I just had a strange, but comforting experience. I was laying in bed getting ready to do my devotions before falling asleep and I was thinking about a passage someone quoted the other day and I wanted to read it. So I got out my Bible and thought to myself that the passage may have been 2 Corinthians 12. I flipped open my Bible and happened to land on 2 Corinthians 12 where I must have haphazardly tucked a sheet of paper recently. The passage was not the one I had been thinking of, but the message was an interesting one. Paul is talking about a vision someone received when he was taken up into heaven, and Paul was incredibly excited about it. He goes on to discuss what happened as a result of his excitement: "
Therefore, to keep me from being too elated, a thorn was given to me in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to torment me, to keep me from being too elated. Three times I appealed to the Lord about this, that it would leave me, but he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you for power is made perfect in weakness." So I will boast all the more gladly in weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me.
Last Summer while we were staying in Sofia, I had my first (and what I would like to be my last) experience with demons. I won't go into detail, but that night when I went to bed, I began to feel affliction from the enemy and I could see evil spirits attacking me. I have never felt more weak than I did that night. I prayed and prayed with my friend Mallory. We cried out to God all night, and after a while we did feel that He was with us, but relief did not come. Finally, hours later, we decided to sleep. I began to drift into that middle-consciousness between waking and sleeping, and as I did I began to see the face of God. I saw the silhouette of Christ standing before His people as we worshiped Him. I saw many images I can't really describe. Finally, I saw Him praying on some sort of plateau, and then all I saw was the ground. The earth crumbled and the weight on my chest was lifted. As I came to, a bright light was shining on the left side of my bed, and when I opened my eyes, it was gone. This wasn't a dream, and to say that God was present that night and that His grace was sufficient is a vast understatement. I have never felt anything more real in my life.
Over the past several months there have been times when I have wondered if something similar could happen while I'm overseas this Summer. I shouldn't be afraid because ever since that night I haven't had a single nightmare. God has truly been good to me. It's obvious God wanted me to read that text and be reminded that if I do come in such close contact with the enemy, His grace is more than sufficient to get me through. It was that night, it was for Paul, it will be this Summer, and it will be forevermore. God is already working, and I know that in any situation this Summer, He'll be right there with us.
Thanks be to God.