Dinner lasted much longer than we had anticipated, but 10:00 still wasn't too late to take in a chick flick at our beach rental. After a short drive back to our beach cottage, we entered into the dark spaces, excited about FINALLY watching a movie that had been filmed on location. Walking joyfully through the rayless and pitchy den, we reached for the light. As the light washed the shadows away, we were required to blink several times to see if what we thought was before us really was. It was.
We obviously had interrupted two six-legged creatures in our kitchen. Scurrying this way and that, the humongous palmetto bugs had escaped. They were about three inches in length... quite large for four girls to have to do away with. Within our group of four, we had one leader, one assistant and screamer, a climber and screamer, and another climber and screamer who made video footage for proof. Our only available weapons were, yes, cutting boards. When fear is larger than life, one needs large weapons! Cutting boards were perfect.
I won't bother you with all the details, but the duration of the battle was four very long hours. By 2:00 am, we were rather tired. It became difficult to think clearly, but we knew one thing for sure; we were NOT going to go to sleep until we had two no-longer-breathing palmetto bugs. It was NOT going to happen. The thought of one or both of them visiting us in our beds as we slept was just too much to comprehend. The thought of them hiding away in our luggage, only to reappear on our journey home the next day was more than we bargained for. Sleep would just have to wait. Terrified is a great word to describe how we felt.
That night, my girls and I were not satisfied until both of those massive insects were toast. We won. We celebrated. And eventually, we slept. The only way we could fall asleep, though, was knowing the danger had passed and that we were safe.
Times like this have a way of re-teaching us old lessons from the Bible.
I Peter 5:8 says, "Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour."
This is a great warning for us. Satan lurks in the darkness, just like our intruders did. They scampered to the dark, shadowy corners, only to come out later to do their work. My screaming assistant and I were ready, though. We were on high alert. Eyes scouring the deepest, most obscure hiding places. We were armed and ready, standing in formation, awaiting the perfect moment to strike. We were vigilant and purposeful. No palmetto bug, no matter the size, was going to escape our plan of action.
The Bible tells us to be sober and vigilant, to be alert and ready - knowing that Satan is prowling around looking for the perfect moment to strike us. Are we as vigilant as he? Are we standing on high alert, knowing that he's there, but we may not be able to see him? Are there evil activities lurking in our homes in the dark hidden corners that call our name in the night? Do we stay awake until we have repented of deeds done in the darkness?
As Satan attempts to trip us up, we must stand firm. I Corinthians 10:13 says, "No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it."
God provides us with all the weaponry we need and it is much more than a cutting board! Ephesians 6:10-18 says, "Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore, take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all to stand. Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God; praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints.
As you flip on the lights in the pitchy and dim places in your life, those dark hidden corners, shine His light so that you can be rid of that sin. We are not so weak to be overtaken by those things that appear so strong. We are more than conquerors through Jesus Christ our Lord.