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Remember!

Be well balanced (temperate, sober of mind), be vigilant and cautious at all times; for that enemy of yours, the devil, roams around like a lion roaring [in fierce hunger], seeking someone to seize upon and devour. Withstand him; be firm in faith [against his onset—rooted, established, strong, immovable, and determined], knowing that the same sufferings are appointed to your brotherhood (the whole body of Christians) throughout the world. 1 Peter 5:8-9


A day at the beach was a welcome reprieve in the midst of a full week of ministry in El Salvador. It was a beautiful gift to behold the beauty of the Pacific Ocean, and it was much needed refreshment to a weary body and a heavy heart. As wonderful as the escape was, I didn’t know what to do with all that I had seen and experienced in this hot, poverty laden land. Precious people living in great desperation.


Longing for a place alone to worship and pray, I made my way to the edge of the water. With ear buds silencing the world, I pressed play and laid my heavy burden before the Lord. With great joy, I lifted my hands and spun around in childlike abandon. The next thing I knew there was a horrific pain in my foot. I opened my eyes to what looked like the enemy himself. There lurking in the edge of the water was the ugliest thing I had ever seen. It looked more like a porcupine than a fish. I took off running to the house and before arriving, I knew that its poison had entered my body.


Our team moved into action looking for a remedy. I felt my tongue swelling and quickly faced the truth that I must fight for my life. Part of the team headed to the nearby town looking for help. The gracious doctor sent medicine and instructions. While they were away, others took care of me and prayed me through.


It was a bathroom emergency that got me off the bed and back onto my feet. I humbled myself allowing a friend to assist me in a most humiliating task. When I returned to the bed, I heard the Spirit say, “Do not lay back down. Fight.” I immediately began to whisper the song that I had sung all week. Every place that we had ministered, I felt that my assignment had been to march around the territory and sing. So march and sing I did.


The name of the Lord is a strong tower. The righteous run into it and they are safe.

The name of the Lord is a strong tower. The righteous run into it and they are safe.

Blessed be the Name of the Lord. Blessed be the name of the Lord. Blessed be the name of the Lord, Our God.”


While others held me up with cold cloths around my neck, I sang and marched around the room. Together we fought this enemy who came out of nowhere to steal, kill and destroy. Something changed with every step and with every note of worship that we sang. The enemy was defeated that day, and we all experienced God in a powerful way that I dare say any will ever forget.


That was many, many years ago but it has been a powerful reminder to me in recent days as I have battled the fish sting called COVID-19. Out of nowhere it struck. Unknown to any of us, it lurked at our fellowship table.


I had just returned from a long day of travel from Tampa where we had enjoyed a wonderful time with our kids and grandkids. I quickly changed clothes and raced to my friends house for our Shoulder to Shoulder Gathering. We always do whatever is necessary to make time for each other. This evening was no different from many others. We hugged, laughed, cried, worshipped, listened and of course ate delicious food. And in those few hours, little did any of us know that COVID was present. It caught us all off guard and three of us took the sting.


It has been a rough two weeks, but I remembered. I remembered what to do.


I remembered to sing. I remembered to whisper and to declare. I remembered to call to mind the goodness of God. I remembered to trust in God. I remembered to lean into Him. I remembered who He is. I remembered that He loves me and He has a purpose and a plan for my life. I remembered Psalm 91.


He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust. Surely he will save you from the fowler’s snare and from the deadly pestilence. He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.”


When the enemy stings...Remember.


“The name of the Lord is my strong tower. The righteous run into it and they are safe.

The name of the Lord is a strong tower. The righteous run into it and they are safe.

Blessed be the Name of the Lord. Blessed be the name of the Lord. Blessed be the name of the Lord, Our God.”


Be watchful my friend. The enemy is sneaky. You never know when he is lurking on the edge of the water or at the wonderful table of fellowship. You can’t always recognize his presence, but you can always remember the Presence of the Lord carries you through. Don’t let fear shut you down. Live. But live remembering that He is your strong tower and you can run into Him for safety. Bless His name and remember. The Lord is stronger than any attack that will come against you. He is faithful to see you through all the way to the end.


REMEMBER

Remember to sing. Remember to whisper and to declare. Remember to trust in God.

Remember to call to mind the goodness of the Lord.

Remember to lean into Him. Remember who He is. Remember you can trust Him. Remember He loves you and has a purpose and a plan for your life. Remember Psalm 91.


Do not fear, for I am with you. Do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God.I will strengthen you. I will help you. Surely, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”

Is. 41:10




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