Have you ever seen Mirror Mirror, the snow white movie with Julia Roberts? At the end, we are introduced to the previously unseen serpent who slithers through the woods terrorizing the passersby. He is shifty and horrifying, with a long tail to catch them off guard from behind.
Some days it feels like Satan enters our home like this creature, quickly stinging each of us before we have a chance to defend ourselves or fight back.
One of those days recently got me to pondering about Satan and how he is described as our “enemy the devil [who] prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.” (1 Pet. 5:8) I thought about why Satan especially seems to pick on vulnerable people and families such as ours and others I am particularly praying for these days. As I thought about lions, I realized that we rarely see a picture of a lion running or even fighting. They are usually seen lounging and licking their chops. In my opinion, that seems a little lazy for an animal who has claimed the title, “King of the Beasts.”
So I did a little Googling.
I found out a lion actually is somewhat lazy. For his prey, the male prefers to scavenge rather than fight. He gets more than half of his food by watching for circling vultures and then eating what has already been killed by hyenas and other beasts. Being at the top of the food chain, he often lets other animals do the hard work of the kill, and then he comes in and roars ferociously to scare the others away so he can have the first pick of the meat.
Now the verse in which the “thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy” (Jn 10:10) makes much more sense.
When lions do hunt, they don’t have the stamina of other big cats, so they target the more defenseless of the group (smaller or injured or alone). They lie in wait and hide, and often in the dark of night. Doesn’t that sound just like Satan? If you have ever felt like you have been attacked by Satan, you would probably agree that he targets us when we are most vulnerable.
Consider Psalm 10 about the “wicked man”:
His mouth is full of lies and threats;
trouble and evil are under his tongue.
He lies in wait near the villages;
from ambush he murders the innocent.
His eyes watch in secret for his victims;
like a lion in cover he lies in wait.
He lies in wait to catch the helpless;
he catches the helpless and drags them off in his net.
His victims are crushed, they collapse;
they fall under his strength.
He says to himself, “God will never notice;
he covers his face and never sees.” (10:7-11)
Among the many families who are particularly vulnerable to the lion’s attacks are adoptive families. It may seem from the outside like we are healthy and secure, that everything is running smoothly. And for the most part we are doing fine, trying our best to implement our Empowered to Connect skills (parenting kids from “hard places”), and thankful for God’s grace as we try and fail and try again.
But as they say, “there is no adoption without loss.” Some kids have a few, others have many traumas. But there is always loss. And they are particularly vulnerable to Satan who preys on the lost, alone, and frightened. Satan whispers to them that they will always be lost, alone, and should fear rather than trust anyone.
God does not agree with Satan’s lies, though. In fact, just the opposite–the fatherless are at the center of His heart. Continue reading Psalm 10:
Arise, Lord! Lift up your hand, O God.
Do not forget the helpless.
Why does the wicked man revile God?
Why does he say to himself,
“He won’t call me to account”?
But you, God, see the trouble of the afflicted;
you consider their grief and take it in hand.
The victims commit themselves to you;
you are the helper of the fatherless.
Break the arm of the wicked man;
call the evildoer to account for his wickedness
that would not otherwise be found out.
The Lord is King for ever and ever;
the nations will perish from his land.
You, Lord, hear the desire of the afflicted;
you encourage them, and you listen to their cry,
defending the fatherless and the oppressed,
so that mere earthly mortals
will never again strike terror. (10:12-18)
God so cares for the vulnerable that He has chosen to define himself as the “helper of the fatherless” and the “father to the fatherless.” And in the middle of a chapter in Isaiah about all the wrong things his people are doing, he calls them to true worship:
Learn to do right; seek justice.
Defend the oppressed.
Take up the cause of the fatherless;
plead the case of the widow. (Isa 1:17)
There are so many ways that we, His people, can do justice and help the vulnerable. But my plea to you today is to pray for us.
Pray against the lion, so that we will not become his Prey.
We NEED you. Yes, we need toilet paper and milk and meals on occasion. Those things are so helpful and kind and such a blessing. But if you don’t feel you can do that, remember you can always PRAY. Not just for our family, but for any family that God brings to your minds. I have a couple families written down on a notecard in my Bible so I can remember them daily.
When the people of God pray in the Name of Jesus, Satan has to stand down. Pray with the authority of being an heir with Christ. That power is undeniable, even by Satan. And in doing so, you will put up a fortress of protection around our home that we desperately need.
Look at the hope we can have when we take refuge in Him:
For he will command his angels concerning you
to guard you in all your ways;
they will lift you up in their hands,
so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.
You will tread on the lion and the cobra;
you will trample the great lion and the serpent.
“Because he loves me,” says the Lord, “I will rescue him;
I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name.
He will call on me, and I will answer him;
I will be with him in trouble,
I will deliver him and honor him.
With long life I will satisfy him
and show him my salvation.” (Ps 91:11-16)
God promises to rescue us when we call on Him. But we need you, our extended family, to call on Him on our behalf as well.
Thank you for praying for us. There is strength in numbers and power in prayer, and we no longer want to be the lion’s prey.