“Honey, have you seen my blue t-shirt?”
“Which one do you mean?”
“The one with the black writing.”
“Oh, I think it’s in the laundry. I’ll throw it in the dryer after I finish painting this section in the bedroom.”
I pour the last smidgen of paint from the can into the tray, and with wide sweeps, I color the pale wall bright yellow. I step back and admire the transformation. I can hardly believe we are able to afford this house. Our dream to offer refuge to families in need will be fulfilled with this large Victorian home.
I clean up and head to the basement. The stairs are well lit as I start down the steps, but I suddenly have a sliver of apprehension scratch the back of my neck.
As I step onto the floor at the bottom of the stairs, I hear a noise coming from the far corner. I stop and lean out, trying to see around the support pole that’s blocking my view. I walk toward the sound I heard.
Suddenly, I hear a whisper behind me, not loud enough for me to make out the words, but strong enough that I whip around and stare open mouthed at the empty basement.
Of course, he’s not down here with me, so he doesn’t answer, but something answers. It comes as many voices, soft, but insistent.
“We are legion.”
The hairs rise on my arms. I race across the basement, and fly up the steps at break-neck speed. My eyes are wide, and I’m so afraid, I feel like I’ll faint. I can barely think or keep myself from banging into the furniture in my path as I frantically make my way through the house, looking for Michael.
“Oh my Lord, my Lord!” I pray.
I find him in his study. He jumps up and his face grows white when he sees how panicked I am.
“What is it, Beth? What is it?”
“Michael! Oh, my word, Michael!” I collapse against him, and the trembling of my legs is visible.
As I relate what I heard in the basement, he raises his eyebrows and begins to move toward the door.
“No! You can’t go down there!”
“Beth, I have to see what you’re talking about! I have to check out the whole basement!”
I plead with him all the way through the hallway, into the kitchen, and at the door to the basement. He shakes me off and tells me to stay put. My teeth are chattering, and the trembling has increased to the point that I feel my body could literally shake apart, but I won’t consider leaving the top of the steps while Michael is down there.
The silence wells up from below, and I don’t hear Michael’s steps anymore. My heart is pounding so hard, that my chest hurts. I continue whispering my prayer to Jesus as I wait.
From below, Michael gives a short, sharp cry. He’s yells out a prayer, calling on the Lord to cover us with His blood and comes running full tilt up the steps. Like me, his eyes are wide with terror, and he pulls at my shirtsleeve frantically.
“Out, out, out!” he shouts.
Without a word, I turn and run to the kitchen door, and both of us clamber down the porch steps into the yard.
The day is bright with sunshine, the trees are fanning a soft breeze across our cheeks, and the terror we felt in our house seems out of place in this peaceful setting.
We stand and stare at the windows overlooking our yard. Finally, Michael takes my hand. He’s shaking, too.
“Beth, there’s something in there, and I think you know what I mean.”
“We can’t go back?”
He gives me a small smile, but his fear is still visible.
“We’ll gather our church family to pray with us. The peace and power of God will overcome Satan’s plan to cause us fear. We’ll claim this house for the Lord because He has called us to carry out His plan and He will protect us.”
I see the faith he has in Jesus, and my shivering begins to lessen.
For the first time since accepting Christ, I fully realize that my fight, as a believer, really is a struggle “against the powers of this dark world”. *
“Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore, put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.”
* Ephesians 6:12, The Holy Bible, New International Version
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