Dear Friends, Over 28 years ago I read the allegory Lane refers to below . I can tell you, it changed my life. Lane’s words encourages me once again to take up the Sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God. Sara
Defense by Lane Williams Yoder
“Then Resentment would raise his head over another rock…he stared at her [Much-Afraid] boldly and shouted, ‘Who is this Shepherd you follow?’…Bitterness would then break in with his sneering voice…Self-pity would chime in next…he talked so softly and in such a pitying tone that Much-Afraid would feel weak all over.”
-From Hinds’ Feet on High Places, by Hannah Hurnard
Just like Much-Afraid from this classic Christian allegory, I was often visited by resentment, bitterness and self-pity while walking in singleness. Self-pity was my “favorite” because, even though self-pity is nothing but a downward spiral, it sometimes would feel good to just wallow in it like a pig wallows in filth. Self-pity is the voice that says, “No one is ever going to love you enough to want to marry you. You will never be worthy of marriage.”
I believed those words until I shared them with a dear friend who boldly asked me, “Who is telling you that?!” My friend explained that if what I hear starts with “you” and not “I”, then it is the voice of the Great Accuser and not the voice of our beloved Father in Heaven. God does not accuse. He redeems. God is not a God of self-pity or bitterness, but a God of eternal and boundless goodness, kindness, grace, mercy, understanding, compassion, tenderness and love. His voice doesn’t say, “You are not worthy of love.” His voice says that while we were sinners, Christ died for us and that proves His love for us (Romans 5:8).
“When she [Much-Afraid] thought of this [Self-Pity’s last remark], to Self-Pity’s dismayed astonishment, Much-Afraid actually picked up a piece of rock and hurled it at him, and as he said afterwards to the other[s], ‘If I hadn’t ducked and bolted like a hare, it could have laid me out altogether.”
I learned to distinguish between the voice of the enemy and the voice of my Father and to recognize the fiery darts Satan would try to shoot at the place where I was weak – my singleness. I learned to call on my great Defender in those times and to not listen to the deceiving voice (James 4:7b – “Resist the devil and he will flee from you”). I would grab my one weapon of defense, “the sword of the Spirit which is the word of God” (Ephesians 6:17b). Like Much-Afraid threw the rock at Self-Pity, I would picture myself kicking self-pity off the edge of the mountain while shouting, “There is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus” (Romans 8:1).
Survival Guide Top Tip: be prepared and ready to defend yourself against the enemy.