and joy out of you!
It’s time to put an end to the burglary.
It’s time to recognize that the longer you let the liar take up space on your couch, the more your relationships suffer, the more bitter you become and the less like Jesus to look at the end of the day.
Let’s start a new program, we’ll call it something genius, like Neighborhood Watch because there is a thief in the neighborhood and he is relentless in what he’s out to steal, kill and destroy!