Dec 12, 2012

Does Satan Prowl around more at Christmastime Than any Other Time of the Year?

Psalm 30:11-12 "You have turned for me my mourning into dancing;
You have put off my sackcloth and clothed me with gladness,
To the end that my glory may sing praise to You and not be silent.
O Lord my God, I will give thanks to You forever." (NKJV)

I don't believe everything bad stems from Satan's schemes. Yet, after a few years of experiencing trials during the same time of year, I am beginning to notice a pattern. Satan prowls around more often when we celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ.

It was the middle of November when my youngest son, Travis began talking back and acting out. Suddenly, even the simplest requests such as "please pick up your jacket and put it where it goes" and, "get ready for bed," led to a power struggle. Soon, Travis seemed to be doing almost anything to push those angry buttons of mine and lower my level of patience. Out of the blue, he no longer wanted to read God's Word together or pray before going to bed at night. At one point, I found it difficult to keep my adult head together. Where had my sweet and loving son gone? Consequently, I called on God for help. "Lord, please rescue me and make Satan fade away." A few days later, Travis returned to his normal respectful attitude. He even worked for several hours straight on a beautiful love note written especially for me.

But, just as soon as peace had begun to return between my son and me, suddenly I was faced with another challenge. My husband lost his temper and yelled at our son. Satan was attempting to slowly conquer my family and we were letting him into our hearts.

I tried to forgive my husband for what he had done. Still, I found myself feeling angry each time I considered the impact of my husband's outburst on our son's heart. "I just want to run away." Our small child tearfully said. "Maybe I'll go sit in the middle of the street and let a car hit me." My heart shattered in a million pieces! After hearing those hurtful words, I immediately hugged our son and drew him near to my side. Then, I sat him down to talk. "Son, God is with you! Satan is a punk and is behind these schemes. We just need to pray him away and not let him plant such seeds of doubt and sadness. God loves you and doesn't want to see you so sad." Next, we both bowed our heads and prayed, first for each other and then for his daddy.

A few hours later, I took my son shopping. I was feeling tired and weary. Yet despite all that had happened, I wanted to purchase a birthday gift for my husband. However, after only one store, I felt a need to catch my breath. As God would have it, that's when my son sat down in front of a water fountain. "Mom, can I please have a few pennies?" Travis sweetly asked. I handed him five pennies. Next, Travis bent down near the fountain. He closed his eyes, bowed his head and began to pray. When he had finished praying, he dropped all five pennies inside the fountain, walked over to my side and grabbed my hand. "Mom, can I tell you what I prayed for? I prayed one penny that God would change my heart. I prayed one penny for the homeless and one penny for you to forgive me. How many is that?" I replied. "Three." He continued, "Oh, and I prayed that Satan would go away and never come back again!" I giggled at his innocence.

The next morning, I felt an urge to check my cell phone. I hadn't heard it ring. Still, I picked it up and looked at the face of the phone. Two missed text messages from our current church Pastor! "I forgot to email you about the church play practice scheduled for today at 9:00am. Can you still come?"  I smiled and showed the phone to Travis. "Looks like God answered your prayer." We dressed as fast as we could and drove to the church not knowing just yet what God had planned. As we entered the church, we learned that Travis was playing the role of Joseph the earthly father of our Savior, Jesus Christ. Wow! Travis took his place on the stage as I sat down in the back of the church. There, I picked up a bible and let the pages fall open. I began to read Psalm 30, "The Blessedness of Answered prayer." My eyes welled with tears. I said under my breath, "Thank You Lord!"

Psalm 30  (NKJV)

The Blessedness of Answered Prayer

30 I will extol You, O Lord, for You have lifted me up,
And have not let my foes rejoice over me.
2 O Lord my God, I cried out to You,
And You healed me.
3 O Lord, You brought my soul up from the grave;
You have kept me alive, that I should not go down to the pit.[a]
4 Sing praise to the Lord, you saints of His,
And give thanks at the remembrance of His holy name.[b]
5 For His anger is but for a moment,
His favor is for life;
Weeping may endure for a night,
But joy comes in the morning.
6 Now in my prosperity I said,
“I shall never be moved.”
7 Lord, by Your favor You have made my mountain stand strong;
You hid Your face, and I was troubled.
8 I cried out to You, O Lord;
And to the Lord I made supplication:
9 “What profit is there in my blood,
When I go down to the pit?
Will the dust praise You?
Will it declare Your truth?
10 Hear, O Lord, and have mercy on me;
Lord, be my helper!”
11 You have turned for me my mourning into dancing;
You have put off my sackcloth and clothed me with gladness,
12 To the end that my glory may sing praise to You and not be silent.
O Lord my God, I will give thanks to You forever.
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