Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: Whom resist stedfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world. -I Peter 5:8, 9 (KJV)
During the course of any day we will face all sorts of challenges to our faith and patience. I was reminded of this yesterday when I went to the store to purchase a number of items needed to celebrate my wife’s birthday. We keep it simple in our home; the birthday person gets to choose his or her birthday meal which is followed with a cookie cake and ice cream. I added to the menu a cheesecake, which Andrea loves, and to prepare this added dessert I had to find a pre-made graham cracker pie crust. After wandering around the store without finding this critical item, I was forced to ask someone where it could be found. The only employee in sight looked to be around 17 and I inquired of him where I might find the pie crust. “Uh, those would be with the cake mixes,” he replied. He relayed this with a slight rolling of the eyes and a look (and tone of voice) which implied, “What kind of an idiot are you, anyway?”
I let that go and continued on. When I got to the check-out it was discovered that my cookie cake did not have a sticker with the bar code on it. The cashier then had to go to the bakery section and obtain the needed codes. However, she was in no hurry whatsoever and proceeded to mosey after the needed information as a line of impatient customers formed behind me. After what seemed like an extremely long while she moseyed back and finished scanning my purchases. By the grace of God I kept my good humor, maintained a positive disposition, and left the store still smiling at those around me. To God be the glory.
The Scripture reminds us that our adversary, the devil, walks about like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. He will come at us from any possible angle, and if he can gain a foothold he will try to bring us down. Often when we lose our tempers it is the result of a series of frustrations rather than one major incident. These circumstances will be exploited against us as the devil seeks to rob of our joy, peace, and Christian witness.
Stand firm, trust the Lord daily, and resist the temptation to explode at people around us. Let us do as Jesus commanded and turn the other cheek, love one another, and consider others over ourselves. When we humble ourselves the Lord will lift us up at the proper time. Until then, walk in grace and with the mind of Christ. Let His light shine from us.