I wear a number of hats, figuratively speaking. (I have friends who are cute in baseball caps and winter beanies. I'm slightly jealous because I look ridiculous in those.) The other hats I wear, for the most part, are the same kind you wear.
I wear the Wife hat, Mom hat, Daughter hat, Sister hat, and Friend hat. I'm comfortable in these forms of attire. The hats I wear that I'm less comfortable with include being organizer...or speaker... I remember when I was asked to model for a church event five years ago. Hallie came down with the flu just days before the event. I had to back out. I was a little relieved.
Yesterday, in church of all places, another role I play was announced right from the pulpit.
I was called Satan.
My husband, Jason, not only found a way to talk about jelly donuts during his sermon. He managed to compare me to the Father of Lies.
"Any kind of jelly donut is good", he said. "Except for the lemon ones. Only Satan eats those."
My oldest daughter, Hallie, leaned her body toward me as if waiting for a confession of what she already had occasionally suspected. "Yeah," I whispered. "Lemon is my favorite kind."
At least I'm in good company. The book of Matthew has just finished telling us that Peter had declared Jesus as the Messiah, the Son of the living God. It isn't long before Peter has to go and mess that up.
Several verses later Jesus explains that he will suffer and be killed, and then also that he will be raised to life three days later. Then Peter rebukes JESUS, the one he just referred to as the Son of the living God. He tells Jesus, "Never Lord!"
This is where Jesus says to Peter,
"Get behind me, Satan! ...you do not have in mind the concerns of God, but merely human concerns." Matthew 16:23
How many times am I consumed by human concerns rather than the concerns of God?
It's in parenting that I struggle the most with humanity, the extra special mom brand. (Maybe not quite as boldly as Peter) I tell God No, this can't happen. I get right in front of him with my sword ready to cut off the ear of anyone or anything that threatens the health or happiness of my kids.
Like the Father of lies, I whisper falsehoods in my heart. I tell myself that the only way to fix a problem we face is to fix it myself. I might even pray and hand over the reigns to God. But I almost always take them back.
Without weighing my thoughts on the holy scale, I'm burdened by things that God would tell me not to give a second thought to, if I only listened.
So this morning I write to you as a mother, and as a friend. I'm writing from my living room, still in my pajamas. I wore them while dropping my youngest, Rylie off at school this morning. I'm Satan in pajamas.
But I'm about to change.
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. Romans 15:3