“I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.” Philippians 4:12-13
In the e-mail devotion I received today on this passage, the writer spoke of how summer had sped by, and the many projects she had planned were coming to naught. Boy could I relate. But she points us to remember that if we need to turn to God when the distractions get in the way of our everyday course of life, and even more so when the distractions crop up in our Christian walk. She points us to the cause of the distraction when she writes, “It seems there are many obstacles standing between us and a stronger faith. Satan has many tools to tear us from a closer walk with God.” I tend not to think too much about Satan being behind some of the little things that seem to get in the way on an almost daily basis, take this column for instance. But perhaps I need to.
We in the CD community should be constantly aware of Satan though. After all, we are constantly reminded, either to our face if we choose to live openly, or by the messages sent by society at large. Our urge to dress is nothing more than a temptation put before us by Satan as a part of his devious plan to keep God away from us, and us from God. It should be also noted this is also what our brothers and sisters in the Gay and Lesbian communities hear. It is what women and blacks heard in the past, it is what lepers and tax collectors heard in Jesus’ day. You are not one of us, you are not one of the Chosen, and God wants nothing to do with you because you are unclean, foreign, sub human. The truly sad part of this is most of us at some point in our lives have opted to believe that the “chosen” are correct in deciding who is fit for the kingdom and who is not.
One very common response is to hide that part of ourselves from others. We separate the gender ambiguous part of ourselves from church and ultimately God. The other common response is to reject a God who would deem us as unacceptable and to walk away from relationship with Him on any level. In either case, Satan has won. In the former sense it is certainly subtle, but by withholding part of ourselves, perhaps even convincing ourselves that we are hiding it from God, we prevent allowing that full relationship that God desires to have with us from coming to fruition. We never allow for the idea that perhaps it is the very gift that we hide is the gift God intends us to use the most. Where God is rejected outright, the party in hell begins, and while we may not even realize that is what has happened, Satan doesn’t care. One more soul prevented from realizing the relationship that God wants for all His creation, but that Satan was too jealous to share.
We tend always to think of distractions that loom up directly in our view, the roadblocks to our best laid plans. And we can usually strategize a mechanism for coping with the obvious. But it is the subtle distractions that tear us down; fear, self hatred, lack of confidence or lack of faith. It is an unwillingness to accept ourselves as a special creation of the Most High God. It happens to those outside our special little community, I suspect even amongst the “chosen” at times. The answer to this little, subtle distractions that Satan throws in our path, I think lie in the last verse of this passage from Philippians. “I can do all things through Him that strengthens me.” We must put our trust in a Loving, accepting, welcoming, and non-judgmental Christ, God Manifest. Then the distractions in the way of our relationship with God will melt away in the face of our strongest advocate to Him. Jesus Christ.
I pray that each of us, all God’s Children, no matter where we are on the journey, remember that when a distraction comes up, anything that will prevent us from experiencing a fuller and richer relationship with God, we look to our side, to see who walks with us. We give thanks to you God for the sacrifice in love poured out for us by your Son Jesus Christ.
Vanessa here – thanks Vicki for you inspiration, and thank you to all the ladies who submitted a local transgender support group. The list of transgender support groups contains more than 100 local groups from ten countries! If you don’t see your group, or your favorite group there, please submit it!