Sunday, February 27, 2011

At War

One night, my mom, dad and and I were praying on our veranda.  We had settled beside the opening that dropped five feet to the ground below, catching the soft evening breeze.  A soft darkness had fallen over the village.  For some reason, my sister and brothers weren't around.

Something was bothering my heart, so my parents said, "Let's pray about it."  That was always their answer. Even now, they will pray over the crackling phone lines for me when I come to them with some anxiety or problem.  Listening to my mother and father talk to God is like wrapping up in a familiar blanket and snuggling deep into bed.  It's safe.  Comforting.  Always there.

This particular night, as the three of us sat praying, the anxiety didn't lift.  It continued to deepen.  A great, rolling heaviness moved in through the open doorway.  Sadness pulled at my heart.  Despair turned my arms into lead.  It became difficult to breathe.

Dad continued to pray haltingly, then finally stopped.  An awkward silence descended.

"Why don't you just give up," came a voice to my mind.

Suddenly, Mom slapped at her leg.  Then her arm.  Then she was slapping all over her body.  Slap. Slap. Slap.  It was the only sound in the dark stillness that seemed a little darker than an ordinary night.

"Pam, what are you doing?"  my dad asked.

"It's the mosquitoes,"  my mom said in frustration.  "They're everywhere!"

I could just see the outline of Dad's head as he turned to me.  "Danica, do you feel mosquitoes?"

I hadn't until Mom had said something, and then suddenly they were pricking me all over.  "No ... "

"Me neither.  Let's pray."  We bowed our heads, and prayed.

We prayed for protection.  We prayed for deliverance.  We prayed for God's angels to be with us and surround us.  And as we prayed, the mosquitoes stopped distracting.  The heaviness lifted.  A peace descended in its place.  The great anxiety and despair had to flee in the presence of the Living God.

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. 
Philippians 4:6-7 

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