“Now this is the confidence that we have in Him; that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us” (1 John 5:14).
When I was 17, my friend’s mother told me to pray to the patron saint of lost items to help me find a precious necklace I’d lost. I respected and loved her too much to question why I had to pray to some saint instead of going right to God. I knew He died because He loved me, so wouldn’t He want me to come straight to Him instead of one of His human servants?
The necklace was gone forever, never to be found.
“And give no opportunity to the devil” (Eph 4:27).
As I grew, so did the losses. Lost jewelry escalated to lost friendships, my parent’s marriage, my first love, my best friend in a drink driving accident, and Grandpa. But it didn’t stop there.
After a mysteriously complicated pregnancy, I gave birth to a perfectly healthy little girl. Within moments of giving birth, I was fighting for my life. At the age of 28, I lost the ability to have any more children.
I didn’t know how to process such a loss, but I knew I wasn’t holy enough to take it to God, so the Devil pounced on the opportunity to claim me. My life was a whirlwind of night terrors, anxiety, self-loathing, harsh criticism, and crying. A few years later, I was diagnosed with a rare, incurable brain disease with a prognosis of a lifetime of crippling, untreatable pain, mind-numbing medication, and eventual blindness.
“Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.” (1 Pet 5:8)
I remember the very moment the devil really dug his claws into me. I was in my basement, seeking refuge from the painfully bright summer sun radiating through the upstairs windows, when it occurred to me that I may never see my daughter in her wedding dress, and I’d only be able to imagine my husband’s face by youthful memories as we grew into old age together.
A Web of Lies, and a Glimmer of Truth
Something broke inside. I was convinced I was incapable, a burden to my family, a disappointment and failure in life, with nothing to look forward to but unceasing pain and increasing darkness. My life was overcome by fear, anxiety, and a debilitating panic disorder that left me unable to drive or hold a job.
“In my distress I called upon the Lord,
And cried out to my God;
He heard my voice from His temple,
And my cry came before Him, even to His ears.” (Psa 18:6)
“The Lord is near to those who have a broken heart,
And saves such as have a contrite spirit.
Many are the afflictions of the righteous,
But the Lord delivers him out of them all.” (Psa 34:18-19)
The disease went into remission, but the fear of it’s return fed itself. One Sunday the church choir sung a song with the verse “Let your faith run free across the raging sea, and walk across the water to Me.” In my desperation, I reached for Jesus.
Reaching for Jesus
I read His Word constantly, hoarded commentaries and prayer books, and filled my phone with Bible apps. By immersing myself in His Word, I started to calm down, but I still always felt like electricity ran through my veins.
“What am I to do? I will pray with my spirit, but I will pray with my mind also; I will sing praise with my spirit, but I will sing with my mind also.” 1 Corinthians 14:15
I’d reached for Jesus, but I still hadn’t found His most precious gift to us: joining Him in prayer. Just as browsing my husband’s Facebook page doesn’t compare to his company, so it is with God. We can read and hear all about Him, but nothing compares to sharing His company in prayer.
“For whatever is born of God overcomes the world; and this is the victory that has overcome the world–our faith. Who is the one who overcomes the world, but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?” (1 John 5:4-5)
Victory in Jesus
Through prayer out loud, in my mind, or in my spirit, I defeat Satan almost every day. Yes, there is a battle every day. To win any battle, you must know your enemy and use the right weapons (Eph 6:11). I lose when I relying solely on my own tactics. I win through surrender to God’s grace in prayer. After all, Jesus already won the war.
“Then little children were brought to Him that He might put His hands on them and pray, but the disciples rebuked them. But Jesus said, “Let the little children come to Me, and do not forbid them; for of such is the kingdom of heaven.” (Matt 19:13-14)
The real secret is that Jesus needs us to surrender to Him. We fight our little children’s battles for them, so why do we resist our Father, who wants to do the same for us? We must look and reach up, calling “Daddy!”, and let Him show us to safety.
“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33
“But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” (1 Cor 15:57)
Are You Reaching for Jesus?
Sisters, I pray that you will no longer look where others tell you, but go directly to the Mighty Warrior, Comforter, and Prince of Peace. By His grace, you will find peace daily, and treasures more precious than any jewelry.
Have you ever struggled to reach for Jesus? Share your thoughts and experiences in the comments below.