It all came crashing down last Tuesday.
To be sure I was ready … but somehow not prepared … does that make sense? I was used to this particular threat, this unwelcome guest who had been staying so long at my house I’d become accustomed to his presence – almost complacent with his company. We lived together as though an uneasy truce had been called by some higher power.
Every day he was there spiraling around me like the coils of a slinky, plenty of room in the middle to bump around the house yet steel bands held me tightly within his grasp – defining the space I could actually roam. In a weird way it was a prison I couldn’t leave. Each day we existed in this unusual dance.
Like it says in Proverbs 26:11 … “As a dog returns to its vomit, so fools repeat their folly.” I always came back. I always returned. After all … weren’t we joined together?
It’s almost as though … …
Don’t be silly. I hadn’t fallen in love with him. I always knew it would be me or him in the end. One of us would have to go.
We could not exist in the same house forever.
It’s just that I’d developed a curious ease with him. Easy … like your favorite jeans so holey and frayed and threadbare and probably illegal to wear in public, but you wouldn’t get rid of them for all the tea in China. Well, maybe I wasn’t that comfortable with him.
So what was the fascination? This hold he had on me?
He was more like the character in the story that you love to hate. The one that you’ve already met and you already hate and then he shows up right when the story’s gettin’ good and all the other characters are finding their stride. The author has the audacity to pluck him off the shelf and drop him back on the page and in doing so places a humongous boulder in the path that causes other, already well-loved characters to faint or stumble or fall. Him with his wily ways and his evil grin. What will happen next, you wonder? What could possibly happen next?
To be sure he was like one of those devil-worms that the evil men on Star Trek slip into your ear while you can’t defend yourself. When you’re tied down to an exam table that magically appears in the middle of whatever room they’re in on their spaceships. Even just watching the show you watch that worm slip into the ear and your skin creeps and you swear you hear a gnawing, feel the munching, in your ear canal as the worm seeks out your brain stem to make you go mad … or worse.
He was an evil that arrived last spring and had rooted himself so deeply into my life I wasn’t sure I would survive. Afraid that he might suffocate me … squelch my existence. My burgeoning anxiety must have caused a ripple in the fabric of the universe because it was then that my Guardian stepped in.
My Protector. The Man I’d entrusted my life to many years prior. The Man who’d given me a singular focus and a task to complete that I, with my procrastinating ways, hadn’t worked on as hard as I could have.
One night as I lay still on my bed under the oppressive heat of a Floridian summer I managed the nerve to ask, “Have I waited too long,” I whispered?
I didn’t get an immediate answer which furthered my trembling. “I’m sorry I failed you,” I wept quietly. Ashamed. Mad at myself for not doing what He told me I would do. But that’s when I heard it.
Softly, like a gentle spring breeze sailing past my ear, “Numbers 23:19”. I brighten instantly and wipe away my tears so happy he’s answered. I pull my Bible off the bedside table and thumb directly to Numbers, anxious about what I’ll find there.
“God is not a man that he should lie, nor a son of man that he should change his mind. Does he speak and then not act? Does he promise and not fulfill?”
My shoulders, which have apparently been tightened up like a screw around my head, relax and sink into their normal position, as I soak in this truth. He doesn’t lie. He hasn’t changed his mind. He promised and it will be fulfilled. I am elated by this knowledge direct from the Man Himself.
His promise will be fulfilled. I know I must work hard now and not procrastinate any longer. I want to make my Guardian proud. But then, as if I was a character in a novel, the visitor was dropped onto my pages; the boulder was cast and I stumbled.
Join me Monday for the rest of the story …