The devil ain’t lazy

We’re off to Florida! So many plans including creating a havurah while we’re there with local Florida family and loved ones from Ruach who will be visiting. Although I will miss my Ruach community while away, the thought of some of them being in the area to worship together as I help my cousin with her newly diagnosed multiple myeloma treatments was giving me much to look forward to.

Our first stop was Sid’s cousin in New Jersey who has her own struggles, so our planned one day there was precious, too. Unfortunately, on the drive to her home I remembered I had not received the like-a-clockwork text from my emotionally fragile adult daughter checking to make sure I had left this week’s support envelope where expected. It was the first time in two years that there was such a lack of communication from her. Not only did she not text me but I learned she had not picked up the envelope I had left for her, another first.

What transpired in the next 12 hours, although painful beyond measure, gave me new insights into the weapons of spiritual warfare, ones I hope you will take to heart.

Suffice it to say that when I looked back, there seemed to be so many “signs” that something was wrong. Synchronistic happenings, or unlikely coincidences as I interpret them, are the wonderful ways I see HaShem in our daily lives. A friend had just asked about my daughter out of the blue, I wrote her name 10 times (!!) once on each of the envelopes I left for her weekly support, a number of other unusual coincidences relating to her fueling my fear. With such synchronicities about her happening, how could I have missed God trying to tell me to check on her before we left?!!! Now she was not answering my texts! And she hadn’t picked up her envelope! No matter what rational explanations or suggestions were made by friends and family, I decided I needed to go back the 5 hour drive by bus to check on her. (Sid was not going to allow that. He was going to go back, too.) Nothing was stopping my fear. I was getting good counsel for other ways to deal with this, but my mother’s heart was not being convinced by rational suggestions.

Then, after a few hours of torture, within a ten minute period, several amazingly good “signs” happened. I heard back positively from a Jewish organization I had been interchanging with for six months that previously had closed its doors to our Messianic Jewish community. We received Airbnb bookings for our home over a year in advance. I received a note from the current renter showering me with loving comments as she was cleaning it before we arrive. Messages of love and goodness. My sister was surrounding me with loving words of support. Then, the ultimate sign:

As I went into the bathroom, lying by the shower was a beautiful white feather.

As some of you know who have been on my list for awhile, white feathers appear in my life at times such as this. One is inexplicably in our walk up apartment upon our arrival in Israel as we face the unknown on a humanitarian mission, in my office on the 13th floor of a downtown high rise when worried about a presentation I’m about to make, falling out of a medicine cabinet at the precise moment I am deeply grieving the loss of a loved one, always when needed during a time of trial or tribulation to show me that God’s angels are with us. The white feathers are never just random in time or place.

When I saw that feather, I knew God was in this and that my daughter would be fine. I knew that the parade of false signs that gave me worry were straight from the evil one, communicating with me in the ways I hear and see spiritually. I learned that he, too, knows how to get my attention in the same ways that I love to see the synchronicities in those times I hear from our Abba, but the evil one’s goal was to make me worry. And he succeeded knowing just how to create coincidences too, just not the good kind.

So how do we know if what we hear is from God or the devil? Now I know.

All the “signs” that provoked fear and negativity in me were not from HaShem. Once I saw the feather, that truth became crystal clear. I immediately began to relax and was reminded God is in this. I went with a rational plan of having the landlord check on her that evening. I enlisted the prayer warriors to pray for her safety, I took prayer walks and sang and talked with HaShem, I ministered to our cousin in New Jersey, called my other cousin undergoing radiation treatment in Florida, played my ukulele with Sid on guitar and our New Jersey cousin joyfully singing, spent the day distracting myself with good and love until the evening when the landlord let me know everything was fine. My daughter had a cold and just didn’t feel like texting or picking up her envelope. Perhaps the negative forces were at work on her as well.

So why the significance of the white feather? Why did it take that to convince me to give in to the wealth of support of my friends, family, and prayer community?

The white feather to me was a vivid reminder that the fight we fight daily to live closer to the light is a spiritual one, not just a human one. I viscerally knew at that moment that God had my back and that His angels were with me. I needed that spiritual reminder. You don’t need to see the feather to please, please, be reminded that our Abba always has our backs. In your worst moments of fear, don’t forget He is with you, through Yeshua and His ministering angels. Next time I will work even harder to turn the problem over to Him and to my prayer community even sooner, even before a white feather may or may not appear!

If you are unsure of a next step and can’t tell if it’s from God or not, think about the emotions the decision is generating – are you being encouraged to trust God more by what you are about to do? Will you be acting out of fear or positivity by the decision? By your next step, will you feel you are closer to Him, to relying on Him, or are you just convincing yourself of how you think the situation should be handled?

Spiritual warfare is real. There are forces of good and evil in this universe that influence our choices. Our decisions, our words, our actions either toward the light or away from it provide the fuel for the warfare. When we allow fear and negativity to influence our words and actions, we allow the evil one to make a strike at our vulnerability which inevitably resolves for the good thanks to HaShem, but sometimes by a tortuous path as the evil one twists our hearts, bodies, and souls with his evil ways. A mother’s fear for the safety of her child, no matter what age, is an easy target. All the more reason to be vigilant with prayer and community support.

Stay positive. Stay loving. Fight fear – if you look deeply at its cause, it will always be from a source of insecurity. Stay in community – only by surrounding myself with good counsel during my time of weakness was the right decision made. Surround yourself with and be a prayer warrior – prayer is the most powerful weapon we have against the dark forces at work to bring us down. When our own prayers are joined with others, the evil one doesn’t have a chance!

Shabbat shalom.
Diane

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