Tuesday, November 14, 2023

Be a Warrior

I had zero intentions of writing this morning.  Didn't have it in me.

Yesterday was a hard day at work, and I was exhausted by the time I got home.  Being tired, heartbreak hit me hard.  I tried to watch the latest DVR'd Hallmark movie, but 20 min. into the story, I couldn't handle it.

All it did was remind me of David.  Since I was exhausted from work, a grocery run, and making a salad for today's Thanksgiving Feast at work, I gave up and just crawled into bed.  Even the dog didn't follow.

At some point, Tank must have come in because when I woke up at 3AM, he was curled up in front of me with his head gently placed on the curve of my side, right above my hip.  (And that is a whole other story in itself - the stages of grief my dog has been going through - and now the stages of loyalty he is displaying.) My dog has never laid on the front side of me.  He has always tucked himself (a BIG dog) along the backside of me, behind my knees with his head on my top thigh.  But the last few days, he has been climbing into bed next to me on my front side with his head gently laid on the curve of my side.  Almost as if he is saying, "Mama, I am here.  Looking at you.  Loving you.  I got you."  Such an incredible creature.  I thank God I have him every day.

As I laid there at 3AM and then again at 4:30AM, I prayed for the three men in my life - David, Tony, & Josh.  And as I talked to God about David again (I'm sure He's growing tired of hearing it by now...), a thought entered my mind.

I thought of all the times I saw David's competitiveness, his love all things sports.  The anger that came out when no one acknowledged his win at a family game of Rummikub.  The fierce ping pong match he had in my brother's basement against one of my best friends' husband.  The love of Lumpkin County Football, where he never misses a game.  His love of the Georgia Bulldogs and the accompanying inability to watch a game without yelling at the tv.  All the selfies at the gym.

I thought of how competitive David is and how much he craves the adrenaline rush and feel of sports and competition, and I prayed, "God, why can't I be that for David?  Why can't I elicit that warrior spirit from him?  Where is that fierce spirit of fighting to win the prize?  I want to be the prize.  I want him to fight and be competitive for me like he is for Rummikub or ping pong or show the enthusiasm and fervor he does for Lumpkin County football or the Georgia Bulldogs.  Where is that David?  I want to be won.  I want to be fought for.  I want to be the sport for David."

Wow.  Where did that come from this morning God?  Never thought about that, our relationship, or even David that way.  But it seemed to be true.  I've seen David yell and scream, jump and holler, and work his butt off to win whatever sport or game he is participating in.  I want that fervor.  I want to be what excites David and pushes him past all rationality to fight and get the prize at the end.

But then I rolled over and fell back asleep.

Fast forward to 5:30AM.  Dog and cats fed.  Coffee made.  "Just gonna read today.  No posting."  And then THIS from Jentezen Franklin.  I will be honest.  I am tearing up as I write this.  I have no explanation.  But God.

Today's reading from Jentezen is about that same warrior spirit.  That athletic prowess. Men fighting to win a competition, a fight, a battle.  Men doing athletic things.  Digging in, getting dirty, and (I imagine, much like David) yelling and screaming as they climb and fight to get the victory at the end of their "game."  Are you kidding me?

God, you wake me up at 3AM to have me pray for David's spirit of competition to be set on fire and then you wake me up two hours later to read this story of the Biblical David and his spirit of fire being elicited to achieve victory?  You have to be joking, right?

I'll take it God.  I hear you.  You heard me.  You validated my prayer.  Thank you.

I am still praying for my three men - David, Tony, & Josh - this morning.  I know there are misconceptions being told out there about my relationship with David that I am having to undo.  I know my boys are struggling with their own internal and external battles.  But I am here for all three of them.  I am a helpmate, a Partner, and a Mom. I will never stop praying for all of them because that's what love does.

Here is what Jentezen shared this morning in his writings.  I hope it somehow helps you in the battles you are facing today.  Remember:  The dirtiest battles of your life will produce the greatest victories.

The Dirtiest Battle = Your Greatest Victory

2 Samuel 5:8

So David and his men stood before the mountain. A wide area on top had been flattened. Huge walls surrounded the city. There was no way in.

Then, David’s eyes fell on a water tunnel. This can also be described as a water shaft or a gutter. And David turned to his army and said, “First one who gets up the gutter . . .”

Have you ever cleaned out your gutters? It is an awful job. Once you pull on thick rubber gloves that reach to your elbows, it’s time to start pulling out an endless pile of gunk and debris. Out comes slime and sludge, twigs and leaves, remnants of bird nests and sometimes even small animals. It’s just nasty.

That is what David was willing to climb through. He knew God had a bigger plan in mind. He knew God wanted him to do more than just settle for ruling in Hebron. God wanted him to take Jerusalem.

God said to David, “Hebron is what you can do, but Jerusalem is what only I can do. And I want you to get up there. It is not going to be easy. It is going to get ugly and dirty.”

David had to climb the gutter. Victory comes in the strangest of places.

The first one up was a fighter by the name of Joab. He said, “Hold up—I’ve waited for this all of my life. Get behind me, young guns. I’m going up.”

And Joab started climbing.

When he popped out the other side, you can imagine how much gunk and junk was splattered all over him. He looked bad. He smelled bad. But he raised his hands in victory and said, “God has given us this city!”

David and his men captured the city of the Jebusites. Wet, smelly and dirty, they conquered what rightfully belonged to them.

You may be facing a stronghold in your life. Maybe you are trying to save your marriage. Maybe you are trying to salvage a relationship with a wayward adult child. However big or intimidating the stronghold, God can set you free. He can raise your family up from the depths of bitterness, shame, and unforgiveness.

I do not know how dirty your battle has gotten. But I do know that it is the very place where God will be glorified the most in your life. It is where the anointing will come through.

The Big Idea:  The dirtiest battles of your life will produce the greatest victories. 

"Lord, I pray for the three men in my life today.  I pray that you will elicit from David that strong Warrior spirit.  Giving him the spirit of competitiveness and fight for the glory of victory after a well-fought battle.  May he look upon our relationship as a battle that needs to be fought.

You have already naturally gifted him with strong traits of competitiveness and desires to win.  May those same tendencies be redirected to something that really matters in life.

May he awake today to your Spirit burning inside his chest - pushing him to work hard, fight hard, and win the game, achieving the glory of victory in the end.

I know this desire exists in him.  I have seen it so many times!  I have faith that you will awaken the spirit of competitiveness that lives in David.  I have faith in him and you.

Please watch over David today as he travels the roads of Lumpkin County.  Keep him safe and let his interactions with the people he meets today be full of wisdom and edification.  May he show love to those he meets today, and may he receive love and wisdom in return.

Lord, I pray for Tony.  I pray you keep him safe as he travels for work and back and forth to school.

Thank you for the blessing of having Tony here at home with me while he works his way through school.  It is always a joy to have him here when he needs to be.  We are thankful for the home you have provided for us. May we radiate out of it and bless others through it as well.  May we never forget this!

I pray you bestow Tony with wisdom to do well in all his classes, and that the desire to finish his degree will remain strong and he will not fall off course or lose that desire again.

I pray for his protection as he interacts and meets new people in life.  That you will be on whatever path he finds himself on, guiding him silently along the way.  I pray that you put a strong Christian mentor and friends in his life as well, bringing him back to the Cross and you.  He is a good kid, and I love him more than life itself.

Lord, I pray for Josh today.  Squirrel is a constant delight in all our lives.  He came out of the gate louder than life - jokes, impressions, funny antics - all of it. His life has not been easy (neither boy's life has been for that matter), but he has overcome many of those obstacles.

I pray that you keep Josh safe today as he serves our Country in the United States Air Force.  Thank you for placing him in a job he can do well and that keeps him safe.

I pray for his health, and I pray - like Tony - that you bring him back to the Cross and you.  That you keep his desire strong for searching and learning about all things Spiritual and Biblical.  I pray that no matter what path he walks down in life, you are there, waiting, for him.  I also pray, like Tony, that you put a strong Christian mentor in his life, as well as Christian friends.

Thank for the blessing of both boys in my life.



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