“Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.” Then Moses summoned Joshua and said to him in the presence of all Israel, “Be strong and courageous, for you must go with this people into the land that the LORD swore to their ancestors to give them, and you must divide it among them as their inheritance. -Deuteronomy 31: 6-7

 

This school year began one of my baby cousins Jr. Year in High School. For 16, I have always looked at this “kid” as God driven, smart, caring, and wise. I went home for a visit and I routinely gather my little cousins together and we venture out for food and Walmart sprees. As I was picking them up, my uncle told me that my little cousin found himself overwhelmed with the pressure that his Jr. year was bringing to him. I mean, I can understand that; in one school year, you have managed making good grades to avoid punishment, to now working for good grades for scholarships and acceptance in to top choice universities. This particular cousin and I have a “special” relationship, I like to think. I tend to forget that he is now 16 and driving, and doesn’t need his big cousin to protect him from everything; and he tends to forget that at 30 I’M THE BIG COUSIN. He teases me often, he asks about relationships with people, and he is constantly praying for me and covering me.

We made it to the car, and I instantly asked, “What happened this week?”.

He unleashed.

For the first time, I didn’t see my little cousin as the little kid who felt like he can conquer anything; but I saw him as a man who was unsure of his identity in Christ. That sneaky Satan had found a new playground in my little cousin. He knew what insecurities to play on, what to say, what images from the past to show as confirmation that failure was coming, and coming soon. The thing about the enemy is that he knows he has free reign on us, especially when we aren’t sure of his tactics.

As my cousin continued to unleash all these worries that had somehow housed themselves in his mind, I said, “Be brave, you know who you are! There is nothing that you could do that would make us not love you, and be so proud of you!”.

As I was doing my best to fill his cup with my words of encouragement and God filled words, I thought about the many times that I have found myself, face planted to the ground while God filled my cup with His words of reassurance and love. I was just “winging” this talk, to be honest. I wasn’t sure what my cousin needed to hear to go back to school Monday feeling invincible. I wasn’t sure that my words could undo the process of self doubt that the enemy had even began on him; but I wasn’t going to give up. I couldn’t afford to. I am too crazy in love with my cousin to leave him in that season alone.

Then it hit me!

Every second, minute, hour, day, month, and year; God is fighting endlessly for us as well! He refuses to leave us as a victim of the enemy. I thought I was fighting hard to cover my cousin, but it would never compare to how God covers us all daily.

I looked at my cousin after he finished venting, and he seemed ok and began to pray, “God, the enemy has no say here. The enemy will no longer make a playground of his insecurities, his worries, his fears…THE PLAYGROUND IS CLOSED!…”.

God is good.

God is actually great!

Sometimes, pouring into someone else’s cup, will surely remind you how awesome God is.