When I saw that "arsenal" was the Peter Pollock Word Carnival this week, I thunk and thunk about it. Then I thought I knew what I should focus on, which is the final section about First Responders, but, as I was washing dishes Monday evening, the other portions were dropped in by the Lord. So, here goes...
I had been the caregiver and protector of my sisters since I was about 7 years old [not that enjoyed it!].
In the Fall of 1957, when I was 12, a world-wide event took place. I was standing in our front yard and Sputnik passed over. Russia was our most dangerous conflicting nation, and with Sputnik's arrival this was proven to all of us.
10 years old
Being in Tacoma, WA, with McChord Air Force Base, Ft. Lewis Army Base, and other military groups not far away, we were very aware of the Cold War. In school, for instance, in the 1950s and forward, we had protection practices called Duck and Cover during possible nuclear bombing. [Climbing under the desk and covering our head and closing our eyes certainly wasn't going to make a difference and protect us.]
Seeing Sputnik, knowing about the Cold War and the possibility that Russia would be striking us soon, when I went to bed, I would sometimes stare at the ceiling and think of my responsibility for my sisters. I would plan ways to protect them and wound or kill whoever broke into our house to hurt the girls. I didn't have a gun at that age, of course, but I would keep other "weapons" in my mind... mostly, striking with baseball bats or metal tools or knives. I would always be on guard for those 5 girls. That was my "job". [My parents didn't realize that was how serious I was. We never talked about it. But, whether they understood it or not, the responsibility had been laid on me and I had no choice but to take it.]
Several years later, life changed. The day after high school graduation, when 17, I left home, and I was no longer perceived as the caregiver for my sisters. I became independent and rebellious, filled with confusion, depression, and suicidal mentality [and extremely sinful] . Slowly that changed after I came to the Lord when I was 20 [or, more specifically, as He broke into my life] and I grew in Him.
I was 40 when I married my dear husband in September, 1985. A month after our wedding, my daughter, Renae, a high school junior, began having problems with a couple of her teachers. I was ready to fight for her, even though it wasn't necessarily the right choice. Dave and I were standing in the kitchen, and I was fussing about this, and Dave said, with some irritation, "How long are you going to keep throwing yourself on other people's grenades?" Flippantly, with an eye towards Renae's future, graduating from high school and leaving home for college, I answered, "Two. More. Years."
Two years later, I was in a severe situation re: codependency treatment, described in my recent post called Breakdown. It was deadly serious, believe me.
NOW, life has changed. In a good way. I don't plan to grab baseball bats, knives, and guns, or toss myself on grenades. I don't swing my fists, which I did for many years. I don't think of ways to grab protection for myself or for others. Instead, I trust my Father to draw me to the right place at the right time to protect others through prayer and spiritual arsenal weapons. HE is the 850,000,000 Star General. With no retirement. And if He orders me to do something or ANYthing, it is my job to do so. Period.
For instance. When this topic hit today, I received an email from the leader of the First Responders group. I've posted a few times about that organization which goes to murder sites within 24 to 48 hours after the murder has occurred.
Two murders occurred on Sunday. Probably/possibly connected to gangs. Tuesday we will be at both locations to pray for the neighborhood folks, the victims families, and any other needs that come to us. I try to not ever miss FR. The reason? These spiritual warfare arsenal weapons are the prayer time, the prayer walking, the speaking to people who can be held and loved and blessed. Nothing else counts. The Lord has so often brought the killers to the surface quickly. It is amazing. And, some of the friends and family come to the Lord, break away from their gang connections, seek His guidance and direction for their new way of life. I can't imagine anything much more glorious.
So, warfare will continue throughout the earth until the Lord has redeemed the world with His new arrival. It will continue with me until I have died and gone to heaven. BUT it is the same warfare weapons that Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Daniel, and other leaders of the past OT prophetic orders: Turn to the Lord and trust only Him. [God has me buried in the Prophet portion of the Word right now. Again.]
I hope I will be faithful and trust Him, and Him alone. That's my goal.