After a heartbreaking phone call from a friend who is struggling in her faith, I decided to post the following excerpt from my book Wilderness Skills for Women. I wrote this book during my own trial of faith, a season very similar to the one my friend is now facing. I know first hand how easy it is to believe Satan’s lies when we hurt, but I also know the glorious victory available when we stand firm in God’s truth.
The following chapter is entitled “Beware of Snakes.” I hope it encourages anyone who is battling despair, fear or hopelessness; and teaches you how to stand victorious against the enemy.
Beware of Snakes
Few of us will ever forget the first time we watched the film The Passion of the Christ. The sheer magnitude of Christ’s sufferings left most viewers speechless and many breathless. In this film the familiar words of Scripture come crashing through our senses in living color. The prophetic words “by his stripes we are healed” take on a whole new meaning when watching the brutal scourging of Jesus. I recall sitting in the theater and begging “Jesus” to not get up when he had fallen at the whipping post. “Don’t stand up!” I repeated over and over again under my breath as I watched the Roman soldiers rip the skin from his back. “Please don’t stand up.” I thought if I could encourage him to stay down then his suffering would end. Yet, he didn’t stay down. No, he stood and took more lashes and more lashes—for he knew that his brokenness would mean our wholeness. His death would mean our life.[i]
It stunned me how relieved I was when the crucifixion finally arrived, for with death my Savior’s suffering would finally end.