I had this dog for a while who would utterly destroy all his squeak toys. It didn’t matter what they were made of, it typically only took him a few days to get at the toy’s squeaky little heart.
He would do it through small wounds, generally, and just work the toy over. He’d pull out little bits of stuffing from each tear in the material and deposit them on the living room floor as he worked to get at his ultimate goal–the messy death of the squeak toy.
When he finally got there, he’d crush the squeaker between his jaws and then just lay there and enjoy the carnage he’d created.
This morning I was thinking how much my faith is like one of those dog toys.
I’ll get wounded from time to time–small tears in my fabric. A little stuffing will come out, sometimes more than a little. Yet because my heart is still squeaking, I convince myself my wounds are only superficial. It’s only a cut or two.
I tell myself the cuts are no big deal, and since they don’t (really) threaten my life, I don’t need to worry about them.
The world–and life–are the cause of the tears in my fabric.
The world can’t get to me because of my faith, or because my wounds really aren’t that bad.
My wounds are not mortal.
And then the truth came.
1. It isn’t one singular tear in the fabric of my faith that will be my undoing.
2. It’s the collective whole of my wounds and the blame apportioned for their cause that can draw me away from God if I let them.
3. It’s separation from God that will kill me.
4. The tears in the fabric of my faith are caused by doubt, and by whispered lies from the enemy about God, and myself, and my wounds.
Another truth that came to me today is that for every lie we’re told and believe there is a corresponding truth from God.
We can fight the lies with truth, and it is that same truth that heals the tears in our fabrics–in my fabric.
It’s normal to doubt. Doubts mean you take your faith seriously, and provided you don’t allow them to overrun your faith, they can help you in the end. That is, if you seek the truth with a disciple’s heart. Doubt can only overcome you if you let it–if you do not fight.
Make no mistake, there is an enemy to fight. He prowls around like a lion (or perhaps an angry dog), looking for something to devour (1Peter 5:8).
That something is you. And me. It’s tough to hear, and even tougher to talk about. People want to hear platitudes, and that everything is good and beautiful and that they are saved from harm by faith.
That’s true, but not the only truth.
Our enemy–and I do mean Satan–can and will stop at no height or depth in his quest to separate us from God. He tears at the fabric of our faiths, and our lives. He burrows deep in our guts, attempting to get at our hearts.
He can’t unless we let him. We don’t have to.
We can fight.
We can pray the armor of God daily, and we can seek the Lord’s truth in and for our lives.
Otherwise, the world is the least of our worries. We’ll end up like this poor thing, but for eternity.