Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Super Lady of Ephesians

Sometimes, like many of you, it is easy for me to become discouraged.  My desk at work is piled high with things that need to be done, supper needs to be fixed, my house needs to be cleaned, piles of laundry surround me, and I have about 14 thousand or so projects going and several of them must be done by this weekend. My job is stressful and full of worry.  I worry about some of my kids leaving school for the night.  I worry about if I'm making the right choices for their education.  I worry if I'm handling multiple situations a day in the best possible way.  I worry if their learning.  I worry that I', not giving them what they need.  I worry about the new laws in special education and how I'm ever going to meet the new standards.  I worry.... all.... the... time.  It makes it easy to become worn down.  It makes it easy to want to give up and find a new life.  But I've found that in the moments that I just start to feel these awful things, I only need to take a moment to pray.  Have you ever heard that song, "If our God is with us, who could ever stop us?"  It's awesome.  I sing it when I'm stressed at work.  I sing it when I run.  I sing it when I start feeling depressed over the little things.  It helps to lighten my load.  

So I say all this back story to update you on one of my newest coping strategies.  We've been doing a study of Ephesians at church.  This past Sunday was chapter 5 (which will probably hit you just as hard as it hit me if you go take a little time to read it).  I was rereading it before bed on Sunday night and pushed on ahead and read chapter 6 as well.  OMGoodness.  I'm sure I'd read it before.  I'm sure I've actually heard it all my life.  However in that moment Ephesians 6:10-18 was exactly what I needed to hear.
Text pulled from Bible Gateway using the NIV translation.  If you prefer a different translation then by all means read it in that one, this just happens to be the type of bible I had my hands on last Sunday. :)

The Armor of God

10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on the full armor of God,so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.13 Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
18 And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people

Is it just me, or does this put the image of a Godly superhero in your head too? "Be strong in the Lord, put on the armor of God and stand against the Devil,  the belt of truth, Breastplate of Righteousness, take up the shield of Faith with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one."  Holy Cow Ya'll! did you really read it?  Because the first time I think I actually read it was Sunday, and I've gone to church my whole life.  Where do I get a shield of faith?  How do I put on the armor of God?  Hook me up with it all, because I want to be this person right now!  I started to think about the things that were worrying me, and about how much they resembled those flaming arrows in this passage, and I've been digesting this passage ever since.  Honestly, I still don't have everything I believe God wants me to gain from this passage, but each time I read it, I get a little more. 

This evening after work I was sitting at my desk about to have a mini crying party.  I was just so overwhelmed.  I began to pray and the armor of God popped into my head.  I googled it since I didn't have my bible handy, and I began to sketch my idea of what a visual representation of this passage might look like.  

It's a very loose interpretation of reality and very much a first draft, but I've got ideas for her.  I'd like for my kids to someday have a super hero that I'm comfortable with them looking up to.  I'd like for them to have a character that will teach them Godly things, and lately I've seen less and less of an opportunity for them to have something like that in the world we live in.  For now I'm just going to call her Super Lady of Ephesians - but it's a bit long, so I'm open for suggestions. :)

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