“She’s at her crisis point,” Gabriel said. “Are you ready, Ansel?”
“I am. The enemy is swarming around her. She has no idea how much the devil fears what Christ has called her to.” Light glinted off Ansel’s sword.
Faith lifted her chin and raised her fists toward the ceiling. “Will You ever tell me why?” Her breath caught. “Why take my little boy? What did either of us ever do to You?”
Horse’s hooves pounded. “You cannot harm her,” Ansel shouted. “You and your underlings may have delayed me, but the victory belongs to the Lord of hosts.”
Faith fell on her face and sobbed into the carpet, then raised on her elbows, “I’ve never asked You for much at all, and this is the way You answer? I’ve tried to be a good Christian and a strong soldier in Your army, and for what? You keep taking, and I have nothing left to give.”
Swords clashed. Grunts and groans filled the heavens.
After several moments, Faith dragged herself to the couch and lowered her head to the cushion. “I didn’t know following You would be this hard.” She wiped her chin against her shoulder.
Powerful shouts burst through the celestial realms.
“I’ve served You. I’ve told others about You. I’ve done my best to keep You in mind in all I do.” Another scream convulsed from her, then she cried out again. “If You’re good,” she gasped, “I know You are …” A soul-torn cry pierced the room. “But where are You? Where were You?”
Faith lifted her son’s teddy bear from the couch and held it to her face. She drew in a slow breath. “Help me,” she whispered.
Another round of clashing stirred.
“How am I supposed to go on?” Faith wrapped her arms around herself and sat back on her bent legs. “God, I need You now more than ever—” A sob gripped her. “I don’t understand,” she whimpered, “but who else is there? I can’t go on alone. Facing life is hard enough, … has following You all this time been for nothing?” Bits of verses and words she’d said throughout her life drifted through her heart. Grace. Strength. Mercy. Love. Trust. “Have I lived a lie? Believed a lie?” Again, she wiped moisture from her face.
Shouts echoed between heaven and hell.
“Without You, I cannot, I will not survive.” Stillness. “You’ve always been there for me.” Calm. “Are You still trustworthy?” Quiet. Faith lifted her head. She rubbed her hand across Braedon’s bear, then placed it back on the couch. “You are. Help me believe. Help me keep trusting.” Faith sniffed. “Help this overwhelming loneliness.”
A final cry, then all was silent.
After several deep breaths, Faith stood. “Answers won’t bring Braedon back, will they?” She struggled to pull in a shaky breath. “I still believe You are good.” She lifted her arms. “I will choose to praise Your name. I will trust You when I don’t understand … especially when I don’t. Where else would I go besides to You?” She wiped her arm across her face. “Who else would I turn to?”
“Victory?” Gabriel asked.
“I am Yours. Show me Your heart.” Faith returned to the couch, sat, picked up her Bible, then opened it.
The sound of a sword placed in its sheath rang across the heavens. “Victory,” Ansel responded.
Faith watched several women sitting around tables at the luncheon swipe tissues across their faces, and she whispered a prayer for them, then continued. “That day, for maybe the first time in my forty years of life, I was honest with God and myself. And He welcomed the darkest part of my soul to draw from the depth of His sovereignty. He invited me to ask the hard questions but also to learn a deeper level of trust without the answers.” She glanced down at the notes on her phone. The letters swam, but it didn’t matter. She knew the verse by heart.
“For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places. Ephesians six-twelve is our call to realization.” She drew in a full breath. “That was my war, and this is my story. What is yours? Where will you turn when the battle comes?” She stepped away from the podium. “Thank You, Abba.”
The clink of his armor echoed as Ansel shadowed Faith to her seat. Then he took his place with his comrades around the room watching from above smiling. God’s strength won again.
Photo credit: Pixabay
Verse: Ephesians 6:12 NASB