“For You have been a defense for the helpless, A defense for the needy in his distress, A refuge from the storm, a shade from the heat; For the breath of the ruthless Is like a rain storm against a wall.“ – Isaiah 25:4
The roads in my neighborhood have been in bad shape for a while, with ever-growing potholes and crumbling asphalt. So when the heavy machinery rolled in a couple of weeks ago and it became obvious the crews were going to repave them, we let out a cheer.
The first step in the process was grinding up the old surface and removing it, and boy, was that a loud process! Inside our home, we felt the earth shaking and heard the rumble as the enormous machines chewed up the old asphalt. After the old surface was gone, the crews laid down a new base in preparation for the paving. It looked like a mixture of sand and rock, and machines with heavy rollers smoothed it out.
But just a day after the base layer was laid, a huge storm came through. The skies poured several inches of rain in a very short period of time, so small rivers of water raced through the streets and destroyed the perfect surface.
Instead of a nice, smooth road, there were now huge rivets. Where the ground was once level, there were now uneven surfaces.
All the work the crews had done was now undone, and it would take days for them to get everything back like it was.
And as I drove through the bumpy streets to my house, I could relate completely.
So many times, I have worked and worked to smooth out the bumps of my life. I have identified a problem that needed addressing, slaved away to remove the old and replace it with new, and been satisfied when all seemed smooth.
But then storms have come and wreaked havoc on all the work, leaving destruction in their wake and requiring even more smoothing out.
Storms from the enemy’s hand always aim for the parts of our lives we thought were smoothed out. He always aims to destroy what we’ve worked so hard to settle.
In a small group of friends recently, we were talking about this very idea. We’ve been going through a study forcing us to dive deeply into concepts such as forgiveness, the power of the words we speak, and surrender. We all noted that in the weeks following these discussions, the enemy tested us to see if the lessons had really taken root.
If we had discussed freedom, he brought back to our memories times we’d been hurt.
If we had discussed surrender, he reminded us of struggles that we’ve been grasping with tight fists.
For many of us, the situations Satan brought back up were issues we thought we had settled and gotten past. The new battles in our minds were actually old battles we thought we had won.
This is the way of the enemy — destroying smooth roads in our lives.
Although I hate fighting a battle I’ve had to fight before, I have come to see one positive in it. My eyes are always opened to the small things I previously ignored. In fighting battles multiple times, I always end up forgiving more deeply, surrendering more thoroughly, and understanding the battle more completely.
So perhaps it’s not always a bad thing. Satan’s tactic to reopen old wounds often leads me to a more complete healing.
Sometimes we’ll have to fight a battle more than once to really win it, and sometimes we’ll come across a bumpy situation we thought had been smoothed out. And when we do, we need to remind ourselves that problem-avoidance is never the goal. Surrendering completely to Christ’s will is.
Fight the battle again.
Get rid of the old again.
Look deeply at the situation again.
If you’re forced to face it again, there’s always room for greater surrender.
♡ Jennie Scott is author of Disqualified: Confronting the Lies That Whisper Rejection and writes for Proverbs 31 Woman.
If you like this story, you’ll love this too → Listening to God’s Voice in the Middle of My Struggle