Wednesday, February 27, 2013

him, you know (the devil).

As uncomfortable as it is to talk about Jesus, it is ten times as uncomfortable to talk about Satan.

Yes, the (sort of) good Christian girl is about to talk about Satan, like those scary men on the street corner with posters and mega phones.

I  don't necessarily give a lot of thought to the Devil and he mostly exists on Halloween in the form of red horns and a red tail. I've been known to mock the men who are literally banging Bibles on street corners. I think the Old Testament is scary, wrathful, grumpy God stuff.  I quickly glaze over mentions of the original he-who-must-not-be-named when I am reading the Bible. And frankly, I might be a little scared of him--is he really a "him?" (I haven't a clue).

Why would anyone want to give the master of all evil any sort of press: he is a nasty SOB after all.

All of that being said, I think we all need to talk about "him" more--not to glorify him; but instead to glorify God and to learn to discern the voices and messages that we are bombarded with daily.

So many of us have gotten lost in  "It all happens for a reason" and "God has a plan." We've collectively been  enraged by crazy talk like "the wrath of God" and "God is punishing you." And I know so many have inadvertently subscribed to the new age-y notions of good and bad karma (which I don't even fully understand) with the undying hope that if we are "good" then God will be "good" to us and nothing terrible will happen.

And when something terrible happens it is God's fault or a punishment. Even if we don't say, we think it and we fear it.

Or we question it.

Like when I had a 29 week preemie and totally thought when that trial was over that I had gotten a pass and would have no more bad "luck." Then, well, you know the story: my kid had a brain tumor, I had another preemie, I lost my job, we feared financial ruin, I had a dozen flat tires, someone was mean to me, I needed a root canal, the dog died, the cat died, my Dad died, Lily was late to school for a month straight, my best friend moved far away, I had a falling out with an editor, all the editors I write for quit/retired/went missing, no one sleeps in my house, I had the flu, someone talked badly about me and you know, bad, ordinary stuff happened and then I remembered all the bad stuff that happened before I even had my first preemie and really wondered, what the fanny I had done to deserve it all?

I even wondered what my ancestors had done to bring down this karmic punishment on me. I may have called my Mother and blamed her.

Someone once told me that I should be honored because God thinks I can handle it. Because you know, "God never gives us more than we can handle."

That is a load of crap. God gives us love. He gives us eternal life. He gave us his only Son. He did not give us apocalyptic horror. He simply does not.

Who gives us all this horrible, irritating, scary stuff: him, you know (the devil).

And no one wants to say anything because it sounds crazy.

But it is him who is that voice that whispers in our ear to procrastinate. It is him that feeds our frustration that bubbles out at our children. It is him that makes my family late to church nearly every week because of all the distractions.

He is a busy guy. But, the good news is, we don't belong to him. We belong to Him, to God. I have no idea how God and the Devil battle each other in the greater universal, eternal world, I don't even pretend to fully understand Heaven or Hell or inbetween. I don't understand how God is all powerful, but really is not, because I highly doubt he'd allowed some the terrible, no-good, horrific things to happen on earth. But, I do know that for God to exist and to love me, that the devil must exist as well. Accepting the evil, frees me from being attached to it, because no matter what I do, no matter what snippy words exit my mouth:

God loves me and forgives me. He patiently waits for me to get really good at discerning his voice and avoiding the voice of whats-his-name.