It was just one of those weeks. A hard decision, season of change, tears shed, past mistakes showing up again, people hurting, depression looming, sleepless nights. I sent a text to a few friends that I was not well and to pray for me. I also told them I couldn’t talk right now. You know that feeling? To talk means to face my feelings and lose control of the emotions I’m trying so hard to keep in check. At this point, if I do that, I might fall into that abyss of depression and never return (dramatic huh?). I don’t know about you but when I am struggling, my first natural reaction is to isolate myself.
“Come on Angie, pick yourself up. The enemy is fighting you and you need to stand your ground. Arm yourself with My armor. You’ve seen Me perform miracles time and time again and I will do it again.”
I meant to look up the verses on the armor of God but was in the middle of work and had to get back to it. So thinking I would do that later, I dismissed it for now.
A few days later I was preparing for my Life Group and I opened my Bible. Guess where it opened to? Exactly on the page where it lays out the armor of God. I had forgotten to go back to it but apparently this is really important for me to get right now.
I read through it a few times – belt of truth, breastplate of righteousness, feet fitted with the gospel of peace, shield of faith, helmet of salvation, sword of the spirit. And then I saw what He wanted me to see – there was no protection for my back. So, no turning and running away from the battle at hand. Face it, stand firm, armed with His armor, and He will be with me.
But I also noticed something else too as I read about the breastplate. It protected the chest in battle and Roman soldiers were to face forward, side by side, so that the armor only needed to protect their front.
Not only do I need to stand firm and face the enemy to protect my back, I also need to have my friends beside me, locking arms, armed with the same armor. Otherwise, I’m still vulnerable to attack from behind.
As I consider this passage in Ephesians 6, and what I am learning, I realize again how important it is for us to have a tribe of believers around us, locking arms, fighting with and for us. Our strength comes when we are together. It’s important to not isolate yourself when times are hard but to reach out to those you know will lift you up in prayer and stand strong with you. When we become isolated, separated from the church, is when our backs are vulnerable and our weak spot exposed.
God created the church for many reasons. One of them is to do battle together against the evil one. Despite all seasons, good or bad, let’s hang tight together! We need it perhaps now more than ever.