The last in the series! How fast time has flown! I hope you've enjoyed the story; I certainly have! If you haven't read the other stories yet, here they are: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, and Part 4. Enjoy this last installment!
“What? I don’t get it. You’re training me not to fight the shadow creatures? But they’ll keep bringing me back to that tower!” I was beginning to panic again.
Jesus placed His hands on my shoulders. “Dear heart, this is what I’ve been trying to teach you. Listen to Me. I want you to surrender.” He continued slowly and deliberately, “You will never be able to defeat the enemy. They are far too cunning…. But I can defeat them for you.”
At last, His point was starting to click inside my thick head.
He went on, “You have to let Me do it. Dear heart, I want so badly to help you. Surrender to Me.”
“But…,” I attempted an excuse and failed. There was nothing to say. His words went against every instinct in me, but He had to be right because He was Jesus.
Out of the corner of my eye, I saw movement among the trees. By the time I turned to look, they were just a few feet away.
I screamed and fled, pulling away from Jesus as I ran, but the shadow creatures moved faster than I did. They were on me in a moment, their icy hands pulling me down.
And then I did the dumbest thing. I fought the shadow creatures. I tried to claw at them and bite their hands. I pushed and squirmed and screamed, but they held on.
The now familiar light suddenly bathed me in its unnatural glow. My head lolled and I felt my muscles slow down. Completely groggy, I couldn’t keep up the fight.
Something brushed my ear. “Follow meee…,” the creature beside me whispered.
No, I couldn’t. Why not? I didn’t know why not. The light made me so dizzy….
A sliver of sanity crossed my mind, telling me to surrender. Surrender to Him.
No, I could fight! I had to fight! I could do this!
The shadow creatures’ fingers felt so soft and smooth. The light made me so sleepy….
Surrender to Him.
This was a battle I could never win.
With the last strength I had, I made my choice. Covering my eyes with my hands, I cried, “Jesus, help me! I can’t do it without You!”
Not one second passed before He came. I sensed Him standing in front of me. I looked up into His face. The creatures were behind Him, but they were no longer gentle and alluring. Furious at His interference, they launched themselves onto His back, trying to tear at Him with their nails and teeth. He ignored them completely, untouched by their attacks. It was like they were just shadows to Him.
The shadow creatures’ false light still shown, but my mind was clear. Though their deceptive fingers had released me to attack Jesus, I was too shocked to stand.
Jesus watched me with a smile tugging at the corner of His mouth. I noticed His strong sword hung at His side.
He saw my glance and shook His head. “You still don’t understand. Dear heart, they have already been defeated.” He reached down toward me, the wounds made by the nails that held Him to the cross clearly visible. Grasping my hands in both of His, He pulled me to my feet. “You cannot defeat them. You cannot even resist them, except through Me. Use My strength; don’t depend on yours. I am faithful. I will provide a way out so that you can stand up under them.”
It was so easy, and yet so difficult. I suddenly felt like I wanted to cry, now that I was beginning to understand. “So,” I said past the lump in my throat, “all I have to do is…?”
“Hold on to Me.”
Gripping His hands tighter, I said, “Ok. I trust You.”
The smile that burst upon His face was the grandest I had ever seen.
Soon after, some of the shadow creatures tried to bring me back under their power. They whispered in my ears and pulled at my arms, but I kept a firm grasp on Jesus’s hands and never looked away from His face. It was almost funny, actually; what chance did the shadow creatures think they had while I was holding onto my Savior?
Eventually, the shadow creatures grew tired. Their light faded, and their masks of white skin disappeared with it. They slid, one by one, into the forest.
“We have arrived,” said Jesus. He turned me around.
I was in my bedroom. The first rays of dawn shone through the window, chasing away the night’s darkness. Jesus had disappeared.
“So I find this law at work: When I want to do good, evil is right there with me. For in my inner being I delight in God’s law; but I see another law at work in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within my members. What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death? Thanks be to God – through Jesus Christ our Lord!”
The words brought me to my knees. I prayed, “Jesus, I want to keep holding on to You. I want to delight in this Book more and more so I can stay focused on You. Thank You for rescuing me.”
I looked down at my Bible again and noticed the last three verses of Chapter 8:
“No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”