|...so peaceful -- unaware that anyone snapped a photo.....|
IN the past few days, as I have been in prayer, hearing from God, hearing from others, and listening; I continue to hear about being watchful.
Being on guard.
Being prayed up!
As a child, and about to start the 3rd grade and I watched my mom and extended family deal with the news and then burial of my Grandfather. He committed suicide. It would of been 1974. Back then, people did not discuss problems or situations---much less Mental health issues. Mental health issues were NOT something you could google and find advice.
But in all of that - I observed a few things. My mom kept asking and trying to find out information about the warning signs that were missed. And one of the pieces of advice that my mom was given and I have held onto for years is: 'when you are talking about committing suicide - it does not usually happen, but it is the one person that DOES not talk - that is whom you have to worry about'. I can hear the person speak that into my mom's ears. I can hear my mom repeat it to others if I close my eyes and I have said it and thought it often myself.
Now I don't know if that is true nor do I think it is invalid. I have seen in my life, how the 'quiet' ones ....are the ones that suddenly surprise you.
What are the warning signs?
1 Peter 5.8 says we need to watch and be careful as the enemy is looking to devour....
1 Cor 16.13 says to be on guard, stand firm in the faith, be courageous, and be strong...
Matt 24. 42-244 says we are to watch, as we don't know the hour at hand when Jesus will return...
Being aware -- and be prayed up.
Many times when a crisis of faith hits us, we stop and thing, "where did this come from?" "What did I miss?"
And when we watch another walk into a crisis, we automatically say, "I never saw it coming.".
Most often the crisis did not just happen....it had been building for awhile or there was a spiritual door left open and the enemy just slowly weaseled its way into the fiber of the being....and began to kill, steal, and/or destroy. ........and many times there are warning signs - but we fail to see them.
Other times, I believe we do see warning signs but we are too busy to stop and dig deep into the root of the problem. Or maybe we think they will just go away.
And I bet - that often, many just fall into a pattern and allow the 'business' of this world to take over our very basic need to spend TIME WITH GOD and so we don't have a quiet time with Him.
I know that with me. I was NOT paying attention. When problems, squabbles, or crisis moments happened early in my marriage - I believed I could figure out the why and the what and then fix it. And as I grew older, I just got better at fixing the immediate problem -- but never allowing the ROOT to be addressed. A crack or a tear left on its own will tear more and crack further.
My husband and I were married young. I can only speak for myself, but I bet my husband would agree,
that, as time goes on and certain patterns surface there are warning signs - but are they realized? Can we really see them? For example, one warning sign I now realize we displayed was being too busy for some church type of family ...and being to busy to attend church. WE found and kept finding excuses to justify that staying at home and watching church on TV/Internet was better anyway ....... now THOSE are some warning signs. It is not good to be isolated from others. Others that can help keep you accountable.
I noticed that I had less patience at my job, less patience with my children, and even less patience with our dog. There was increased 'negativity' around our home -- a warning sign. And as that negativity grew...the time spent with God decreased. That was a warning sign.
Not having a consistent quiet time, where me and GOD had time to communicate .....THAT was a warning sign.
I think when there is a communication break down with God - our Heavenly Father -- we do begin to realize it ....but maybe we just pretend and believe that maybe it will just go away. I think many times, we just don't want to deal with it as well -- we think that maybe by ignoring it -- it will go away.
And, sometimes I think the Holy Spirit prompts and prompts us over and over, until we just harden our hearts to any sort of conviction. The Holy Spirit is such a gentlemen, He continues to speak to us and convict but if we begin to get 'hard' and ignore.... Now there is a warning sign....but it is one that ONLY you and God can see....
Well, maybe a spouse can see it too..... I saw it........ but it did not make me pursue my Lord any further.
It was only after something broke or the earthquake hit -- then, I knew, I was in the middle of a crisis of faith. And then I saw those warning signs - clearly. But I did not really understand that I had been ignoring them until much later....I was not alert. And I was not prayed up.
That had to change.
Then I began to be.......alert...prayed up....guarded....and I changed.
Lord, I think about the ones reading this...I pray they are not like HP in the photo--asleep and unaware. God I pray that each and every person reading this, is prayed up...alert, courageous and on guard. Lord, I pray that the enemy does not find ANY open doorways within my own life and heart....God I need Your guidance and I wish only to do Your will. Lord, for anyone reading this and feels the Holy Spirit convicting them of their own warning signs...may they have the courage to get with you ASAP and find a church home to continue this. Lord, for anyone reading this and feels they are 'fine' and 'free from any type of attack from the Enemy'....OH God...I pray protection over them and I pray their eyes would open -- and not be haughty as to think ...'that will never happen to me'...OH God... I pray they will come before you and seek repentance and seek YOU ....and Lord, I pray that I will remain alert, watchful, and that I am prayed up. God...for the one reading this tonight or today and they are listening to the Comforter....God I pray you will direct and lead them to a body of believers...I pray you will lead them to a cell group of some sort....and you will be glorified, God I pray that when we need a warning sign - we get it...Lord, I pray that non of these children will need a sick IN Jesus name. Amen