“By the anxieties and worries of this life Satan tries to dull man’s heart and make a dwelling for himself there.” – St. Francis of Assisi
This quote goes right back to two posts ago when I talked about how Satan and God are fighting in the battlefield of our hearts. Here we see the plan Satan has in the fight for our hearts. He tries to weasel his way in by amplifying all of our anxieties, worries, frustrations, and anything else of the sort. Think about it. What is it that we hear about most often on the news? The bad things. What do we always think about when people ask how we are? The bad things. We so often lose track of what is good in our lives and the amazing things God has planned for us.
In my life I have found that Satan’s plan for the battle have succeeded more times that I wish it would have. For those who follow, this is repetitive a bit but maybe approached in a different way. My senior in college was perhaps the hardest year of my life. Classes were becoming more intense. Schoolwork more difficult and time-consuming. Keeping involved with all the campus ministry activities harder to keep up with. Time with friends just not happening as it was.
All this and more were weighing down on me. The worries and frustrations that I had just took up my whole life. With all that, my health was all over the place. Professors wanted me to be a student first but without taking care of myself, how could I do that? I went to one of the school counselors to see what they could tell me. I had friends helping me through my classes. I spent countless times crying out the frustrations on the shoulders of friends. My heart was dulling and I was becoming very discouraged. I could not see it during those moments, but now looking back I can see that something not good was settling into my heart. Things just became a chore and I could tell I was losing heart. Talk about driving oneself crazy, I was skimping by on being able to graduate. The anxieties set in like crazy as I fought to bring my grades back up. In the end of it I was able to bring things together enough to graduate!
Throughout all that there were bits of light from my friends and my faith, even when I seemed distant from my friends and my faith was wavering. Some may not see it this way but I see it as this is part of what was going on. Satan took a hold of me in those dark difficult times. My heart dulled and things seemed everything having to do with hopeless. It is amazing how all the different things in life bog us down. Now I see what was going on in me a bit better and can more fully understand what to do when all the pressures push down. I don’t have the added stress of school but instead a job to worry about. I am not involved in extra clubs and things (boring…yes). My friends are hundreds of miles away from me. No matter where I will be in life, there are going to be anxieties, worries and such things that Satan could feed on to settle in my heart. I can not allow that to consume me and bring me to places I have been. When my heart is dulling I must remember to turn to God and those I trust in order to renew myself again.
Satan is everywhere in the world but God is as well. Don’t be overcome with everything in life. Sure, all those things that will trouble you and drive you crazy will be there but it is how you handle it that makes the hugest difference in life. I let it all get a hold of me instead of giving it back to God and turning to my friends at first sign of losing sight of the good. Hold onto God and keep Him the only one that is dwelling in your heart. It will be hard, but it can be done. Currently, as I await to know what I could be doing next in life, I keep praying that God stays in my heart and I hear is call each and every day. Will you keep God in your heart and not be overcome with Satan?