Tuesday, September 25, 2012

A Dumb Spirit

I literally laughed out loud, all by myself.

Every night, before I lay my head down on the pillow, I read the evening devotional by Charles Spurgeon. For some reason, the other night, I saw the most hilarious thing. Check out the first sentence.

"A certain man had a demoniac son, who was afflicted with a dumb spirit."  


Now, I don't know about the "demoniac" part, but man, have I seen some loved ones afflicted with dumb spirits. 

I know, I know...the Greek word used in this translation means, speechless, wanting the faculty of speech. But I was struck funny by the modern day definition of dumb, of which I'm more familiar. "Lacking intelligence or good judgment." Dumb. 

Have you ever had those times when you just cannot believe the lack of good judgment, the dumb decisions, the absence of common sense, that a loved one has? It may be a son, like this man in Mark 9: 14-29 KJV. It could be a daughter. Lest I sound like the arrogant tax collector in Luke's gospel, I have been an afflicted,  dumb spirit, a time or two myself.

This the story of a father, desperately searching for someone to heal his son. A son afflicted with a dumb spirit. This has not been a temporary condition. When Jesus asked the father how long his son had been suffering, he answered, "from childhood." He was obviously not a child anymore, and was still afflicted. Some never grow up or grow out. 

What are we to do? What can this passage of Scripture teach us when our child is afflicted? 

Dumb spirits are sent to kill our children. This father told Jesus that when the spirit would come on his son, it would throw him into the fire or water "to kill him". (v. 22) In John 10:10, Jesus said that the enemy, the devil, comes only to steal, kill, and destroy. He would love nothing more than to kill our children, literally and spiritually. There is an all-out war for the souls of our children today. We are fighting an unseen enemy, but a vicious, destroying enemy, nonetheless. He is real and he is after your children. There is nothing random in the assault. It is carefully calculated and we must stand against it. But how?

Dumb spirits aren't driven out by ordinary means. Dr. Spock, and Dr. Phil, and Oprah and Dr. Whoever the expert of the day is, will not heal our sons and daughters. We are in the world, but we do not fight with the weapons of this world. The weapons we fight with are mighty in God for the pulling down of strongholds. (2 Corinthians 10: 3-4) The disciples couldn't drive out the dumb spirit from this young man. Jesus said, "Bring the boy to me." (v. 19) 

Dumb spirits must be brought to Jesus in belief. Do you believe that Jesus can save and deliver your child? Do you really believe? Or are you double-minded? Do you pray for the child and then search the internet for advice? Do you have one eye on Jesus and one ear to the world's methods? This father said to Jesus, "IF you can do anything, take pity on us and help us." (v. 22) IF???? The deliverance of your child from that dumb spirit depends on your faith! "Everything is possible for him who believes." (v. 23) EVERYTHING is POSSIBLE for him who BELIEVES!

Dumb spirits can come out only by prayer. (v. 29) I have personally been in the place of this father a few times. I can solemnly testify that prayer works. Down on the floor, face to the carpet, tears streaming, heart breaking prayer works. Prayer works, dear one. All of our pleading with the child, all of our lectures, all of our well-meaning advice, will never accomplish what the power of a praying parent can accomplish. If we can just love our child, right where they are, dumb spirit and all, and take it to the Lord in prayer, God will do what only He can do.  

Dumb spirits may get worse before they get better. When Jesus rebuked the spirit in this son, it shrieked, convulsed the child violently, and left him looking like a corpse. So much so, that those around them were sure that he was dead. That situation with your child may look like it can't get any worse today. Oh, it can. You may feel that your prayers are hitting the ceiling, that God isn't hearing your cries for help, and that nothing is working. Don't give up. Don't give in. No matter what it looks like to your natural eyes. God is at work on behalf of those who wait for Him. (Isaiah 64:4) He is working every situation, every circumstance, every seemingly awful thing happening to your child for good. (Romans 8:28) They are all steps on the road to complete and total salvation and deliverance for your child. Walk by faith, not by sight. (2 Cor. 5:7) Remember that Joseph was in a pit before he was in Potiphar's house. He was in a prison, before he ever made it to the palace. All the while, his father thought he was dead. But the Bible says that through it all, God was with Joseph. God is with your son or your daughter. No matter what it looks like. 

Dumb spirits will submit to the commands of Jesus. Trust God to work this thing out His way, and in His time. It will be perfect. One sweet day will be THE day. The day that Jesus says to that spirit in your child, "I command you, come out of him (her) and NEVER enter him (her) again!" (v. 25) 

Jesus will take your child by the hand, lift her up to her feet, and she will stand up. Whole. Healed. Delivered. Saved. Free. (v. 27)   

Jesus loves him, this I know.
For the Bible tells me so.
Little ones to Him belong,
They are weak, but He is strong.

Yes, Jesus loves him.
Yes, Jesus loves her.
Yes, Jesus loves them.
The Bible tells me so.  

Linking up today with 

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

On Noah's Second Birthday

Hey, Mister Man ~~ It's Gigi, again. I hope these words somehow find their way to you. Maybe Jesus will pull you up into His lap and read them to you. I don't know. There's so much that I don't know, sweet baby boy.

I don't know why you're not here this week to celebrate your second birthday.

I refuse to say that you "would have been" two years old this week. You are...because you live. You may not dwell with us here on planet Earth, but you are alive just the same. Honestly, I don't know what that exactly looks like. Your being alive in Glory, I mean.

I don't know why some, like you, are chosen to spend every moment of their lives in Heaven, while some are chosen to endure the Earth for 70 or 80 years.

I don't know what you look like now.

I know that you never sprouted wings and that you are not an angel. Want to know a secret, Noah? I hate it when people say that you are an angel, looking down on us from heaven. Shh...don't tell anyone, because Gigi tries to be nice, and not start a fight. But I know that angels are completely separate beings, and that you are not an angel.

Do babies grow in Heaven? Grow beautiful? Are you still a babe in arms, or have you grown into a toddler? How many words do you know? Do you play with the other children? Is Jesus sweeter and more beautiful than I could ever imagine?

I wish you could let me know, Mister Man. What I do know is that you are alive in Glory. Today and forevermore. Right now we can only imagine, and see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now we know only in part; then we shall know fully, even as we are fully known. That's what St. Paul said. Have you met him yet?

I wish that you could tell me that you are so happy.

I wish you could once -- just once -- tell your Mama and Daddy how much you miss them, how much you love them, and how much you can't wait to see them.

How absolutely worth it, it will all be.

You can be so proud of Mommy and Daddy, Mister Man. They miss you so much, and there is not a single, solitary moment that they don't wish you were here. You could not be loved one ounce more than you are. They love Jesus, and they trust Him with you. They long for the day that they will see you with their own eyes, and hold you in their arms. Would you ask Jesus to give them some extra measures of grace and strength this week? Would you ask Him to draw very close, and comfort them in those times when not having you is so incredibly hard? They are strong because Jesus gives them His strength. They are a beautiful example of faith and trust to all who know them. 

I miss not seeing you do two-year old things. What I'm really missing today is another secret I want to tell you. Shh..don't tell anyone. When your sisters, Ashton and Evie, and your cousin Brooklyn were born, and all those other folks were chatting all around the room, I held them in my arms and welcomed them to our world by telling them that they were awesome, mighty, beautiful women of God. I whispered those words over and over again in their little ears. No one could hear but the girls and Gigi. I told them how much Jesus loved them. I had planned to do the same with you. I could not wait to hold you close and whisper those words in your ear. You are a mighty, strong, bold, courageous man of God. You are a man after God's own heart. Jesus loves you so, so much. That's what I would have told you. Today, you know that Love more than Gigi does. You know it up close and personal. You can see Him, you can smell Him, you can feel Him. Is it beyond amazing, Mister Man? I bet it's more than we can ever think or imagine, right? Tell me...oh, how I wish you could.

But for now...

I will keep kissing your picture. You have the sweetest little mouth. And guess what? Your new baby sister, Evie...she has your chin. She looks like you!

But, I want you to understand this, Mister Man...There is only one you. Evie is not a replacement. She is an addition to your sweet family, a family in which you are a treasured member. You are not forgotten.

Only one you...only one Noah.

You will never be replaced.

God did not replace.
He redeemed. 

For now, I can only imagine.

Until my faith becomes my eyes.

I miss you. Not a day goes by that I don't think of you. I look at your picture so often. Some days, I can't look. It's too much to bear...some days.

But other days, I look, and touch your cheek, and kiss those lips, and smile.

I smile because I know that you are safe in the Father's care. I smile because Jesus has promised that you are with Him. I know that you have never once felt pain. I know that every need is met, and that you want for nothing. I smile that because you are, our world is a better place. I would really rather be holding you in my arms today, but I trust the One who holds you in His. But there are many days that I cry. I cry...hard. Something will just remind me of you, out of the blue. I look at your picture...a lot. You are so, so handsome, Mister Man. You are a man after God's own heart. You are mighty, bold, strong and courageous. Gigi loves you just as much as any grandmother's heart could. Gigi loves you so much today, and every day.

Oh, how can one heart hurt so badly, yet rejoice so completely, all at the same time?

Jesus promised that in all things, He works for the good of those who love Him. I love Him so! I'm counting on that promise. I'm holding Him to His Word.

Happy, happy, second birthday, Mister Man.

I want to say so much more, but there are just no other words.

Maybe Jesus can read my heart to you, along with this letter.

I can only keep imagining, until I fully see.

Imagining, maybe this?

I love you, Mister Man.
Your Gigi.