“The sword of our soul does not acquire a keen sharp edge unless another’s wickedness hones it.”
-St Gregory the Great
I write not because there is new information to share about Izzy, but because it is necessary to put into perspective the chaos occurring on some fronts of this spiritual battle. Yes, spiritual battle. Whether you believe it or not, all things of this earth have a spiritual component; we are either striving for the Kingdom of Heaven or the Kingdom of Self while walking this earth. Some are on the front lines of such battles, while others like to believe they live in the void, totally removed from any religious belief or inclination*.
For those on the front lines, this post is for you because you’ll understand what I’m talking about, knowing that Ephesians 6 belongs to you personally.
Any Christian who walks a path close to God is bound to encounter the attack of satan and his legions, indeed this is one indicator that you’re walking a path of faith. It’s the high road, the narrow way in which the saints walk and beckon you who love God and the Kingdom of Light. It’s the proverbial path less traveled, the one that takes effort, self-control, patience and perseverance, but offers greater rewards than our feeble minds can fathom.
This is the path my family treads, or attempts to tread every day. We know it’s the way and yet we’re aware of the tangled webs looming at every curve. We know that every good gift is from above and the wicked twisting of those gifts by our enemy. The internet can be a tool of God, bringing people together in prayer and thanksgiving...touching lives for good in a matter of seconds, connecting many parts of the world in less time than it takes to say morning prayers. It can also be a tool in satan’s arsenal; never doubt he knows and preys upon the weakness of men.
I will confess and tell you that one of my greatest faults is a short temper, giving in to anger that causes me to say and do things I shouldn’t...and then falling on self-righteousness to justify my actions. I struggle with it... I’m aware of how my enemy will use this characteristic against me. It’s a sticky web to fall into because when I cave to anger, I am no longer serving the Kingdom of God, I’m only serving my own chaos.
Another of those consuming webs is inherent in Facebook, the unleashing of the tongue that causes much harm (Psalms 39:1 and Proverbs 12:18). The tongue of the wise brings healing, but reckless words pierce like a sword! I could write ad nauseam about the anger I feel when reading audacious words about Izzy’s health and my sister’s beautiful family, but do you see what this accomplishes? One sin feeding into another perpetuates chaos, the black cloud of hell. God is the author of peace and clarity, conversely, satan is the author of lies, confusion and chaos. When you write on Facebook, take just a moment to consider which Kingdom you are extending.
For those who love the truth, you will want to know that Izzy is well. She is at home, joyfully anticipating Christmas, going to school, enjoying her new pets... happy! For those who do not love the truth, you probably haven’t read thus far and it doesn’t matter to you anyway. To give truth to those who do not love truth is to only give more reason for argument. My role is to steer clear of those webs of untruth, of gossip and chaos inasmuch as is possible. And, as you love our Lord and Saviour, I would encourage you dear reader, to stay away from deceit, loose tongues and gossip. Let it end with you.
Your role, as much as Izzy is concerned, is not to do constant battle with those who wish to ensnare you in rumors and gossip, it is to declare the truth in peace and let it go. It is not your role to call or message my sister and her family with every vile action or word that you hear, see or read. Doing this perpetuates chaos, not peace.
Make no mistake though, for those who are entertained by deceits or harmful words or the details of other people’s lives; it is by your neglect and indulgence that brings harm to yourself as well as others. If you wish to follow Christ, listen to His greatest commandment: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.” (St. Matthew 22) Loving God means furthering the Kingdom of Light... it means practicing self-control, praying ceaselessly and using your words to bring peace, not confusion.
I am praying for all of you reading, for you must have a love of Izzy to be sharing in this post. My prayer today is that each of you will have peace, contentment and joy. It IS possible to experience God’s grace even in the mire... in fact, in my own life, I’ve experienced it time and time again and it is in this way that we can rejoice for our trials because, in the big picture, they only beckon us closer to God when we persevere and seek the Kingdom of Heaven. †
*It's called Secular Humanism...the religion of our modern age.