The room is dark, and the bottle is close. As she raises it to her lips with trembling hands, she knows that the burning liquid will dull the ache in her heart…for a moment.
What she doesn’t see is the lone figure standing in the corner of her room, sword hanging loosely by his side, a tear sliding slowly down his cheek.
“How much longer, Father,” he asks in a hushed whisper.
“Wait,” is the reply he hears. And so he waits, quietly, painfully watching.
Also in the room are Despair and Loneliness and Anger and Guilt. Soon they are joined by Greed and Malice and Fury. Squirming around her, talons digging into her flesh, they continue to stab her repeatedly with unseen nails. She doesn’t respond to their torment, however. Instead her heart sinks. With every passing moment she only feels more pain. In ever growing sadness, she tips the bottle again.
“Please, Father,” asks the warrior standing in the corner, “how much longer?”
“Wait,” is his answer again.
Painfully, then, he obeys.
His knuckles tighten around the sword at his side as he watches the horde of tormenters now covering the room. With every passing moment they are joined by more and more squirming things, their home the abyss, but their purpose now is tormenting her. They cannot take her, for she belongs to the Great One. They can, however, menacingly provoke her heart to sickness and pain.
Another tear falls unseen down the warrior’s cheek. He vibrates now with the need to protect, to save. But still he waits.
Next he sees joining the throng of creatures Discouragement and Rage. Finally, when it seems that no more could possibly come, the one called Hopelessness slithers in uninhibited and buries its talons deep into her heart. She moans, and very suddenly her heart gives way to utter despondency. The warrior senses this change, sees the new arrival, and his own heart threatens to break.
Just as he opens his mouth to beseech once again on behalf of his charge, he hears the Father speak.
With lightning speed he reacts, his sword barely visible as it slashes through the air. The small tormenters scream and run, trying unsuccessfully to avoid his blade, but each is vanquished in a cloud of smoke. The great warrior’s weapon is too much and too quick for any to evade.
Only a second has passed in human time before he has rid the room of every last one. Instantly he is at her side, his strong face only inches from her tear-stained face. With great affection and tender words he whispers in her ear: “No more. You are done now. Stop, my dear one.”
She doesn’t see him. She doesn’t see any of them, but she hears this voice, even if it seems to be only in her head. Something in her clicks into place, and she knows she has come to the end. She hasn’t any idea of where the strength will come, but she knows that she has been touched, and the end of this self-inflicted misery has come. It is an end that will bring healing. It is an end that has broken her, but it has broken her so that she will look to her Father. It is a healing that must come, and it must come in this fashion.
The warrior will not leave her. He will be there, protecting her while she finishes this exile. And though it causes him tremendous pain to watch his charge go through such horrible pain, he trusts the Father who has promised to bring all of His children unto Himself—even if that path means He must leave them to themselves to do so.
It will be a long road, dear one, he thinks, but I am here, and you will find peace in the arms of your Father and Savior.
This story may seem far-fetched to you, but if you are a believer and have sinned, losing yourself for a time to that sin, then something very similar to this allegory has happened on behalf of you. There is a battle going on every minute of every day in the spiritual realm for your mind and for your purpose here on earth. Satan wants to thwart all that the Father has done for you, and he will use all of the darkness available to him to accomplish his purposes. In the allegory above it was alcohol plaguing the believer. However, it could just as easily have been drugs, sex, lying, anger, malice, gossip, or a host of other sins that beset fallen man.
You must remember, though, that God will not lose you. He will do all that is necessary, even if that means allowing you to fall to immeasurable depths so that you will once and for all find yourself on your face before Him, sobbing through tear-drenched eyes. Only then will you be able to say, “I give up, Father. I give up trying, and I give myself and my life and my struggles to you.”
Once you have truly done this thing, the end will bring a new beginning. This end will bring peace. Our Father loves us too much to let us live without the joy that only He can bring. He will protect us, but sometimes He will let us fall so that we might stand.
So now, Believer, stand. Whatever struggle besets you on this day, lay it down and stand. Stand and hear your Savior say, “Come to me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” (Matthew 11:28)
Will you stand today? Because somewhere very near to you a warrior waits to slay all those things that torment you now. Has it been enough yet? Will you lay it down at the feet of your Savior and say, “I give it all to You”?