Sunday, September 30, 2012

The Battle Surrendered--Part 3 of 5

(Sorry I couldn't get this up earlier! We have been b.u.s.y.)
Here's part three! Read part 1 and part 2 if you already haven't! Enjoy!

Part Three

We continued walking. And walking. And… walking. The forest floor was free of debris and, much to the relief of my bare feet, a soft carpet of moss covered the earth. But after several hours of walking, and walking, and… walking, I said, “Ok, don’t get me wrong. I want to follow You wherever You go. But can You give me some clue where we’re going? Please?”

“We are going home,” Jesus replied.

I gasped loudly, feeling both excitement and fear. He took one look at my face and cracked up. “No, dear heart! I mean your house. It’s not your time yet.”

“Oh,” I said. Then I saw the funny side of it and laughed along with Him. After a few minutes, it finally dawned on me what He had said. “Hey! Why are You taking me back home? You said You were going to train me!” I cried.

“Don’t worry,” He said. “We won’t arrive until you’re trained.”

It took me a while to try to sort that out. “So… You’ll be training me on the way?”

“Yes. We won’t get there until you’re trained.”

“Oh, ok. Gotcha.” Little did I know that I had no clue what He meant.

We walked some more. And walked. And… well, you know. But it wasn’t as boring as it sounds. The forest was beautiful and quiet, and I was walking beside the Prince of Peace.

Photo Credit
After a while, Jesus finally stopped walking and said, “We’ll make camp here for the night and continue your training in the morning.”

I can’t deny that I gave Him a funny look. Continue? I didn’t know we had started. I hadn’t even touched a sword or a bow yet!

Jesus stripped the lower branches off some nearby trees and soon had a small fire going. He took bread, canteens filled with water, and light blankets out of the leather bag He carried on His back. We ate and then slept on the soft moss with the blankets over us. The weather was perfect. I didn’t feel cold until early in the morning.

Shivering, I pulled my blanket more tightly around me. My eyelids fluttered for just a second, but what I saw in that moment made me sit up and scream.

The shadow creatures were back.

Again they pulled at me with their freezing hands. I cried, “No!” and tried to stand, but they kept me firmly fixed to the ground. I looked around for Jesus, but the shadow creatures surrounded me and blocked my view of Him.

Suddenly, there was the same dizzying light, the same trance-like feeling, and the same urge to give in.

No! I willed myself to fight back. I couldn’t fail again. I couldn’t let myself give in.

But the shadow creatures didn’t let me go, and I couldn’t tear myself from them. I started to wonder if I really wanted to. Was that prison so bad? Were the chains really so heavy? And Jesus would rescue me as soon as I asked Him to. He was nice like that.

The overwhelming feeling of false peace washed over me. The creature leaned over and whispered, “Follow meee….”

I don’t even remember the first step this time. All I know is that I found myself starting awake, once again, in the prison tower with the vague memory that I had chained myself there.

I had never thought I would fall into the same trap. If it had been horrible the first time I failed, it was double the horror now.

And then I thought of Him. I’d let Him down. And that was the greatest heartbreak of all. How could I have ever thought He would rescue me again? And even if He did, how could I face Him?

My shame overwhelmed me. My guilt was heavier than my chains. I mourned and moaned in the tower for days. No one came, which only made my sorrow deepen until it was so deep I felt like I could drown in it.

I was hungry, thirsty, tired, and cold. It was the closest to death I have ever been.

Finally, just when I thought I would burst from the pain, I did the only thing left to be done. I cried out for help.

“God,” I whispered, “I’m sorry. I’m so, so sorry. Please… help me. I’ll die without You.”

I cried myself to sleep.

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And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.”Colossians 3:17 (NIV)