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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Encouragement (among believers) (11/08/07)

TITLE: One Day at a Time
By Karen Treharne


Hebrews 3:13 (NIV): “But encourage one another day after day…”

Jill fumbled with her key, leaning into the doorway to protect herself against the blowing rain. When she got inside, she took her coat off shivering from the cold.

The house was deadly quiet. Since Gary’s untimely accident and death, she felt numb, lost, and angry. Angry at God.

She put a kettle of water on the stove, went to the bedroom and brought the gun back placing it on the kitchen table. When the water boiled, she poured it over a tea bag, and then sat down staring at the weapon in front of her.

At first she didn’t hear the knock. Then she realized that someone was at the door. She tried to ignore it but the intruder persisted. She pushed herself up from the table, dragging her feet across the carpet to the entryway.

“Hi, Jill. I stopped by to see how you’re doing. It’s been a long time since I’ve seen you at church, and I just wanted to know if there was anything I could do for you or if you wanted someone to talk to.”

“Sarah? Sarah? Uh… I’m really not feeling well tonight. I really just need to…”

“I’m so sorry, Jill. Maybe we can just talk for a minute, and then I’ll let you rest. I’ve been worried about you lately and tonight the Holy Spirit put you on my heart, so here I am.” Sarah gently pushed her way into the house. She looked past Jill to the kitchen. “I see you’re having a cup of tea.” Then she saw the pistol and her eyes widened in fear.

“Jill, what’s this? Why do you have a gun?”

“It’s really none of your business, Sarah. And don’t start preaching to me about how God loves me and all that. I’ve given up on him. He took my Gary. He’s taken my faith. So if you’re planning on lecturing me, you’re wasting your time. I’m going to do what I have to do and no one’s going to change my mind.”

Sarah sat down heavily on a chair. She closed her eyes and prayed for words of encouragement and wisdom to connect with her friend.

“Oh, Jill. I can’t imagine how you must be feeling. I can’t imagine life without my Jeff. All I know is that without my faith… well, without my faith, I’d probably want to die, too.”

Jill’s eyes filled with tears. “God’s forsaken me, Sarah. He’s left me with nothing and no one. I hate him and all I’ve been able to think about for the past six months is how I want to be with Gary.”

Sarah reached for Jill’s hand and bowed her head. “Father, Jill and I turn to you now in this dark hour trying to understand your will. We know that you are with us because you have promised that when two or more of us gather in your name, you will be here. Please fill this room with your presence and fill our hearts with your word. We are reminded of your promise in Romans 8:28 (NIV) that says “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him…” We cling to this especially tonight, trusting in your sovereignty. I lift Jill up to you now, Lord, and ask that you fill her mind with your truth, that she remembers your love for her, and remembers that you fight her battles, and that you are bigger than any problem. Bless her now, Father. Give her strength to turn back to you. In the name of Christ, we pray. Amen.”

Silence hung between them for a shot time. “You may think that you’re done with God, Jill. But God isn’t done with you. You may not see it now, but God is still working for you. He hasn’t abandoned you or forgotten about you. He won’t let you down.”

Jill sat without moving but didn’t say a word or move to stop Sarah, when her friend slipped the gun into her purse and stood up to leave.

“I’ll be back tomorrow, Jill, and we’ll talk again. In the meantime, get some rest. I believe in you, sweet friend, and I love you. But more importantly, I believe in God and His love for you. Let‘s just take it one day at a time and see what God brings for tomorrow, okay?”

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Member Comments
Member Date
Lynda Schultz 11/15/07
Excellent reminder to heed the prompting of the Spirit. We just never know when someone might need our presence as a matter of life or death.
william price11/15/07
Very intense. Kept my interest throughout. Encouragment really needs to be Holy Spirit lead, and you pointed that out masterfully. God bless.
Joanne Sher 11/16/07
The prayer in this, especially, is anointed. Wonderful characterization - and I love that she put the gun in her purse before she left.