By Debra Torres It hung there in the dead tree across from our balcony all metallic and shiny.
A forgotten balloon half deflated stuck just high enough to be out of reach for all eternity it seemed.
And I hated it.
When I sat out in my balcony looking out into the lush green in the spring and summer there it would be for me to see.
And in the winter, when the trees were bare, it would be there still. Silver on one side, blue on the other. Ready to distract my eye during my prayer time.
Sometimes I would spend my time in the balcony thinking about how I could get the balloon down. And a number of schemes would play through my head.
I would stand on one of the cars parked in our lot and wield my loppers.
Or, I would get one of the kids to throw a ball at it- breaking the branch.
Or, I would call a maintenance man and tell him to bring a ladder.
None of my ideas seemed practical though, and I could just hear myself calling our apartment office and saying:
"Uh hello, well you see there's this balloon, and it's really bugging me..."
After nearly two years of living in this apartment complex, I looked out not long ago and noticed something missing.
The blue balloon was gone. It was no where to be seen. No longer would it distract my prayer time with it's annoying swaying or pitiful, deflated sag.
When I think about that balloon though, I'm reminded of annoying things in my character that bug me and need to go. I have a friend who has a faith different than my own. She doesn't call Jesus her Lord, but walks a different path.
If truth be told, I've always been a little afraid of my friend.
I guess I've been afraid that she will turn my heart away from Jesus.
Recently, I realized something pretty big about myself.
I'm no longer afraid.
I can be around my friend and not have that niggling feeling that I wrestled so much with for years.
Nothing big and monumental happened to take it away that I can think of, but I'm guessing that God has been hard at work in a vulnerable area of my faith.
And as a result, my shield is stronger making me less prone to attack.
Author Neil Anderson says this happens every time we memorize a Bible verse, listen to a sermon, or participate in a Bible study.
Through these things, we help our shield grow large and protective.
So I'm guessing it's one of those things that strengthened my faith and cut the strings to that fear.
Just like my blue balloon, it was gone.
Thank you, God.
I guess the benefits of growing closer to God shouldn't be such a shocker to us.
I like what Jan Karon, one of my favorite fiction authors, said in her latest novel:
"Funny how people are surprised when prayers are answered."
Have you got a blue balloon in your life?
Scriptures to Build Your Faith:
In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Ephesians 6:16
And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit. 2 Corinthians 3:8
Don't copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God's will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect. Romans 12:2