As Iron Sharpens Iron

Posted: April 28, 2010 in Spiritual Warfare, The Real Me
Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Okay, Mattie.  This is for you.

You know how some people are talkers, and some people are writers?  (I don’t know about the other people who do neither — I don’t think I know any, at least not of the female variety!)  Well, I’m both.  I’m a talker when it comes to helping you talk through your problems, or theological issues, or other people’s mistakes, or the weather, or my pet peeves, or how David and I are so quirkishly different.  I can talk all day about anything not personally personal.  Meaning — I can talk about your personal stuff, or someone else’s personal stuff if we’re feeling gossipy, but not about my personal stuff.  Not the deeply personal stuff.  It’s just awkward.  I feel like you’re looking at my bare soul, and frankly, my soul is modest and slightly insecure.

It doesn’t make for the best accountability partner, but her intentions are good.  She wants you to know, but she can’t have you looking at her while she tells you — it hurts a little.  (Is it possible to be electronic pen-pals?  Utilize live chat?  Or the Pony Express in the wild, wild West?)  When you ask her how things are really going, and she looks away and gives some quick, ridiculous answer, she’s not shutting you out.  She just doesn’t want to be looked at while she talks about it, and she can’t come up with the words to explain it anyway unless she has paper.

So how am I?  How’s my “sadness,” as I had termed it?  Currently: Better-managed than it was previously.

I have fairly confidently determined that it’s spiritual warfare, a byproduct of which has been depression.  Completely unable to discredit the negative voices I keep hearing, I fell into despair.  I kept screaming for Jesus, but I wasn’t letting Him come fight the battle for me because I was so afraid that maybe I’m not His.  (He’s not going to fight for someone who’s not His, you know.)  So, with fear and trembling, I’ve been wrestling with God over my salvation on the one hand, and trying to shut the devil’s damned mouth with the other.  It’s been so exhausting and defeating that I just had no energy or motivation for anything else in life — what else matters anyway?

Providentially, our reading plan has been all about Saul and David.  Oh Saul!  God sent demons to torture him — that’s how I feel!  (Don’t even get onto me for blaming the demons on God; He created them and controls them, and the Bible says that the Lord sent evil spirits to Saul.)  Saul kept having these torturous experiences, and the overwhelming propaganda led him into constant fear.  But then, every now and then, he’d have a beautiful moment of clarity with God.  Yes!  Yes!  God is with you, Saul!  He’s real!

And — back to torture and silence from the heavens.  I get Saul.

Oh, and I get David!  I could go on and on about how altogether heartbreaking and encouraging his Psalms have been to me!

(April 18)

Ps 27:7-14
“Hear, O LORD, when I cry with my voice, and be gracious to me and answer me.  When You said, ‘Seek My face,’ my heart said to You, ‘Your face, O LORD, I shall seek.’  Do not hide Your face from me, do not turn Your servant away in anger; You have been my help; do not abandon me nor forsake me, O God of my salvation!  For my father and my mother have forsaken me, but the LORD will take me up.  Teach me Your way, O LORD, and lead me in a level path, because of my foes.  Do not deliver me to the desire of my adversaries; For false witnesses have risen against me, and such as breathe out violence.  I would have despaired unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the LORD; be strong, and let your heart take courage; yes, wait for the LORD.”

Ps 31:7
“I will rejoice and be glad in Your lovingkindness, because You have seen my affliction; You have known the troubles of my soul.”

Ps 31:18
“Let the lying lips be dumb, which speak arrogantly against the righteous with pride and contempt.”

I am finding great encouragement in David’s psalms.  While he was under physical peril, I feel I’m the target of spiritual warfare.  It’s my plea that vv. 19-20 would become real in my heart.  He is my strong tower.

That’s just one example; I have day after day after day of such entries in my journal.  God is working on me.  I’m not quite certifiable — I’m just wrestling with God.  I’m finding it desperately hard to turn my back to my pursuers and stop trying to fight them back myself — it feels like they’ll consume me.  But I know that I know that God is my Savior.  I don’t always feel Him, and I don’t always feel happy, but I know He’s there.  I know He loves me.  I see rare, precious glimpses of His putting a pierced hand gently behind my head, stooping to look kindly into my eyes.  He loves me.  He fights with me sometimes, and He hurts me sometimes, but He loves me.


Right.  Oh, how He loves you.


  1. Stacey says:

    Wow…just saw a blurb on twitter and God sent me here. I just read this post and thought…wow…I could’ve written this…this sounds just like me…and my struggles. Thanks for sharing. You’ve touched my heart today and God encourages us even through twitter and blogs 🙂

  2. mattie hopper says:

    oh how He does love you and me! thank you for being a REAL friend and sharing vulnerably. wrestling isn’t always bad. i’m continuing to pray for/with you, and i’m personally challenged and encouraged by your race and perseverance.

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