It. Has. Been. A. Week.
We made it through, but let me tell you, my Mama Superhero Cape is torn and tattered.
Mama’s, can I get an Amen? Worth it, but not easy.
So in the midst of wearing thin that said cape, God with His unfailing love and endless grace, reached in a gave me a precious moment of hope. I received an email from my son’s English teacher giving me the great news that his speech had been selected as a finalist in the competition. The prompt?
What Bible verse helps you understand God and your view of Him, as well as your relationships with others.
He’s this super independent kind of kid. Since about the 3rd grade he decided he didn’t want any help on any homework at all anymore. Science projects, reports, or research papers. Only in moments like needing cash for the project, would he reluctantly allow my involvement. He’s always had a strong sense of wanting to earn everything through his own hard work. A trait to be admired, but sometimes a challenge to convince him there are times and places to ask for help.
Once again, this project was the same. I didn’t know the scripture he’d picked nor any detail about his speech until almost the night before when I insisted on his practicing it for me!
But friends, Moments of Hope make all the difference and in the middle of this ain’t-so-easy kind of week, that speech that came from the depths of his heart, was one that gave this Mama big HOPE! And I pray it gives you hope, too. In our tomorrows. In our youth that sometimes seem as though they have gone astray? In a God who gently takes our capes aside and gives us rest.
I’m so thankful this sweet boy gave me permission to share his 14-year-old heart behind the Armor of God here.
The Armor of God by Zachary Schumaker
There are soldiers tall and small. Strong mentally and physically, athletic and in shape. But all of these traits will be destroyed in just a shot of one bullet.
What if I was to say that these bullets could be avoided, or an arrow dodged? Or how about the ability to take that bullet and not be affected?
Well, this dream-like design is actually a reality for more people than you may think. Many think of armor as this protection for those in war, but most don’t understand that war involves us all.
Everyone is fighting this spiritual battle. We live this life in the belief of safety and an easy lifestyle, but really we’ve been knocked down to our end. Where can our protection be found? Truthfully it’s right in front of us, an armor waiting to be put on, and God is calling you for action.
Paul speaks in Ephesians 6: 10-18 about putting on the entire armor of God, so that you can live a life, full of the blessings and pathways that God has intentionally designed for us. God’s armor outweighs the power of any protection, because impact occurs within our understanding of God, relationships and the view of this world.
Since the beginning God was good, God was King. Then some faded, others became stronger and some were born within the kingdom of God. On March 6, 2002 I was born with this mighty, powerful God feeling. I grew older, challenges became more surreal and He became a mystery. I started to question His existence. If He’s really by my side, or if He cares for me. Pondering occurred and remembrance of some armor took place. I believed I was guarded, but reality came through and the lifestyle displayed wasn’t of His child.
I prayed hard and truly found what His armor meant. God showed more of His power through unthinkable ways. Wins became noticeable even of the battles that seemed unwinnable. Once I lived from His word, battles became David and Goliath like wins. My view of God became stronger and passionate, until I finally took a grasp of Him and became His child.
Bullets are fired, bombs are dropped, swords are drawn and arrows are launched. War started and men are dying until some realize they’re saved. I started my journey with God realizing relationship is war and we battle fiery arrows of the devil. Survival only occurs when we wear the belt of truth, breastplate of righteousness, shoes to preach the gospel, shield of faith, helmet of salvation, and the sword of the spirit.
The devil fires arrows of temptation to direct us on the wrong path. My battlefield happened with a friend I trusted the most and who guided me through my faith. The closer we became, the effects of the devil came into play right away. Struggles occurred so I had to put on His armor every morning.
My helmet got rid of false thoughts, my shield blocked arrows of sin in our relationship and my breastplate guarded my heart of false feelings. Our relationship strengthened with continued growth. Issues aren’t demolished, but in the end you come out stronger. The devil tries to destroy friendships because of their power, but God’s armor will protect us and keep the truth visible.
Phones vibrate, news updates are given, social media is active, TV’s are on, and the face of terror and distress are present. Every place you walk the feelings of suffocation are alive giving us the belief that Jesus is coming. You wonder why you’re still living, why has God done this, why He left, or why there is sin. These leave blaming faults of Adam and Eve.
I’ve faced let-downs, lies, and betrayal, but my anger toward God and hatred towards the world comes from sights of my sister. My family decided to adopt from Bulgaria which involved major issues with the agency. God gave us a five-year-old girl. Let’s pause and think why did God pick her? We got to the hotel and gave her a bath. As we undressed her, bruises continued throughout her body. These weren’t everyday bruises, these were injuries from being beaten. Selah was so thin, every bone was visible. Picture pure mud, that was the color of the water. The image will never leave my mind. It reminded me of a horror movie, yet I wasn’t even the one living it. My eight-year-old mind was filled with anger, confusion and fear and I blamed God. How could a God so powerful allow this world to commit this?
I had to find peace and the only option came from that same powerful God. I learned of war and we will be knocked down, but a protection in God allows comfort. I had to show my Selah who God is. I never thought it would take this long, yet I’m still preaching. Her experience will never be forgotten, but it can be forgiven.
Paul talks about the importance of spreading God’s peace to all, our breastplate will guard our hearts and our mind will be comforted by His power. This world has anger and sin and we continue it with these excuses of how bad our life is when it’s God’s life. We need to pick up our armor and forgive the world.
Step by step, dodged bullet by dodged bullet, there’s a similarity there. There’s a point to war and there’s a point to Heaven. Sometimes we get to the right place with God and we point that gun and knock out the enemy. You start to win that war and then you start to win another. Then you realize your walk with God is guiding you to heaven.
Our armor of God needs to be on because the devil hates God’s followers. Every day arrows come in hotter and weapons are more dangerous. Every step taken takes us closer to the most loving God. He’s got us no matter what. We need to remain firm in God’s Word even when war becomes deadly. No matter the temptation, lie, struggle, or loss, the armor will guide you.
Now for #MomentsofHope! Last week was another T-O-U-G-H week to choose just one feature post. I just want you to know how blessed I am by the words of HOPE you share here. Your words matter. Big!
A dear blogging friend, Valerie Murray of Cordof6, shared a beautiful hope-filled post. I loved how her words so closely tied in with what my son shared in his speech. In her post, Break Free From the Prison of Discouragement, she encourages us to have hope in the freedom of a joy-filled life. And she encourages us to fight for that freedom! Just as Zachary told us about the armor of God we must place upon ourselves every day, Valerie gives us tools with which to fight. She says,
“When you are weary, don’t take action until you pray, evaluate and remember your mission. And then come before the Lord as you lay aside your burden and rest.”
Want an extra treat? She has printables to go along with the post! Would you stop by and give her some extra love?
Moments of Hope Details
My heart is to build a community of hope here at Searching for Moments. Because, for me, hope is what this is really all about. Hope to know the most difficult of times will not defeat us, but instead, with Jesus we will rise victoriously on the other side of them.
I pray God makes this a place where we point to Him. His hope. Where we stop to rest for a moment and let Him fill the gaps in our souls.
Each week, I will share a quick personal moment of hope that gives a little peek into my day-to-day life. I will also feature a #MomentsofHope post that seems to most resonate with me that particular week.
The link-up will typically go live at midnight each Monday.
What I ask of you:
1. Share only one URL (to a blog post, not the actual blog) that resonates with the topic of HOPE. Anything that gives us hope for tomorrow. Hope for victory. The little things and the big. Anything that inspires us to lean into Jesus and let Him carry us through.
2. Important: If you don’t have a blog post or podcast that resonates with HOPE, join in other ways as you pray and encourage others with a comment or a prayer.
3. Leave a comment on the link just before yours. Would you love on them well? Encourage them in their efforts to share the hope of Jesus. If you have time, stop by more than one sweet writer’s little corner of the blog world!
4. Of course, I would love it if you would follow me via my blog and/or social media channels, but this is by no means mandatory! If you want updates to blog posts and for when the link-up goes live, make sure to subscribe!
5. If this gives you hope, would you consider sharing it with others to give them hope, too?
6. Please either grab my button or link back to me to encourage new linkers.