Im so ashamed to say this. But, in the spirit of honesty, here goes. The only time I’ve ventured behind this glaring screen in the past couple months has been to saturate my mind and emotions with articles from Fox News and CNN. I think I’ve aged four years this election season. I had glorious hopes for 2016. I really did. I think I even posted some awe-inspiring meme way back in January that went like this, “2016 is going to be ridiculously amazing.” bwahahaha. I think we can all agree 2016 really stuck it to us. Or maybe it was just me. Clearly I’m not a good judge of stuff (refer to lofty goals I set for 2016). My disappointment in 2016 was always affirmed when I scrolled through my face book feed. It got so depressing that I actually longed for the days of the “like and share if you love Jesus” and the “can-I-get-10,000-likes so Mark Zuckerburg-will-give-us-all-a zillion-dollars” posts. Finally, I had to decide to break up with my beloved face book or check myself into a rehab facility for mental health. Because you know, people who allow life-sucking things to continue to suck the life out of them must be mentally unstable gluttons for punishment. I actually learned a few little things when I put down my phone and looked up. And if you are still reading this after five or six sentences of largely unfunny humor, I’m going to share a few little things I’ve noticed.
Days 1 and 2 of no facebook left me eating my own words. My husband, whom I will lovingly say is almost never right, tells me that I could do so much in the time I spend on social media. I usually get defensive and want to throat punch him really hard right out of the gates. I mean, facebook is like a cult for the 30 somethings. I would defend my use of it as if it had been my loyal companion since day 1 on earth. But as it turns out, he was way right. On the first day of social media detox, I spent the time I usually reserved for coffee and social media on my knees in prayer. The Lord brought people to mind who I later found out needed the prayer (I love when he does that <3) and I immediately felt closer to God. I found myself talking to him more throughout that day and wanting to spread his love. I messaged a few people just to lift them up and love on them. I’d call day 1 a success.
On the 2nd day I had to have lunch with both my little cuties at their elementary school. I had an hour in between their lunches and since I wasn’t on facebook, I had no choice but to look up and notice others who were also waiting. I had not one, but two, meaningful, emotional conversations with women about Jesus. I left that school with my cup almost filled to the brim just by looking up and talking to strangers. I had an extra pep in my step and felt way better than I ever did by sharing an e-card with a scripture on it. Don’t get me wrong, I love to read scriptures on social media but I really love to interact with people and see the beauty that lies within spontaneous, raw emotion. And let’s face it. Jesus didn’t have a social media platform and he saved the entire world so I most likely don’t need it either.
The days that followed have been much like day 1 and day 2. Except I began to notice through conversation that the people around me- in my family, church and community-have been feeling spiritually attacked. Drained and empty. Like they have nothing to give and are useless in the kingdom of God. I realized one of my one children was going through a spiritual attack. Now if you know me at all, it will come as no huge surprise to hear that I occasionally like to put on my sassy pants. Sometimes I get fired up and say things before praying. I almost always regret those things. I’m kidding. I always regret those things. I think. But other times, when I’ve been doing my part to draw close to the Lord (because we know it is never him that needs to draw close, it is ALWAYS our carnal hearts) and have saturated myself in the word, I trade in my sassy pants for my spiritual armor. Now that I am seeing the real, live, flawed and spiritually drained people around me rather than the always perfect, see-only-a-snapshot-of-my-life people on social media, I have been jolted into alertness. People all around me are hurting, sick and in need. They need a warrior standing in the gap and calling out their needs to Christ! Where all are the warriors?
We are all members of one body-the body of Christ. When something on our fleshly body is hurting or sick, other parts of our bodies kick into overdrive and go to elaborate lengths (thank you very much, white blood cells) to get us well. As a church body, we are called to do the same! When we see one of our brothers or sisters in Christ hurting, are we going to elaborate lengths to lift them up? When we see our potential brothers and sisters in Christ in need (because after all, everyone is designed to love Jesus) are we showing them the love of Jesus in our words and actions? You might feel weary yourself, my friend, but let me be the first to encourage you to take heart and put on your full armor! You are not meant to feel defeated or alone. God did not send his son to die a gruesome death for sinners so that we would feel discouraged, afraid or unsure. NO! He wants us to suit up and get to the business of tending the harvest! You can’t tend the harvest the way you should behind the glare of a screen, I’ve found that out first hand. You must prepare your heart for battle, open your eyes and look around and then put yourself to work! Chances are, people you love are engulfed in a battle and they need a warrior to fight for them until they are able to lift themselves up and fight for themselves. Be the warrior that they need. Spend less time on things of this world and more time on your knees. Be the warrior you were created to be.
Put on the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rules of darkness of this world, against spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows from the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep praying for all the Lord’s people. Ephesians 6:10-18