For a few very hard years this word was my mantra.
The word means
-undismayed; not discouraged; not forced to abandon purpose or effort
-undiminished in courage or valor; not giving way to fear
But the truth is, I was often dismayed by everything that had taken place, and I did battle discouragement. I battled fear and doubts. I hurt and was angry, and sometimes "undaunted" sounded more like a mockery than a mantra, and I was determined to be real about all of it in these posts, thus the name, Undaunted Reality. More than that, though, I was determined to live undaunted, not because I'm so great or strong, but because my God is, and no matter what this world looks like, He is the only reality that matters.
I pray I live the reality of Him beautifully undaunted.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Of God and Mosquitoes

As I sit here tonight, my black washcloth sits within reach of my hand. I don't even have to move my arm, just turn my wrist, and grab it. It's my weapon of choice.

About two weeks ago, war was declared on our home. From who knows where, an army of mosquitoes filled our house. They kids' bathroom was swarmed. The kitchen became a place to feast...only not for us but ON us. In the living room, turn on the fan, they said. It'll make them go away, they said. They lied. I have no clue how many nights in a row I woke up with bites on my hands, arms, shoulders, and face. If skin was left uncovered, it was considered a buffet.

Night after night, I prayed for God to make the mosquitoes go away. I even reminded Him of HIS Word because Psalm 91 says no plague will come near those who love Him. And, yet, we were plagued.

Two nights ago, I woke up in the middle of the night scratching sores into my skin from the myriad of bites, and I lost it.

Really? You can open a sea for people to walk across on dry land. Surely you can handle some mosquitoes! This isn't Corrie Tin Boom needing the soldiers to stay out of their building so you send fleas. No one is here but us. No one is coming here but us. These mosquitoes serve NO PURPOSE! Can you PLEA-EA-EASE do SOMETHING-ING?!

Okay, so between you and me, that last question came out as a grating whine. Really pathetic, actually.

BUT, He answered.

"Why don't you do something about the mosquitoes?"

Uh...He lost me.

"Like what?" I mean, like I'm not God. But, Moses did some cool things with a staff. He made water from a rock, overloaded the land with frogs and then got rid of them, brought on the gnats and sent them away. Gnats. Mosquitoes. You never see them together. So how does one do a miracle on the scale of plague anyway?

"Like kill them." Seriously. There was that droll annoyed tone in His voice.

"Like kill-"

"Yes, like kill them. Like make some effort, and kill them."

I just shut up at that point. I mean, what do you say to that?

When I stood in my bathroom smashing mosquitoes against the mirror and turning my sink into cemeteries for bloodsuckers, I knew exactly what to say. My hand dropped to my side, washcloth with it, and I looked at the floor. I closed my eyes in humble revelation and asked,

"God, what else in my life have I gotten mad at you for not fixing when all I had to do was kill the mosquito?"

It's easy to see the big mosquitoes, like lung cancer in a person who smokes. It's harder to see the mosquitoes that suck the life out of everyday. For instance, it is hard to see TV, computer, and texting as the mosquitoes sucking life out of our relationships. It is hard to see our attitudes as the mosquitos causing problems at work. It is hard to see our lack of prayer as the mosquito that drains our spiritual power.

Recently, my family experienced some serious issues that caused some individual pain and group division in our relationships. Grief, adolescence, and transition are not pretty tossed in an emotional salad. My child was struggling huge. The Lord blessed us with a great counselor, and good progress is being made. A few weeks ago, I called and said I needed to come in and talk, too. She understood. I don't know if she expected what I said.

I walked into her office, plopped down on the couch, and said, "We need to discuss how I've been part of the creation of the problem, how I'm feeding the problem, and how I need to be part of the answer."

For nearly an hour and a half, I sat in her office, and we killed mosquitoes.

Now, understand, I pray everyday about this situation, and I do see where God is working and healing things. I totally believe in praying for healing, but I also believe it is stupid to ask God to cure a headache caused by my beating my head with a baseball bat. At some point, I have to put down the bat.

At some point, I have to take responsibility for killing the mosquitoes.

Yesterday, I honestly killed a few dozen mosquitoes. I have no clue how many the three of us have killed all toll. Several times throughout the day, I'd walk into a bathroom or bedroom and wait. When a mosquito would buzz its wings, I'd smash it with my washcloth whip. Honestly, it seemed weird to walk into the bathroom with a washcloth for the sole purpose of smashing mosquitoes, but I did it. Repeatedly.

Last night I slept all night like a rock. This morning I awoke without a single bug bite.

Praying my ears are open to hear Him tell me what mosquitoes in my life I need to kill...
Praying for the persevering diligence to kill them all...

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