“Karen, please pray for me. I’m in a real battle.”
The voice on the phone belonged to my sister-in-law. Amy and I married into the Friday family. We’re both from small neighboring towns in the southwest Virginia mountains. There’s other common ground.
Ministering side by side for the past eight years on the ladies leadership team at church. We’ve facilitated Bible studies together, community and global mission projects, and women’s events. Countless conversations about family and life filled our friendship calendar over the years.
And we’ve discussed God and battles. How to fight spiritual battles. How to recognize the enemy’s schemes. What to do when the forces of darkness come against us. Reminding each other that God’s Word admonishes His people to stand firm, to not back down or turn back.
Amy’s encouraged me and others with scriptural truths. Truths hidden in the recesses of our minds and tucked away in our soul. Promises we could hold on to during spiritual war time. As collective voices, we cried out to God to fight our battles.
But. Now. There’s. This. Blindsided by an unfamiliar foe. Amy’s life changed in a single day. A trip to the emergency room revealed ovarian cancer. Four days later she underwent major surgery. Then months of chemotherapy treatments.
Amy lunged into a battle—for health, life, and hope. Attacked from every side. The unknown. Fear. Despair. Each threatened her faith and robbed her joy.
Steady Until Sunset
Last month, Amy and I joined a friend for lunch. Not just any friend. Elaine served with us in women’s ministry. A fellow comrade who helped hash out the battle plans for seasons such as this. The three of us committed to meet twice a month for encouragement, prayer, and overcoming the enemy’s attacks—in Jesus name.
As God’s warriors, we’ve chosen a well-executed battle plan to follow. One laid out in the Bible. The Israelites were attacked by the warriors of Amalek.
Moses commanded Joshua, “Choose some men to go out and fight the army of Amalek for us. Tomorrow, I will stand at the top of the hill, holding the staff of God in my hand.” So Joshua did what Moses had commanded and fought the army of Amalek. Meanwhile, Moses, Aaron, and Hur climbed to the top of a nearby hill. As long as Moses held up the staff in his hand, the Israelites had the advantage. But whenever he dropped his hand, the Amalekites gained the advantage. Moses’ arms soon became so tired he could no longer hold them up. So Aaron and Hur found a stone for him to sit on. Then they stood on each side of Moses, holding up his hands. So his hands held steady until sunset. As a result, Joshua overwhelmed the army of Amalek in battle (Exodus 17:9-13, NLT).
The battle plan:
- Weary waiting to gain the advantage? We’ll place a stone under you so you can sit down for a soulful rest.
- Have your arms grown tired? We’ll stand by your side holding them steady until you overcome with the sword (the Word of God).
- Are you at wit’s end? It’s not the end. God’s the beginning and the end. Hold on to God as we hold on to you.
A Permanent Reminder
After the victory, the Lord instructed Moses, “Write this down on a scroll as a permanent reminder, and read it aloud to Joshua: I will erase the memory of Amalek from under heaven.” Moses built an altar there and named it Yahweh-Nissi (which means “the Lord is my banner”). (Exodus 17:14-15, NLT.)
When we’re overwhelmed in the battle, God overwhelms the enemy bringing us the victory. Places of illness, fear, despair, and discouragement are marked with God’s stamp. His banner flies over common ground as a reminder, You conquer in my name.
*Amy is doing well. We rejoice that the last several scans were cancer free. Continue to pray for her victory. Physically in complete healing and emotionally over the enemy’s attacks. Hold her arms up in prayer.
© 2016 by Karen Friday, All rights reserved
March 10, 2016 at 10:11 am | Uncategorized