Evil: The Ultimate Opportunist

I recently read a blog post that reminded me of an incident that occurred a few years after Mary and I were married.

I was working for a company that required me to be on-call for one week per month. This was a few years before cell phones were readily available so we still used pagers. I still remember the sick feeling I’d get when I would hear that annoying beeping noise in the middle of the night or during holiday celebrations. I had to drop everything and immediately drive the 30+ miles to work.

Around two o’clock one morning, that annoying beeping noise woke us from a dead sleep. After walking over to the sink and splashing cold water on my face, I called the answering service and heard the message that I was needed at work right away.

While getting dressed, I opened my wallet and discovered that I didn’t have any cash. I quickly looked in Mary’s purse and found that she didn’t have much cash either. I told her that I was going to run by the ATM and get some money on my way to work.

Our bank was located on the service road of the freeway, right on my way to work. It was very convenient, but, even though the location was just off the freeway, it was fairly secluded. At that time, it was the only business in that area; a small building surrounded by dense woods. For this reason, and because the bank didn’t have a drive-through ATM machine, Mary didn’t like me going there at night. That night she again asked me to use the ATM in the convenient store near the front of our neighborhood.

I value Mary’s advice, but the convenient store charged a fee for using their ATM and our bank did not. It’s not that I’m cheap, I just hated paying unnecessary fees so I decided not to take her advice that night.

I had been to our bank’s ATM at night before but never at such a late hour. Other than a few dimly lit lights shining up from the landscaping in front of the building and a small light over the ATM machine, the area was dark and the woods surrounding the building were pitch black.

I parked my car in front of the small building and quickly walked up the sidewalk to the ATM machine. I got an eerie feeling like someone other than the ATM camera was watching me as I punched in the numbers on the keypad. I convinced myself that this was my imagination, but I was still so relieved when the cash popped out so I could finally return to my car and get out of there.

When I was about halfway back to my car, I heard footsteps on the sidewalk behind me. “Could you give me a ride?” the shaky voice of a woman asked. Thinking it was a set up and her boyfriend was going to pop out of the bushes and shoot me, I didn’t even turn around until I reached my car and opened the door.

She was young, twenty years-old at most. I looked over the top of the car as she nervously explained that her car broke down on the freeway. I only heard bits and pieces of what she was saying because I was planning a quick getaway and scanning the hedges in front of the building for any sign of her accomplice. Before even getting my answer, she began sheepishly walking towards my car as if I had agreed to her request.

Still suspicious, I mumbled something about being in a hurry to get to work and moved closer to the open door of my car. “PLEASE DON’T LEAVE ME HERE, I’VE BEEN RAPED,” she shouted as she rushed to my car and frantically tried to open the locked passenger door. I unlocked the door.

She asked me to take her home so her mom could accompany her to the hospital.

After driving a mile or so on the service road, she pointed to her car parked on the shoulder of the freeway and began telling me the horrifying story.

She was at a friend’s house watching a movie. She stayed later than she intended and later than her mom wanted her to. While driving home on the nearly deserted freeway, her car stalled so she parked it on the shoulder and turned the emergency flashers on. She waited in the car for about thirty minutes hoping that a police officer or a Good Samaritan would stop and help her. She finally gave up on that idea and decided to walk the three miles or so to a gas station to call her mom.

Thinking it wouldn’t be safe walking along the shoulder of the freeway, she decided to walk in the grass on the inside of the service road. She had only been walking for about five minutes when, seemingly from nowhere, a large man grabbed her from behind and carried her into the woods where he raped her. Following the brutal assault, the rapist fled one way and the traumatized girl fled the other way. Thinking that he might return to look for her, she hid behind the bushes in front of the bank to figure out what her next move would be. This is when I entered her nightmare, and she decided that I would be her next move.

Evil is the ultimate opportunist.

“Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.” (1 Peter 5:8)

Evil operates like a lion wandering through the wilderness looking for the young, the weak or otherwise vulnerable prey. An evil lion found a physically vulnerable young girl that night.

But evil doesn’t just search for the physically vulnerable, it also preys on the emotionally and spiritually vulnerable; those isolated by addiction, depression, abuse or one of life’s many other challenges that are so difficult to overcome without the help of others.

I can no longer help those in physical distress, but I can still do my best to help those in emotional or spiritual distress by giving them hope. As Christians, we all have the responsibility to help the hurting, even when, maybe especially when, we’re hurting.

If someone came to your mind when you read that, it’s probably the person that God wants you to help.

What are you waiting for?

Behold, I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves; so be shrewd as serpents and innocent as doves.” (Matthew 10:16)

About Bill Sweeney

In 1996, Bill was diagnosed with ALS (“Lou Gehrig’s Disease”) and the doctors told him he had 3-5 years to live. He is now completely paralyzed and unable to speak, but by God’s grace, he’s still alive and through his blog shares a message of hope in Christ - Unshakable Hope!

Posted on September 24, 2014, in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 116 Comments.

  1. That poor girl :(. Must have been a living nightmare for her. Praise God you were safe and able to help her. As I was reading the story, I worried that the title you chose was referring to something bad happening to you. The way you wrote about the woman you helped was an interesting twist- you had me in suspense till the end of the story- brilliantly written!

  2. You came to my mind Bill when I first read your message yesterday, I was coming back to comment and lost the link but when visiting someone else tonight, I saw your link again on their Blog.

    How are you ? I have often thought of you and your dream, I hope your OK and will be Blogging again soon, people need your Hope in the Storms life brings.

    Christian Love in Christ Jesus – Anne

  3. A truly horrifying story for the girl, and a good example of how we can so easily be overcome by our enemy. It is a good thing in this case that you were there. And is also shows how something so slight and even innocent (falling asleep and coming home late) can take us off track and make us even more vulnerable to the enemy. Thanks for alerting us to that and how we can help others when they are in a tough situation.

  4. I am just getting around to replying to some of the posts that I LIKED but didn’t have time to reply to when I read it. Thank you for sharing this! I love your stories and your perspectives. They always make me think more than any other stories!

  5. Sorry it took a while to get to this. It was worth the wait. An excellent post, Bill. Good writing and a good message. The Lord provides.

  6. Thanks for this great reminder. 🙂 Hugs…. I think you just answered one of my questions I have been puzzling over. I’m not sure why you chose this story but thanks. God uses people in the strangest of ways sometimes when we don’t even know. It’s time for some God time. Thanks again. Take care. – Amy 🙂

  7. May God continue to bless you Bill as you bless those you encounter.

  8. Bill,
    Thanks for this riveting story from your past. And for the connection to us right now. As it happens, there is someone in my life reaching out for help. I relate totally to the feeling of risk (on both sides, actually). So many imponderables. And so little time to process all the should/shouldn’t I questions.

    My mind goes to the gospel account of the man lying beaten on the side of the road and the passers-by. Only one took the risk of reaching out. I want to be like that–and also, like the beaten man, willing to risk accepting help from strangers who see my wounds and don’t turn away. Very thought-provoking piece. Thanks again.

  9. Wow… so glad things turned out for good as far as your being able to help that young girl. So sad that she experienced such violence, but thank God for your loving kindness in the face of fear. Interestingly enough, I am the one who came to mind at the end of your blog because of the various circumstances I am in. Thank you for the confirmation to be sober and alert. ((hugs))

  10. That poor young woman.

    And what a frightening night for you. 🙁

    I am so glad I read this post. I personally identified with these words:

    “But evil doesn’t just search for the physically vulnerable, it also preys on the emotionally and spiritually vulnerable; those isolated by addiction, depression, abuse or one of life’s many other challenges that are so difficult to overcome without the help of others.”

    I have been battling depression for quite some time now. Over the past few years have had some personal experiences that were heart breaking, and haven’t bounced back as well as I used to do. It helps me so much to read how other Christian bloggers are overcoming and living lives that bring glory to the Lord, such as yourself.


    • Thank you, Theresa. I’m sorry to hear about your depression, but glad that you’re battling it and not giving in! One of the things I love about the Bible is that it doesn’t gloss over the internal struggles of God’s people. Many of those we now consider to be heroes of the faith (David, Jeremiah, Isaiah…) struggled with depression and other “issues.” I think this is why we find comfort reading the Psalms (when feeling low); we relate to the words.
      “Why are you in despair, O my soul?
      And why are you disturbed within me?
      Hope in God, for I shall again praise Him,
      The help of my countenance and my God.” (Psalm 43:5)

  11. Hi Bill, Glad you stopped by again. Just so happens I was wondering about you just the other day but didn’t search for you. Glad you are still around. Enjoyed your story here. Unfortunate for the young lady but glad you were there for her even though a bit leery at first. God builds strength and love in many ways. You and Gods house are stronger now, sharing works and love grows, it cost us nothing.

  12. Oh goodness. This was beautifully written. In the beginning I thought something horrible would happen to you!

    Although you were (understandably) reluctant to help, I think God placed you there for the purpose of helping her, and that woman will be forever grateful that you did so. I pray that she has been successful in conquering the demons that come with assault.

    • Thank you, Jen. At the time I thought my being there was just coincidence, but, as you said, I believe that God placed me there. I also hope and pray that she’s conqured the demons that haunt victims of assaults like this.

  13. Wow, absolutely terrifying for this young lady. Thank you for sharing such a gripping honest story. Praying for each of you.

  14. You continue to inspire me as I read how God uses you mightily each and every day!

  15. I was a little afraid that something was about to you. But , man what tragedy! What a load to carry as well. I thank God for Jesus. I thank God for daily bearing my burdens. I thank Him especially for lifting me and carrying me as I try to be there for others and bring their burdens to him. In my line of work, you see and hear it all. As we make ourselves available to be there for others, let’s lean on Him strengthen us and use us.

    Very suspenseful, thank you!
    Empathy is key. Smiles as you walk by don’t go a long way – empathy does.

    • Thank you, Pastor. You’re right, “empathy is the key.” It’s difficult to empathize in an environment of fear and confusion, which was the case that night. It probably sounded cold that I was even considering not giving that girl a ride (before learning that she was raped), but, like her, I was confused and fearful.

      • You are right… I think you did the right thing by trying to make sure that you were safe. Frankly, the first thing I thought was – “oh man you’re being set up… Get out of there.” I think you were brave – even letting her in your car. I don’t know what I would had done.

        Reflecting on the whole thing, from the phone call early that morning to go to work, realizing you had no cash, stopping at that station, was all orchestrated by love of a Father who saw one of His precious ones in dire straits. He put you right there for that girl.

        Genesis 16 and John 4 talk about two women in dire straits. In Gen. 16 Hagar uses the word El Roi – meaning the All seeing One to express her gratitude that God saw her when she was all alone. And in John 4, the bible says, Jesus “had to go through Samaria.” But he didn’t have to, there were much quicker ways to get to where he was headed. The only reason He did was because of a woman who needed a God encounter.

        Sorry for a long response… I am just amazed about that fact that God knows exactly where we are and always does something about it. Either to rescue us, protect us, comfort us. Stay blessed!

        • I really like the two Biblical examples you cited, Pastor. The story doesn’t really say what the causes of the woman at the well marriage problems were, but you get the sense that she had been treated poorly, possibly even raped, by men.

  16. That is an incredible story, Bill. How frightening it must have been for her to ask another man for help too. God’s timing for you to be there for her was exquisite.

    • Denise, it didn’t occur to me that night, but later on I thought the same thing – she must have been so desperate to approach me. Or, maybe (probably) she was in those bushes praying and God gave her a peace about approaching me. I would love to sit down and talk with her today to get her side of it…

  17. What a scary situation but God is in charge, thankfully!

  18. Bill….. I just had to stop and pray for that young lady. I hope she has found over the years healing and peace. I hope she has been able to find true love and move forward with the help of Jesus. Thanks for you blog, a great kick in the backside. Challenged by your words,”As Christians, we all have the responsibility to help the hurting, even when, maybe especially when, we’re hurting”. You are an inspiration, love to your family Bill.

    • Thank you, Phil. I’ve prayed for her many times over the years. I would like to contact her, but I never even asked her name, obviously not a time for introductions. I regret not giving her a business card so she could have gotten in touch with me if she wanted to.

  19. It’s sad when we must consider the what-ifs, and are hindered in freely extending the helping hand.

  20. Wow, what a story! I’m so glad you were able to help that girl. It seems like God had you there for just that purpose. And what a word picture to think of her experience and compare it to Satan prowling around like a roaring lion, waiting to devour. That feels like an exact replica of what he does. Also reminds me of how important it is to be in fellowship with other believers and also in regular throughout the day fellowship with God. There is safety in numbers!

    • Thank you, Barb. I agree with you, that verse fits this situation perfectly. There is safety in numbers. This is one good thing about cell phones. I don’t think this would have occurred if she had a cell phone.

  21. A powerful story well told, Bill. God used you that night to defeat evil in that girl’s life. May He find willing servants among the rest of us to do the same in our corners of the world!

  22. That young woman was blessed that you came along, Bill. A powerful post.

  23. A tragic reminder to be aware of the evil that lurks around the corner, and a challenge to respond to the helpless that need a defender, protector, and a hope.

  24. This was very powerful, Bill. It brought me to tears. I’m sure the girl you assisted is grateful to this day. Not only were you in the right place, at the right time physically. Your kindness that night let her know that good exists in the world, along with evil. As Christians, we must not be discouraged. You continue to spread hope, despite your illness — more movingly, in fact, because of it. Thank you from my heart.

    • Thank you, Anna. I’ve read that it can take years for rape victims to trust men again so it must have been so hard for her to emerge from hiding and approach a man within thirty minutes of another man raping her. I know the healing process isn’t this simple, but I’d like to think that I was at least her first step to trusting someone.

  25. Our amazing God ~ He sent His “Unshakable Hope” in the form of you ~ well spoken remembrance of a truly tragic event ~Amen :Y

    • Yes, it’s very humbling to think that you might have been the answer to someones desperate prayer, but even more humbling knowing that God’s sent people to help me in times of desperation, which He’s done countless times.

  26. That story went in a very different direction than I expected. I can imagine that poor girl was desperate to convince you to take her with you. It’s sad that we live in a world that she had to go through that but even worse that we have to decide on a moment’s notice whether to run or help. As you know, I’ve experienced the type of cruelty that poor girl did, but under very different circumstances and I can’t imagine having to run the woods in the dark after something like that and praying for God to help. You know she had to pray at some point even if she wasn’t a believer. And then to find you. To see God send her an answer to her prayers. It may have taken some time to realize it, but I believe that young woman saw God in you that night. It’s amazing to see where our steps will lead us if we allow God to guide them. I pray she made a full recovery, spirit, soul and body. As always, your writing is incredible.

    • Thank you, Laurie. She was definitely traumatized; she was a mess sitting in my car for the 20 minute drive home. I’ve prayed for her many times over the years and hope she’s lived a happy and fulfilling life…

  27. We had a similar situation where a young girl came banging on the door of our house, I kept thinking maybe there was an accomplice coming any second, but no one ever did. You did the right thing and this was a great reminder that We should do what God has put in front of us to do! Blessings to you!

    • We never know what kind of horrible things are happening outside the comfort of our homes, T. I didn’t mention this in the post, but just weeks before that happened, an elderly woman from church told me about a woman knocking on their door in the middle of the night and there was a man hiding behind a tree. Thankfully the elderly husband had a pistol with him and the couple ran when he showed the gun. I remembered that story right when I heard that woman’s voice behind me.

  28. Very interesting story and connection of the Scripture. God bless, as you continue to inspire.

  29. Bill, what an angel of hope you were in the midst of tragedy for that unfortunate young lady. Just recently in our province a repeat offender killed his latest 17 yr old victim. When I hear things like this I look forward to heaven where bad things won’t even be remembered. Evil will be banished forever.

    Blessings ~ Wendy ❀

  30. That was a powerful story. Thank you for sharing it. I feel so bad for that poor woman. God was with both of you when that ATM machine came to your mind and to hers. It was like God’s way station in the middle of the night where he planned for 2 souls to meet and for 1 to find safety.

  31. Bill, you grabbed my heart and soul with your story, a story of darkness and evil but also of honest questions and open availability. Am I willing to be available to help those who are in serious need–whether they appear to be or not? To put myself in a place of being uncomfortable or inconvenienced for the sake of living the gospel of the love of Jesus? Thanks so much for your poignant reminder of how I need to respond when He calls–not when it suits me.

    • Yes, Dayle, we must make ourselves available to be used by God, but being wise and cautious is good – a delicate balancing act. I didn’t like having to teach my trusting and somewhat naive daughters to be wary of people, I felt like I was taking away their innocence, but we have to teach them.

  32. Never heard THAT story before…that could have gone either way, but you listened and received the message that ultimately resulted in you touching that young lady’s life in a way that she surely remembers today. Look forward to seeing you this weekend. Love you bro.

  33. “If someone came to your mind when you read that, it’s probably the person that God wants you to help.”
    Someone did.
    I will come back to tell you a story that might just begin to be written in the next few days.
    Thank you Bill.

  34. Your incredible writing quickly and strongly drew me in to your story. Your hesitancy was wise and valid, but in the end you put the safety and comfort of someone else, even a stranger, before your own safety and comfort. You were Jesus to a girl that night, being His hands and feet. Today, even without hands and feet, you are showing Jesus to us through your story. One of my favorite quotes is “Do what you can with what you have in the time you’re allotted.” You put life and meaning in that sentence.

  35. Wow. What a terrible yet powerful story Bill. Thank God for people like you, who like the Good Samaritan took the time to help the wounded when you could have just as easily passed her by. May God open all of our eyes to see the bruised up and hurting people around us, whether physically, mentally, spiritually, or emotionally so we can reach out and give them a helping hand. Thank you for the reminder to be ready and available to love others and help. Be blessed!

  36. Reblogged this on My Life Through the Lens and commented:
    I wanted to share this post I just read on my blog with you this week. This made an impact in my life and made me think about the consequences of the actions we take no matter how miniscule you think a decision may be. Happy reading and be blessed.

  37. A lot of people don’t know this, but I was the victim of a sexual assault. I was terrorized for about 4 hours before I finally got away. In my case I was giving a ride home to someone who I did not want to drive home intoxicated. I did not know this person’s name and I felt he was so drunk he was harmless. I was wrong. For a short while I was being choked I remember a tear falling from my eye. I was actually very calm. I was trying to remember all the details in case I survived it, but then I remember saying to myself, “Oh my God, I’m about to become a statistic. I don’t want to die this way.” Things were getting fuzzy as the oxygen was being cut off and I remember saying, “I can’t breathe” right before I passed out. And he responded, “Oh” and stopped. It was very strange. I quickly learned what agitated him (and I saw all the things he could potentially harm me with like knives, etc.) and what I did or what I said that got me a few more inches to the front door. I have no doubt in my mind that when I cried out to God in that moment that help came. I have no doubt that that woman in your story was praying for someone to come help her, and God sent you to help her.

    • That’s terrible, Hilda! Mary and I didn’t know that happened to you. How did you overcome such a tragic event like that? Just curious, did this guy get prosecuted?

      • I started with the company in Feb of 1989 and this happened in April of 1990. He was never found. The apartment complex he lived in were in inside units at Fondren & Westheimer (or maybe Gessner & Westheimer) and I remembered it was a far walk from where I parked to where he lived, but I couldn’t tell them what floor, what apartment number–the details that would have been important. But once out the door, I was thinking of “get to car now!” All the hallways looked the same. I didn’t do so well with the sketching either. I still have some PTSD-like symptoms that pop up unexpectedly, like in the dentist’s office. She was giving me an injection and it was hurting and I said so but they didn’t stop and I went to push her hand away because she wasn’t listening to my request to stop, and the assistant grabbed me and held me down and I went berserk (this was just last year–I had nightmares for 2-3 weeks after that). During a kidney biopsy they wanted me to put my head face down in this foam-like thing and I started feeling like I was suffocating, flipped out and they called in the anesthesia department to knock me out. It still makes me cry when I recall the event which is why I don’t tell it often. As I was saying, in my case, this is where a little common sense for a single girl should have taken precedence over my instinct to be a good samaritan. Pet sitting requires me to go to strangers’ homes for initial paperwork, some single men who need a pet sitter for their dog or cat, but I have my pepper spray, a whistle, and I leave phone numbers and addresses with Jeff. I also check in with him saying (I’m here) and if I don’t respond that I’m leaving (or I’m still there) in an hour or so, he checks in with me. If I don’t respond, he is instructed to call the police or come to the address himself. My calendar is on the wall so he knows what clients I am seeing in what order and generally knows what route I’m taking. I won’t walk anyone’s dog after 9 p.m., only if the street is well lit, etc. There is actually a great app (and I’ll find out what it is called if anyone is interested) where you send an alert to people that you are going somewhere and it will allow you to update that every hour. I really need to take a self defense class especially with what I’m doing now. And I don’t feel I need to help out every single person who crosses my path. I listen to my gut. It was 25 years ago so that made me 25 years of age since I’m now 50. My immaturity at that age played into my thinking that no harm would come to me. Still not sure what came out of the experience that was good. Sometimes bad things just happen and the only thing you can do is try not to make the same mistakes again.

        • PTSD must be a horrible thing, Hilda. Obviously it wasn’t God’s will for this girl or you to be assaulted, but He can bring good out of bad. Maybe this girl has helped other victims of assault over the years Maybe you have too.

  38. Great story. It is always a concern that this do get set up and that if one helps a person in need it may put yourself in harm. Being physically challenged and can take very good care of myself, I would not be able to help someone but could get help to come. I know that sometimes that might be too late but for me it would have to be my choice in the way I would help. Glad it all turned out for the young lady. You did your good deed. We all should do one everyday. I raised my children to always do something nice for someone everyday.

  39. Hi Unshakable Hope, thanks so much for your post. It is so much in line with the reflections we shared in our class last night and the experiences I had going home afterwards.

    While evil might be the ultimate opportunist, the Holy Spirit prepares God’s people (if we would listen) for any attack, and we can be more than conquerors . That was in essence my experience when I drove home last night at about 10 pm.

    Jesus said that in the world will have trouble, but to take heart because he has overcome the world (John 16:33). We can overcome evil because he paid the ultimate price and overcame evil.

    • That is such a great reminder, Yvette – it’s so true. The Holy Spirit leads us with a sense of peace. It’s possible, even likely, that this young woman had a bad feeling even before leaving her friend’s home, but, like me and others, we ignore that voice and convince ourselves that everything will be okay. As we mature in faith, we become better at obeying that voice.

  40. Reblogged this on verawrites and commented:
    This is a powerful story and I felt compelled to share it. As you read, who might you be? Bill (the one who lived it)? Mary, his wife? The young woman? What would you do in such a situation – would faith or fear carry you through?

  41. Dear Bill, your post made me cry. Falling into the trap of the enemy and his lies has eternal ramifications for many. May God show us where we can be a real help to those who are hurt in pointing to Jesus. God is faithful and shows us how and where we can be tools in His mighty hands. He is our only hope.
    Thank you for the post. It touched me.

    • I’m sorry my post made you cry, Heidi. I agree with you, the evil that happens to us has eternal consequences, but thankfully the good, if done in the name of Christ, also has eternal consequences.

  42. Thank you for sharing this story, Bill. It’s powerful on many levels. You are blessed to have the faith/obedience/sensitivity to respond to your still small voice rather than your wife’s natural concern. You positioned yourself so God was able to use you to help this traumatized woman. These Bible verses are a good reminder to us all.

    • Thank you, Vera. Besides not wanting to pay a fee to use the store ATM, looking back I know that God was directing me. Many people have been there for me in times of need, I’m so glad that God used me to help that poor woman.

  43. You certainly were this young woman’s lifeline and going there was no coincidence… but it is difficult sometimes to not be skeptical because of the realities of the world right now. You’re right that as Christians we ought to be aware and even looking for those who are hurting…. Diane

  44. It is amazing to me that God puts us in the right place at the right time to help other people if we remain open to His leading. Bill, you are a true inspiration to me as a man of God. With everything taken away from you physically, you still serve Jesus!!!

  45. Excellent post Bill and timely. In an age when evil appears to be increasingly pervasive, fear tempts us to run away. Faith listens and runs to the Cross for the strength and wisdom we lack. Many thanks!

    • Yes, Kathie, rape and murder and just about every other form of evil are happening on a massive scale in Iraq right now. Interviews with the survivors of ISIS (on 60 Minutes) were heartbreaking.

  46. That was lovely to read. That theme of being frightened, of being the potential prey, when in fact you are actually going to become some frightened person’s rescue, has happened to me a few times. Sometimes I think evil has a way of trying to make us run right at the precise moment we’re the most needed. The only time I have ever feared the stranger in the bushes, has been when there is no stranger in the bushes and my urge for self preservation wasn’t called for.

  47. A great reminder that we need to daily not only put on the armor, but prepare our swords as well. Great stuff Bill … always worth the wait! Ephesians 6:10-20

  48. Thank you for this personal rendering and it’s sobering reminder. May God Bless you in all moments…

  49. Poor girl. I just heard on the news last night that two teenage girls that had snuck out of where they were staying the night had been abducted and held for 19 hours before they escaped. It makes me think of some of the horrible things I have gone through and how they could have been avoided if I hadn’t been rebelling against God. When you asked who came to mind it was actually myself. I have struggled with an unhealthy relationship to food for as long as I can remember. Sugar was my first addiction and has been the hardest one to shake. I seemingly get free after fasting for a time and slowly allow myself to get into bondage again. I am determined though. Today is day two for me without it. I was extremely irritable yesterday afternoon and admitted to my son why. Just confessing the truth ofy struggle and havimg him give me grace help eased my anxiety back.

    You have a way with telling a story and weaving it into a lesson that makes a great read.

    • Thank you, Emily. I’m with you on rebellion causing many of my problems. I didn’t mention this in the post, but the girl told me that she and her friend fell asleep watching the movie and she left right after waking up and looking at the clock. I hope it didn’t sound like she was disobeying her mom, it was an innocent mistake.
      As for your addiction to sugar, I have heard others say they’ve become cranky and tired when going without sugar. My oldest daughter just finished a 45 day sugar fast.

      • And I hope I didn’t come across like I was saying that I thought what happened to her was because I thought she was rebellious. The story just reminded me of what I heard on news last night, which made me think of the times when I was rebellious and bad stuff happened that could have been avoided.

        I did 40 days off sugar this spring and slowly got back on it over the summer. Glad to hear your daughter did 45 days. I know 40 was plenty to get it out of my system but just gave myself too many liberties when I began eating it again.

        • I used to like ice cream and cake…, but haven’t eaten anything sugary in a few years. After going without sugar for a period of time, when I taste even things that used to taste moderately sweet, they taste sickeningly sweet. There’s a spiritual analogy in there somewhere 🙂

          • I think this may be what God is asking of me too. Every time I get free and think that I can handle a desert here and there I always end up seriously addicted again; I’m talking hiding wrappers so my kid doesn’t see what I’ve eaten, not feeling like a party/outing/movie is complete or satisfying without sweets addicted. It’s an idol that I have run to for comfort, to ease anxiety, and for pleasure. It’s really a matter of my will at this point. Do I want to move to the next level with God or allow myself to keep circling around this dumb mountain? I have been free for years at a time. Usually during seasons of lots of fasting.

          • The Bible says that we should not be mastered by anything (except Christ, of course). I used to feel that I was addicted to coffee, black coffee, no sugar 🙂 so a few times a year I would fast from coffee for a week. You may have to fast from sugar for a week or so every time you feel it’s a problem.

          • Good idea. That will avoid my tendency towards extremes one way and the other.

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