Marauding Bands

Marauding Bands . . . Sounds like a party right? It’s a party alright but not one I’d like to attend.

It’s been a rough week for me – one where the introvert in me is screaming for quiet.  With news of evil coming at me via my Facebook feed, news apps, local newspapers, I have wanted to run and hide.  And I have, sort of.  I took myself off Facebook for a couple of days to silent some of the noise.  Didn’t work – I found myself looking at Twitter more.  Why? Because something inside me craves connection with people (yes, for an introvert, that’s scary). However, staying away from these things hasn’t changed the way I feel – so what is it?  Why do I feel so “unjoyful”?

I’ve said this before – and I’m going to say it again –  I LOVE GOD’S WORD!!!!!!!!!!!

I’ve often found that during times like this week, when I read His Word – that’s when He speaks the loudest and this morning was no different.

I’ve been reading, during my coffee with Jesus time, from the Every Day with Jesus Bible (A One-Year Reading Bible). It’s the Holman Christian Standard Bible with Devotions by Selwyn Hughes written in a way that you can read a section from the Old Testament, Psalms, Proverbs, and the New Testament.  Today’s reading was July 2’s reading (yes, I know today is July 21 – but we all know God works in mysterious ways) with the sections being 2 Kings 13:10-15:15, Psalm 78:17-22, Proverbs 16:31-33, and Acts 7:23-43.  Some days it feels like a lot of reading, others – just the right amount.  So as I was reading 2 Kings 13:10-15:15, my eyes stop at 2 Kings 13:20-21.

“Then Elisha died and was buried.  Now marauding bands of Moabites used to come into the land in the spring of the year. Once, as the Israelites were burying a man, suddenly they saw a marauding band, so they threw the man into Elisha’s tomb.  When he touched Elisha’s bones, the man revived and stood up!” 2 Kings 13:20-21 HCSB

My heart stops (not literally) and the voice I hear is myself praying . . . Lord, I want to be so full of you that when I die, people are revived – Even more so as I live.

Having never seen the phase ‘Marauding Bands’ before, I quickly went to another version and found out it meant raiding parties (or troops).  To maraud means “to roam about and raid in search of plunder “ (Merriam-Webster).  Then the Holy Spirit reminded me of what Jesus said about the thief:

“The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy.  I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.”  John 10:10

That’s when it occurred to me why I was feeling blah . . . so “unjoyful”.

You see, the devil (Marauding Bands) roams the Earth in search of plunder to raid [one’s joy].  He can come in the form of “drama” on Facebook, news of wars and fighting, etc.  The thief (the Marauding Bands) had stolen my joy – my perspective of how I view the world, allowing me to become frustrated with things at home and things I couldn’t control.  But that’s not what Jesus wants for us – He wants us to have life [joy] – and have it more abundantly.

In looking back at the verse in 2 Kings, the Israelites knew the evil that the Marauding Bands could do.  We don’t know much about the man they were burying, but my gut tells me he was royalty or someone powerful – why else would they be afraid to come in contact with the “raiders”.  They had stuff that could be stolen.  I’m not sure if they knew the tomb was Elisha’s or not, but it serves as a reminder to us – Go to God.  Elisha was a man of God and even in his death, God used him.  That’s my heart’s cry – to be used by God – to be so full of Jesus that I want to impact those seeking refuge from the evils of the world.  I often fail – I have my bad days/weeks – those weeks when I’ve failed to hide from the Marauding Bands.  But, God always seems to show up – especially while reading His Word.

So, as I move on, may I remember that even though I may or may not see the Marauding Bands coming – but when they do – seek refuge in the cave of God.  Keep reading His Word, pray.  Seek guidance from more mature Christians.  Allow the Holy Spirit to guide me.  Reach out to others.  Stay connected with my friends and family on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram but pick and choose who I want to follow and interact with.  Set limits for the time spent on social media and when “drama” occurs – walk away – take a time out.  There’s nothing wrong with spending some alone time – unplugged time – it does a heart good. {It truly does!}

And if necessary, hide in a cave (just kidding – not really, the introvert in me is really good at that). No, seriously, sometimes walking away from something can be a good thing – Just don’t do what I want to do – hide forever {that’s why I have friends who won’t let me – they kind of know where I live}.   JESUS Loves YOU!! So go live life abundantly!

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About Follow 2 Serve {Lorna}

I am a follower of Christ and I love to serve Him. I am married with two sons. I received my Liberal Arts Associate Degree in May of 2012. My hobbies are reading, crocheting, quilting, knitting, nature photography, and being with my sons.
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