Are You Living Exposed?

by Dr. Susan B. Mead in Leading Hearts magazine

YES, EXPOSED. EMBARRASSED. EXTREMELY VULNERABLE. Has something happened, shattering the world around you, shaming you as your life is exposed for all to see? Do you feel humiliation as others freely comment on your misfortune, both publicly and privately?

Yeah, me too. I lost a son to drugs and alcohol. I did not lose him in a way that others would call honorable — serving his country — or in a way that others would say was unpreventable — to some horrid disease. Yet I lost him, and I know what it feels like to grieve over a lost child.

I was heartbroken and ashamed. Rearing children to adulthood, addiction-free, and having them proclaim Jesus as Lord defined successful mothering to me. And I’d failed. Miserably. I felt exposed. Why?

At the funeral of a former employer’s son, I heard the most callous comment: “No big loss; he was a druggie anyway.” That statement is forever etched into my soul. Had someone said that about my son, too?

A man’s son, a mom’s babe — regardless of the age — are children of the Most High. “How many have been lost, Lord?” I wonder. Drugs and alcohol either taint or claim the lives of our children far too often today.

I learned something through my grief, however. It became clear that we must all be aware of the culprit who comes to steal, kill and destroy. His name is evil, pure evil. He sneaks in, often unbeknownst, in so many insidious ways. He wants to have his way in my life, loves, home and heart — and in yours, too!

Sneaky little creep leaps in at every opportunity pushes through every open door and weasels in when I unwittingly lower my guard. He knows how to take my eyes off of God’s way, bit by tiny bit. When does he do this? Most often when I’m busy, tired and distracted.

Yet, after the death of my son, the Bible came to life as I read Ephesians 6:10–20 about the full armor of God. Have you noticed the list of adversaries God details in those verses?

• Rulers

• Authorities

• Principalities and powers

• Evil — spiritual forces of evil

The first letters popped out of the Bible like popcorn. R A P E leapt off the page.

I heard a whisper deep in my soul, “That is what I’m protecting you from every single moment: spiritual rape.”

I gasped aloud. Did you gasp too? As this statement takes your breath away, does your heart also break as you think of the threat of spiritual rape?

Reality dawned on me. From time to time, I lower the shield of faith, lay down the sword of the Spirit, and leave the breastplate of righteousness packed away in the Bible, unread and unused. If your Bible also remains unread on the nightstand more often than you care to say, could this be you too?

How vulnerable and exposed I am on the days I jump out of bed and into my day without stepping into the Word of God to get “dressed” for the day. God’s Word clothes us in power. It is our shield and our armor.

“Lord, what do I do now?” I prayed. The Lord whispered, “Don’t go through life naked.” “It’s a deal!” I replied.

Adapted from Don’t Go Through Life Naked. Get your copy at Barnes and Noble, on Amazon or susanbmead.com.

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