Even though the sun will soon rise above the horizon, the blackness deepens in preparation for a last battle. It is always darkest before the dawn. The last moments of night fight to keep control, to allow sinister events that can only happen in the darkness more time to destroy those who cannot sleep.
I just need to hold on, to not give in or give up, until the light wins the battle and brings a new day. My battle will continue then but in a different way. The night brings shadows from every direction that whisper pain and lies. In the day, I will be able to see the enemy more clearly, allowing me to know where to run for safety and where to stand and fight.
When I was first sent to the front lines I didn’t know how to fight. Scars testify to how death tried to claim me. Just in time, God-given instinct provided me the ability to parry and thrust to protect myself enough to survive that initial battle. I then learned, sought answers, studied, and practiced with the Commander to recognize the attacks and how best to counter them. It took years, but little by little I made progress. With every small victory, my skin thickened and my muscles grew stronger.
Sometimes new weapons are forged and surprise me with the unknown. In those times I may lose my footing and must retreat to tend to fresh wounds. I have learned that retreat is not the same as defeat. When the enemy seems unbeatable and I go into the battle anyway because it is what I am asked to do, it is not without fear and could be described as either foolhardy or brave. But knowing when to rest and recover is sometimes even more difficult than sacrificing myself. Being still in the darkness is not for the faint of heart. However, in time I also learned that darkness can also provide comfort with the promise of light.
Like tonight, I am worn out and wounded. I lay in the shadows, on alert to every sound and brush of the wind that finds my hiding place. My instincts say to sleep, or to run, or to surrender. I am learning to consider, instead, what the Commander has taught me. How to wait, to heal, to allow the night to pass and the light of day to come. The light will show the truth despite and beyond the shadowy whispers of the past.
Perhaps in the morning I will discover I am hunkered down behind enemy lines rather than near the safety of the fortress. But when the light once again shines, I will also see my options. I will see the steps I must take to follow my orders.
So I wait. Even as the darkness deepens and time stretches toward certain death, I am not idle in my waiting. I stay still, but I put pressure on the bleeding. My breathing calms and my heart quiets. I watch. I know from experience that if I can hold on a little while longer daylight will come.
This battle is not about my own survival. It could be, but there is no point in saving only myself. It often feels like I am the only one fighting, but this war is much bigger than me.
I carry scars from struggling to claim this land for the Lord, so others may live in peace with Him. I am often wounded and hurt but never defeated. The wounds show scarred paths leading toward victory. They are maps to share with others who also feel trapped and afraid in the darkness. This is a war worth waging.
I close my eyes for a moment and when I open them, I can see it. A slight difference between the varied shadows, a graying of the deepest dark. The light is coming. While I wait, I repeat to myself the wisdom these battles have taught me, that I may live today to share with others once again tomorrow.
“It is possible to overcome darkness because the Light is present, no matter how dark life seems. I can keep going because Light gives hope. No matter how tired, afraid, hurt, or alone I feel I will fight, because I am never alone, and I will be given the time needed to rest and heal. So I will sharpen my weapons and polish my armour to reflect the Light so others can know the way to victory. This battle, and my life, belongs to the Lord.”
This is my command—be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the your God is with you wherever you go. Joshua 1:9 (NLT)
Marnie Pohlmann writes about learning to be Phosphorescent, absorbing and reflecting the light of God no matter what darkness surrounds life. She believes that life's struggles can be overcome and redeemed because God is present.
*photos courtesy of Pixabay.com with CCO license.