My heart hurts today.
I don’t feel jubilant – not at all. This week, our sons, Jake and Caleb chose Jubilant Academy for the name of their high school. Did you know that jubilant is a feeling of happiness and triumph?
I feel just the opposite.
Recently, I read how Paul, Silas, and Timothy were thwarted in their plans to visit his friends in the Thessalonian Church. Paul states the cause:
For we wanted to come to you—certainly I, Paul, did, again and again—but Satan blocked our way.
New International Version, 1 Thessalonians 2:18
I serve in full-time ministry. I’m a missionary. However, what I don’t like to do is over-spiritualize things that happen in life – especially the challenging things. Life happens. I don’t contend that the evil one is responsible for every single hiccup in life. Of course, this world is his dominion and he’s up to no-good. Plenty of no-good. But, like I said, I’m not going to make a mountain out of molehill when things go awry.
Thus, when I read that Paul blamed Satan for prohibiting him from reaching the Thessalonians, I wondered.
How did that happen?
How did Paul know?
Why does Satan get the credit for this particular difficulty in Paul’s life?
There isn’t any information to provide us with more insight. We must take Paul’s word for it. Satan stopped him.
At the time of my reading 1 Thessalonians 2:18 this past week, no instances came to mind about any obstacles, challenges, setbacks or attacks of the evil one in my life. Yet, as I said, this is satan’s world. He doesn’t stay silent. I understood this truth:
Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that the family of believers throughout the world is undergoing the same kind of sufferings.
New International Version, 1 Peter 5:8-9
This morning, news came that hit me hard. The email communication did not make sense. And what’s more, the news would impact our two youngest children, Jake and Caleb.
I won’t go into specific details. However, a decision was made to deny my children an opportunity for growth and development. This opportunity would help them prepare for adult life. I had asked for assistance with my kids and basically the denial we received was based upon both lack of information and misinformation.
As I read this email, I realized that the reviewer hadn’t even read our request.
With years and years of skin in the education game and a heart that beats for the care and development of my children, I was stunned. I know what Jake and Caleb need. I don’t make inconsequential requests on their behalf. This email stopped me in my tracks.
And that’s when I understood what Paul meant when he said, “…satan blocked our way.”
There was confusion.
There was discouragement.
There was frustration.
There was lack of regard.
There was unreliable information.
There was pain.
The evil one authored an email of confusion and aggravation. This road-block was sent to frustrate the plans we have for Jake and Caleb this year.
Gratefully, the stress of this moment didn’t cause me to seek emotional support in a bag of chocolate chips. That’s one good thing that I claim in this situation. After a year of no-sugar, I sought my God for support and not a temporary chocolate fix.
Well, John and I have decided to appeal the decision. Please pray for this situation. I apologize for not being more specific, but, I cannot.
In the meantime, I trust my God and seek His help and favor. Because I know:
…the Lord is faithful, and He will strengthen and protect our family from the evil one.
New International Version, 2 Thessalonians 3:3
Please pray for us.
Please pray for a way through this obstacle or a way around it according to the Lord’s will. Or, if the Lord has another plan for our children regarding this particular need, He will show us this new direction.
Thank you, Friends!
We love and appreciate you!