Tuesday, November 25, 2008

3 Words from Satan: Shut Your Mouth

During our trip to Athens our team only had three bad things happen… and they all happened to me. My luggage was lost by the worst airline ever, Alitalia. On our first full day in our neighborhood we are working with, I rolled my ankle to the point where I did not think I would be able to walk (God healed that ankle too!). Then on our best day, the day where the municipality officials invited us back for future trips to work with them, Satan spoke to us.

My initial response was not this strong, but Cody J’s words on Sunday night confirmed those thoughts. That Thursday, we were invited or allowed to go into the schools and observe the kids in their activities. To our surprise, the instructor allowed our team to lead the basketball sessions, which was awesome. Following the basketball, we went to watch Athens take on their rivals, Istanbul.

During the game, the athletic director invited our contact to sit with him and introduced him to the mayor. The assistant athletic director spoke to me at half-time and gave us multiple dates when they would like us to come again. It was an awesome scene and incredible night for all of us… then we got on the bus to head back to the hotel.

Some were seated and a few of us were standing on the bus. This elder gentleman about 60 came on the bus and the following happened:
Cole: Hey, how are you doing?
Satan: You talking to me?
Cole: Yes, how are you doing?
Satan: Do you know me?
Cole: No.
Satan: Shut your mouth!
Cole: Excuse me?
Satan: Shut your mouth (as he takes his seat)!
Cole to Jamie: Did that just happen?
Jamie: Yeah, I think it just did.
- about 20 seconds pass although it feels like days –
Cole to the group: Well, every time God does something great Satan rears his head.
Justin: Yeah, but you don’t expect him to wear a suit.

It was a really odd situation. The only time on either of my Greece trips where anyone has been blatantly rude. Sunday night, Cody spoke of the event in closing. He said something along the lines that he knew we were supposed to be there because of the what happened while we were there and how God used him in different ways than he expected (he and his brother Justin did great sharing their testimonies). For him, the final confirmation came when Satan spoke to us through that grumpy old man those three words he has been telling people for centuries, “Shut your mouth.”

All of me wants to be like Jeremiah (Jeremiah 20:9 If I say, “I will not mention him, or speak any more in his name,” there is in my heart as it were a burning fire shut up in my bones, and I am weary with holding it in, and I cannot.) and the apostles, (Acts 4:20 for we cannot stop speaking about what we have seen and heard). Satan wants us to shut our mouth, Jesus in us makes that impossible! May we keep our mouths open sharing the Good News.

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