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Surrounded by Enemies

O God, do not remain silent; do not turn a deaf ear, do not stand aloof, O God. See how your enemies growl, how your foes rear their heads. With cunning they conspire against your people; they plot against those you cherish.  Psalm 83:1-3 NIV

Photo courtesy of pixabay. Nothing in my training prepared me for what I was about to endure.

I enjoy working independently—always have. However, in my new position, I had to hire and manage staff, train staff, and market a new program. 

Discernment continually resonated within me. I knew I was in uncharted territory. Morning salutations were often met with contemptuous facial expressions and hostile silence. The onslaught of disrespectful and disdainful words screamed I was surrounded by enemies. These enemies, my staff, resembled wild horses dashing in different directions. Something had to be done. 

My resolution was reading agency policies to the staff—aloud. You can imagine how this played out. The effect was like an unrelenting avalanche. Personalities flared, and attitudes were even worse. There was no place to rest from the constant discord. Nonetheless, I was determined everyone would become a cooperative team.

Slowly, the staff began to work as a group: developing projects and activities and embracing policies that supported the work we were doing. The previous hostile atmosphere was becoming lighthearted and sociable. In the end, the staff learned to work together for a common goal. 

Like the psalmist, in my distress, I prayed to God. I prayed for peace, wisdom, and guidance. I prayed in my home, in my car, and even outside as I walked around my office building. After crying out to God for months, I began to see a change in me. God demonstrated He was not distant, silent, or aloof. He supplied His wisdom during this wearisome ordeal, enabling me to positively influence the staff in the midst of chaos. 

When enemies rattle your emotions, pray for those who spitefully use you. It’s a grueling exercise, but it’s possible to end difficult seasons in peace instead of defeat.

(Photo courtesy of pixabay.)

(For more devotions, visit Christian Devotions.)

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Ivette Ellis

Ivette Ellis is a professional social worker who has empowered the lives of disadvantaged populations in a variety of social service environments. She currently serves as a Board Member of the Tiny House Project in Calhoun, Georgia. The goal is to provide affordable housing for low income families. She is an active member of the Christian Author’s Guild and a local chapter of Word Weavers International. Ivette is an ordained prayer minister with Safe Harbor Ministries located in Flowery Branch, Georgia. A portion of her personal testimony has been published in the anthology, Fifty over 50: Who Is That Woman in The Mirror? Her devotionals are known to release hope and healing to her readers. Ivette and her husband are outdoor enthusiasts. They reside in Northwest Georgia. Connect with Ivette at her email address: whenvoicescondemn@gmail.com.