Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Burning sun scorches down on a weary child, decked in the armor of a warrior, wielding a mighty sword. Weeping, struggling to survive, crying out for help she watches as the mighty antagonist swings his murderous weapon. On her knees, with her face to the earth and her mind in heaven, she cannot be struck down. Her victor stands over her and destroys the enemy. That was me not so long ago. I fought. I bled. I wept. I prayed. And Jesus, Son of Almighty God, stood by my side and captured the victory. Ah, but the victory had no sooner been sealed than another foe from behind struck me a blow and I wheeled, blood and bile filling my mouth, my world reeling and crashing around me. I dropped my sword. My plea for help died on my lips and I watched as he struck me again—foul fiend. And again. And again. And battered me to the ground where I lay, eyes wide and staring, soul fluttering inside like a trapped moth, spirit dead. And I did not rise. The weight of defeat and darkness spread over my body like a paralysis and left me empty of everything but despair.

To rise again was too painful. To call for help required me to muster my voice. To grip my sword begged my intense concentration. Instead I lay broken and bleeding.

Until yesterday.

As I cleaned the neighbor’s house, the dam inside trembled. I hadn’t wept since the day the Lord had worked in two hearts for an outcome I thought was right. It seemed we’d won. A couple of days later my dreams crumbled when those for whom I'd prayed rejected what had happened and walked their own way. I was too weak from the battle. Used up. Empty. I sank to the ground and never rose.

Until yesterday.

Josiah came to join me and read me a rap song he’d just written. “Is it encouraging?” I asked him. “I need something encouraging.” Then the dam broke and the flood rushed through and down my face, burning my eyes and cutting paths in my cheeks. The tears started and wouldn’t stop. I spilled frustrations, discouragement, anger, doubt, confusion, helplessness. Some to Josiah, some only to the Lord.

And I cried for help. I pleaded for mercy. I begged to be raised from the dead.

Josiah went outside with my phone and I know he called Nathaniel. I finished cleaning alone, weeping, praying, whispering, pleading. Like a person rising from the dead, casting off the burial clothes, free to walk again, to stand again, to see again, to speak again. Free to love again. To feel again. To hope again. To ask again.

Yesterday the Lord picked me up off the battlefield, wounded, bleading and broken-hearted and bound my wounds and reminded me that in Him is peace, in Him is hope, in Him is joy. And in Him is the strength to seek Him.

Today my artificial happiness had vanished, words died on my lips and silliness vanished from my heart. I didn’t need them. They were only a cover for the deeper, darker despair that was eating my soul. Today things were different. Today supper actually looked appetizing. Today I was able to climb out of bed in the morning and face a new day. Today I rejoiced.

And tonight I could face my journal. Tonight I could reflect on the day knowing that the Lord was with me—not because I am worthy but because of His great love.

Child of weakness, I give you this wisdom without a price:
Seek thy strength in the arm that delivers.
Seek thy peace in the hand that calms hurricanes.
Seek thy help in the fingers that scattered the stars.
Seek thy joy in the presence of Almighty God.

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