Almost two weeks ago, I went for my annual mammogram (results were great, Praise God!). It was a day that was cold and there was sleet falling. I didn’t want to leave my house, but getting this test is too important to remain in the bed. At any rate, I threw some clothes on and a pair of rain boots for the elements. When the technician walked me from the waiting room to the dressing area, she said, “Military, are you?” I was a bit confused. I simply stated, “No.” She responded, “Oh, I noticed your pants and your boots. My sister is military.” I looked down. I smiled. Unbeknownst to me, I was wearing a pair of camouflage pants, and a pair of camouflage boots. We chatted a bit, or as much as one can while awkwardly receiving a mammogram. After the procedure was completed, I continued to resonate on what the technician asked. I thought about the skirt I’d purchased earlier in the year that was also a camouflage print. I’m typically not drawn to something more than once, with the exception of black leather (enter my sister friend J’Nai who teases me about my collection). In fact, a few months back, when I traveled with the post collegiate and wore a piece of my camouflage collection, she said, “Mmmm, you’re on trend.” On trend, but with whom? Was I subliminally drawn to camouflage to hide from the enemy, to fight the enemy or hide in Jesus?
Tis 2017, bye Felicia! Hello 2018! We welcome you, and while many may be spewing, declaring, decreeing a list of possibilities, goals, etc., I would encourage us to continue to remain hidden in the lover of our soul. The previous year, to be sure, was filled with many blessings. My mother moved in with us, and as such, my sense of anxiety decreased a little. I was able to publish my third book. My family was able to travel together. I met some incredible people. I enjoyed Fridays off during the summer and about four weeks of vacation. Coupled also, I had surgery. My adult children experienced adult issues. I experienced challenges on my job and in ministry. There were many times that I was certain that the enemy didn’t have anyone else on his hit list besides me. As much as I was drawn to camouflage, his attacks were able to find me in the light and in the dark, similar to a heat censor. Due to illness, there were many days when I didn’t have the physical strength to get out of bed, and if I fell victim to the lies the enemy fed me mentally and emotionally, I may not have seen the ball drop, so to speak. But God!
Other times, I was down for the fight. I spoke and followed what was in my mind and on my mind, without consulting God. I got angry. Occasionally I refused to remain still to enable God to fight on my behalf. You know…..sometimes He takes too long; other times, I can trick myself into believing that I can handle “it” and enable Him to respond to someone who’s mammogram was not so favorable. You see how I just did that? That is flesh. When acting in that capacity, it was appropriate to wear camouflage to hide from God while I attempted to do His business.
So, what enabled us to make it? What will propel us to make it in 2018? It is not our goals. It is not our persistence. It is not our hustle. It is not opportunity. It is not people. It is not resources. It is not anything or anyone but God. Camouflage was designed as a defense tactic, to blend with one’s surroundings. However, when we see it, we often think of battle. That is fine, as long as we cling to the understanding that like me in my camouflage clothing, we are likened unto fashion. The one who is truly doing the fighting on our behalf is God. Exodus 14:14 affirms, “The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.” Now, this doesn’t mean that we sit immobile. The Word further declares that “Faith without works is dead” (James 2:17). Yet we must commit ourselves to knowing that everything and everyone we come up against in this year is an opportunity for God to do His best work! We are simply allowed to look our best, and act our best, while He fights our battles!
So, amidst our gratefulness for being blessed to see another year, let us be just as intentional about creating space for God to live His best life, through us! May we commit to winning on our knees, while God governs with His sovereignty. Might we change our temptation to operate in isolation, rather than thriving in community. Let’s examine our community. Camouflage only works when it blends with its surroundings. In order for us to do all that God intends we must be serious about being around others who are just as serious about Him. Can we take this thing about “new life” beyond January 1st? Check out Colossians 3:1-3: “So if you’re serious about living this new resurrection life with Christ, act like it. Pursue the things over which Christ presides. Don’t shuffle along, eyes to the ground, absorbed with the things right in front of you. Look up, and be alert to what is going on around Christ—that’s where the action is. See things from his perspective. Your old life is dead. Your new life, which is your real life—even though invisible to spectators—is with Christ in God. He is your life.” Sounds like camouflage to me! Shout out to the military who protect us daily. Radical shout out to the one who protects our soul! May we remain hidden in Him, camouflage or not.