Where does Satan want you to be today?
The devil knows just where to corner you. For me, it’s being in a state of tired.
I’ve struggled with going to bed early from a very young age. I busy myself with homework, to-do lists, and extracurriculars, and then stay up late to either finish those things or “rest” from them, which has turned into a lasting habit.
So I stay awake ’til midnight scrolling Instagram or watching Netflix. Not too bad, right? But when 12 turns into 1, then 2, then on rare a occasion, 3am, I’m just drawing a big ol’ target on my chest.
When I’m tired — that’s when Satan gets me and gives me a juicy, soul-sucking dementor’s kiss.
Late at night, it’s so much harder to get myself to stop strolling or watching “just one more episode.” Then the next day? Oh, honey. I go from feeling groggy… to doubting my skills and abilities… to falling into a pit of downright despair. This is an exhaustion that no cup of coffee can fix. This is when the devil swoops in and scoops me up for a joy ride.
Often times, I beat myself up over my weaknesses. But while Satan is plotting his next move to make me unravel, God’s moving too. And the best part is… He uses the same weak spots! Who doesn’t love a good and resourceful God, honey!?
Let me give you an example of this.
Last Sunday, I told myself I’d go to church. I’d been putting it off since I take a class on Sunday mornings, but late night mass was starting up again after the holiday season. Problem is, I have to walk there, and it gets SO dark and SO cold. So… I usually end up talking myself out of going.
That’s what was happening this particular night.
I was mid-marathon of Cobra Kai on Netflix, and as another giant red N and accompanying “dun dun” sound FX signaled a new episode starting, I thought, “Okay, if I leave now, I can even make it in time for confession before mass.” But my body did not want to move.
Then, I kid you not, the very first scene in the next episode opened with a pastor in church saying, “Forgive me Father, for I have sinned. This is where we go when we think about forgiveness.”
I had to hit pause and laugh. God’s funny, too!
I wish I could say I bundled up and hopped right over to church after that, but I didn’t. Ultimately, I decided to stay in, and I was beating myself up about it the rest of the night.
But here’s where God stepped in again.
As I continued the episode, the pastor kept talking, “But what about forgiveness in other forms? Forgiveness of others. And then there’s my personal favorite, forgiveness of thyself. This is probably our toughest battle. But listen, if God can forgive, then so can you.”1
Wow. I had to karate slap my face just to snap back to reality.
God used the thing I was feeling guilty about and turned it into a reminder of His love for me.
As small as this example is, I know He works like this in your lives too. You just have to be willing to see it, and acknowledge that it’s Him. He’s always going to be there. Even when you’re strapped in tight in the devil’s passenger seat. Even when…
You feel locked into your sinful habits.
You feel trapped in a toxic or stagnant relationship.
You’ve fallen into another bad mood and lash out at the ones trying to help.
You’re drowning in too many responsibilities.
You’re drowning in lack of motivation.
You’re suffocating from regret.
You’re angry at God for taking something — or someone — away from you.
You’re at your lowest.
Especially when you’re at your lowest.
He’s already there, waiting for you to open the door and step out of the car. I’m tired as I sit here writing this. Am I going to go to sleep early tonight? Probably not. Habits are hard to break. But, I can keep trying. And I know when I do fall for another one of Satan's slick tricks, God will always give me a safe way out. I’ll always have a ride back home.
Cobra Kai, Season 3, Episode 3 “Now You’re Gonna Pay,” written by Robert Mark Kamen, Josh Heald, & Jon Hurwitz, copyright Netflix.