I have had a weekend of gifts and currently, I am sitting in a quiet house after a busy weekend with the house to myself. Before Wade and the kids set out to his momma’s house, we discovered that my lemon tree had gigantic caterpillars on the branches. Some of the branches that contained green unripe lemons were bare due to the destruction of leaves by these hungry, hungry caterpillars (how many times have you read that book?!)
The caterpillars were fat and ugly and had probably indulged for far too long on my beautiful lemon tree without much notice. After all, my tree had blooms, early staged lemons, and green leaves. It never dawned on me to inspect the tree closely when there was such evidence of fruit growing all around. It wasn’t until the caterpillars got fat and noticeable to the eye that we discovered that my beautiful tree was slowly being devoured.
Slow enough that even amidst the fruit, it couldn’t be noticed until you got close.
As we got closer we discovered that the big fat caterpillar had friends. Tiny little leaf killers that had made their bed underneath the leaves for safe keep and slow destruction. But as tiny as they were, the devastation was vast and soon one day too, these tiny caterpillars would be fat and ugly and easily sighted like the one this morning.
Thankfully I had the weapon I needed in the garage. Caterpillar Killer. As I sprayed the tree along with my garden bed I found great liberation in killing the enemy with my own hands. I had the weapon, I had the knowledge but before I could kill the enemy I had to be made aware that there was even a small killer trying to raid my beautiful fruit, to begin with.
I whispered in my mind, “where there is fruit, there is an enemy hiding.”
Mommas, we hear a lot about our words and how we should speak positively through our days. How we should speak kindly to our situations and wash the dishes with thankfulness. We hear a lot about contentment and being satisfied with where God has placed us. And all of that is good.
But there is an enemy that prowls and sneaks and too often is hidden behind the leaves of branches that bear good fruit.
We must begin to open our eyes to the parasites that still our joy, rob our children of their destiny, and hide even in the places that seem to be going well. And we must open our garages. Find the tools and weapons that He has already given us ad begin to kill the enemy at its source.
We can do this with our words and our actions.
Our words have the power to bring life or death. But sometimes we need to use our words to bring death to the things that hold us back. The things that steal and eat away slowly at the fruit that God has given us. The thing that seems unnoticed or hidden. We must begin to use our God-given power and remove the things that do not belong.
Too often we hide behind the properness that is supposed to define a woman.
Meekness is a controlled strength that is often hidden, but ready to assemble at the given time. Meekness is a strength ready to be unleashed with the time is right. We are not silent creatures nor are we unequipped. We have what it takes and our ability to have attention to detail is one of the greatest strengths we possess. What if my 3rd born had not slowed herself enough to notice the caterpillar on those leaves?
Our attention to detail matters.
The way we make our beds. The way we place the birthday candles just right when no one really notices that you actually thought about it. The glimmer of dried syrup on the kitchen counter that you see but will get to it later because right now you have people begging for your attention. The pillow that you fluff and the extra snuggle you give before each bedtime.
We have this same attention-to-detail ability to see and protect and call the enemy out on his bluff in our home. The behaviors we see in our children and the reasons why they do them. The way they interact with each other and the gifts they bring to the table.
Momma, where there is fruit, there will also be defeat.
We have this unique ability to identify when things are going well. The fruit is obvious and we sit back and relish in the blessings that God has given us. But where there is fruit, there will also be hidden opposition and enemies that try desperately to get to the fruit.
The caterpillar may be innocently eating the leaves of the tree, but I know that if the leaves are gone, the fruit will follow. Without the proper support system, my tree will not be fruitful. The same goes for our kids.
The fruit is The Gift.
When we identify the gifts in their lives, we can then identify their weaknesses. The places that the enemy comes against is found near the fruit that is from God. The enemy is not looking to throw your day off by disrupting your quiet time with a loud kid. The enemy is going after the fruit. A slow ravaging of what God wants to do through our children and their children.
Identify the gift and you will pin point the enemy.
Maybe your child had a loud voice that drives you crazy. She screams and never seems to listen. Everything she does is big and bold and you wish she would just calm down. Why does she have to buck the system on everything you do in. Her gift is her voice. If given the right weapons, she will be a Voice that stands for boldness and righteousness in the Kingdom of God.
Maybe your child has a gift of leading. But right now she is bossy, controlling, and unable to understand that she is not the one to call the shots. Your job is to train her up on how to be a Godly leader. A leader of humility, compassion but also one of divine strength and favor. To lead from behind while not diminishing the fruit from within.
Today on Mother’s Day I want to encourage each of you that you are doing better than you think (thanks for that reminder Holly Furtick). You are waking up each day and taking on some of life’s greatest challenges. I want to encourage you to look at your children with a new lense. Identifying the fruit, therefore pinpointing the enemy and what he is trying to come against. God has given you the weapons in your garage to defeat the enemy. The fruit will be unharmed and the enemy will flee.
We just have to identify it first. And then use our words and our actions to speak death to the enemy and life to the fruit.
We can do this.