I awoke one morning heavy, a weight of bad dreams pressing me into the mattress, the voice of the Accuser echoing in the room, hissing, taunting, blaming. His words were lies, all lies. I rose to shake them off, and yet—
There was that small grain of truth.
Satan is a coward and a cheat. He can never speak outright until he knows we’re buying it, and he can never come up with his own ideas: he slinks along behind the truth-speakers, inflating their words out of all recognition and proportion. It is an old and simple trick—“Did God really say you can’t eat from all the trees in the garden?”
Jesus says: I’d like to see you grow in this area, dear.
Satan whispers: And in this one and this one and this one. In fact your whole life is a mess. How can anyone put up with you? You ought to be ashamed of yourself.
A friend says: You are a talented woman with a gift to offer the world.
Satan says: Aren’t you glad you have a gift? It’s not everyone has a gift. You’re really something. You can be king of the world if you just bow d…
A friend says: What you said really hurt me.
Satan slips in: And nothing you do can ever mend it. Our relationship is on the rocks and I am through with you, you dirty rotten good-for-nothing.
Life says: Someone else can do a better job at this than you can.
Satan says: See? I told you you were worthless. Your work will never amount to anything unless you get busy clawing your way to the top.
The quiet voice of truth gets lost in the confusion.
The weak crumble beneath his accusations. The strong stand against his lies—and against the truth buried inside them. Perhaps one in a hundred sift through his chaff to find the grain of truth—the Jesus-bit he is trying to bury in fluff, to choke in nonsense, to drown in despair. First convicted by truth, then condemned by lies, then shaking off the one to return humbly to the other: we join with Jesus in casting down the Accuser.
Don’t blow the truth away with the chaff. Return to find it and take it in—so small, so easily lost in the shuffle, that grain gives nourishment and life and the power to grow.
Lord Jesus, may all your daughters be taught of you.