I don’t know if any of you have ever experienced this, but I have this thing that happens to me occasionally with my kids and only my kids. When someone hurts them or is hurting them intentionally, I see black spots. I’m serious. I don’t mean this metaphorically as in, ‘I was so mad, I saw red.’ I really really do feel a flash and see black spots. I first noticed this when I was at the mall play area with our older three when they were really little. Josiah was 3, Tyler was 21 months and Makayla was a newborn. For some reason, I thought that the mall play area sounded like a really great way to spend the morning and it would have been, except I unknowingly went on ‘Mean Kid Day.’ After making it into the mall with my double ‘Sit-n-Stand’ stroller packed with three kids and a diaper bag, I helped the boys take their shoes off and went and sat down with Makayla. A few minutes later, I heard Tyler’s quiet 21 month terrified voice (which I didn’t hear often because of his obsession with his pacifier – don’t judge me) say, “Pwease don’t!, Pwease don’t!.” I looked up to see Tyler on the highest climbing toy (of course) being pushed backwards by ‘the mean kid’ who was probably about 7. This kid had his head pressed up against Tyler’s stomach and was slowly (and very purposely I might add) inching him backwards so that he would fall off. This climbing toy was definitely tall enough that he could have gotten hurt. Well, the next thing I knew, I saw black spots, flew up and grabbed Tyler by the collar of his shirt just as he was falling. Simultaneously, I bodyslammed Makayla into the climbing toy and she was now crying. For those of you who know me, I’m not terribly loud. Well, the “NO!!” that came out of my mouth got the attention of ALL of the moms in the whole playground as well as made Mr. Mean Kid cry. I have to admit, I was a little happy about that. Of course I didn’t act like I was happy about that, but you know the part of you that is happy when it shouldn’t be? That part was doing the happy dance.- I’m sorry to ‘Mean Kid’s’ mom. Did you know that adults can still get the urge to stick their tongue out at people?
I don’t get black spot mad very often, but my kids love it when I do. When something really upsetting happens to them and I say, “That makes me black spot mad,” they get a little smile on their face. Probably when they grow up, I’ll find out they just thought it was weird, but go with me here. You see, they love to know that someone will fight for them and it gives them confidence to learn to fight their battles because they have a black spot mad mom in the background rooting for them. Of course, we teach them to forgive, walk on their own two feet, and how to rely on God in dealings with other people, but they need to know someone is in their corner and it gives them courage to face their battles.
Even as adults, we need to know that someone is fighting for us. This whole past year, God has been showing me how He fights for you and me. He’s not a passive God who sits there waiting around for us to come to Him, get things right or get untangled. I needed some serious untangling. Did you read that?! He’s not passively sitting there, but is active in our lives right now as we’re going about our day! It’s really so amazing! Whether you are in the middle of good times or bad times, your mood is up or down, health or sickness, you are with Him or away from Him. He is fighting for you! He is fighting for your freedom and fighting for your heart. The story from before Creation all the way to Revelation is the story of God’s fight for the hearts of mankind. Our little stories mirror the big story. God created man to have relationship with Him, man fell and God has been fighting for us ever since. The whole Old Testament is filled with stories of God fighting for His people. When Jesus came, it was rescue for mankind because through Adam all sinned, but through Jesus we have a way to freedom! Revelation ends with a final battle. God is fighting for our hearts! He wants our love. Mark 12:30 says to love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. The more free we are the more we are free to love both Him and others.
This same story plays out in our lives. God is fighting for us! Our first step to freedom is through the Cross. Repentance paves the way to freedom because of what Christ did on the Cross. The ultimate act of war was the Cross. Before the Cross, the enemy had humanity in his grip, but when Jesus came, all who now come to Him can have new life. Sin no longer needs to have power over us. Sin makes God black spot mad, because it’s not what we were made for. Sometimes in our twisted thinking, sin looks good or enticing, but God knows that it kills our soul. It’s our enemy whether we believe that or not. The tension of ‘God is love and God is judge’ isn’t really a tension at all. We were not created for sin, we were created for Him and He waged an ultimate war on sin through Jesus on the Cross. 1 Peter 4:11 says, “Dear friends, I warn you as “temporary residents and foreigners” to keep away from worldly desires that wage war against your very souls.” Sin wages war on our souls, God wants to free our souls and sin is doing the opposite of what God wants to do in our hearts.
Sin is not the only thing that God wants to free us from though. We all have pasts, failures, disappointments, wrong ideas about Him, broken hearts, lost relationships and many many other things. Does it make a difference to you to know that you have a fighting God and He is fighting for your heart? I know it makes a huge difference for me. It makes me feel like a child that can totally trust and my heart can be at rest knowing that He is all powerful, He loves me and is fighting for me! This doesn’t mean that life won’t have trouble or really painful trials, but it does mean that He is able to protect my heart. We don’t have to lose peace even in the fiercest times of our lives, but we will unless we unless we understand that God is active on our behalf. Even when you don’t know what’s up or down or how to untwist the knots, figure out the situation, get past something or overcome complacency – He is fighting for you and He knows the way out. God is a God Who we can trust with our lives and He loves us enough to get black spot mad at the things that are holding us back from knowing Him more.
Psalm 32:7 You are my hiding place; you will protect me from trouble and surround me with songs of deliverance. D 3:22 the Exodus 14:14 The Lord your God will fight for you and you shall hold your peace.