Laura had a nightly ritual of leaving her husband in bed and crawling onto her couch. It was her way of revenge. The reason for their three-week-old disagreement no longer seemed valid, but she stubbornly held her ground.
"Someday it might dawn on him that I am not a doormat," she fumed. Laura suspected she was treading on dangerous ground, but she no longer cared.
Tonight thoughts of leaving him swirled through her mind. A dark cloud settled over her as she thought about their three little boys. Tired of thinking, she chose sleep as her favorite form of escape.
Suddenly her eyes opened as her senses became electrified. While she sought to wake up, she heard a wickedness that raised the hair on her arms.
Hee hee hee...Ha ha ha ha...Another marriage destroyed!
The deep voice resonated with evil while it boasted victory. The laughter mocked Laura. She knew she had played the fool. She had given Satan a foothold by going to bed with unresolved anger.
Scripture flashed through her mind: "But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must master it" (Gen. 4:7). At that moment, Laura knew that she had opened the door to sin by holding onto anger.
"Oh Lord, please forgive me. Help me."
Suddenly a flash of courage carried her words into the darkness. "You shall not have my marriage! For the word of God says let nothing separate what God has joined together. Leave, Satan, in the name of Jesus Christ."
The presence of evil was suddenly gone.
Laura raced up the stairs, crawled into bed and snuggled against her sleepy husband. "I'm so sorry. Won't you please forgive me?"
God has blessed Laura's marriage over the years, and now her disagreements with her husband are few and far between. When they do argue and Laura happens to fall back into her old ways of wanting to hold onto anger, the Lord reminds her of the night on the couch with Satan's laughter. At these times she can almost hear God say, "You have a choice. You can do what is right or open the door to the crouching sin that desires to have you. At any rate, you must learn to master it."
Laura never again slept on the couch.
Thank you, Lord, for every wake-up call--even those that come to us in dreams.
"Resist the devil and he will flee from you" (James 4:7).