“But, the Lord is faithful, and he will strengthen and protect you from the evil one.” 2nd Thessalonians 3:3
After a sunny summer day of sailing, we arrived at the most breathtaking point of the island overlooking the bay. Just steps away from the crest of the hill, I felt my phone vibrate and pulled it out to see a missed call. With excitement I pushed the voice message icon and nothing. Without my glasses I could not see that the person hung up a few seconds after listening to my greeting. It had been years since I had spoken to this person, so I considered it odd to not leave some sort of message. That night was a very special birthday for a dear friend. The nudge of the Holy Spirit said, “stay focused on the celebration of life tonight and watch for a follow up.”
I do not believe for a moment that it was a coincidence that I received that call on the highest point of the island. During a mountain top experience, the Enemy tries to knock us off. I said to the Enemy, “I am not going there, and I am not going down the mountain tonight. I will keep the spirit of celebration and be fully present to make this night special.” I did not question my decision that night as I felt peace in honoring my friend.
Then the next night, when I laid my head on the pillow, a voice said to me, “did God really say: stay focused and watch for a follow up because you might have missed an opportunity.” For about two hours, we went back and forth as the Enemy ambushed me with doubts. At one point, I felt like the room was spinning. With a strong core, I was able to stabilize my footing, and I said, “you can spin me around like a merry-go-around, but I am not going down.”
A strong spiritual core keeps us rooted in God and helps us to withstand the attacks of the Enemy. Just as you are able to withstand physical pressure when your muscles are strong, you are able to withstand spiritual pressure, when your spiritual muscles are strong. Endurance and strength are developed through the breaking down and building up of your muscles. The pressure of trials and even pain develops our spiritual muscles. Exhausted physically and spiritually after a long night, God gave me the strength to drive a couple of hours before getting on a plane.
Upon turning on my phone after landing, I was blown away by the sweetest note from a friend. She lives across the country and had no idea what a difficult night I had. She discovered a note from April of 1990 in which she listed the things that she was thankful for, and she wanted to let me know that I made her list and that she continues to give thanks for me. Tears formed in my eyes and a smile across my face as God was loving on me through this friend. He was letting me know that He knew what I went through last night and He wanted me to know that I am loved. When the Enemy has tried to tempt me to doubt God’s leading this week, God reminds me of His loving presence in all the details of my life through that note.
-Mary Carmen Englert