Hire
Writers
Editors
Home Tour About Read What's New Help Join Faith
Writers
Forum
My Account Login
Shop
Save
Support
Book
Store
Learn
About
Jesus
  

Get Our Daily Devotional             Win A Publishing Package             Detailed Navigation

The HOME for Christian writers! The Home for Christian Writers!
The Official Writing Challenge

BACK TO
CHALLENGE
MAIN

INSTRUCTIONS

how it works
submission rules
guidelines for
choosing a level

ENTRIES

submit your entry
read current entries
read past entries
challenge winners



Our Daily Devotional HERE
Place it on your site or
receive it daily by email.





TRUST JESUS TODAY

TRY THE TEST



Share
how it works   Submit

Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Inner Strength (04/20/06)

TITLE: Pilgrimage to Zion
By Beth Muehlhausen
04/24/06


 LEAVE COMMENT ON ARTICLE
 SEND A PRIVATE COMMENT
 ADD TO MY FAVORITES

Pilgrimage to Zion
_________________________________________________________________

“Blessed are those whose strength is in you (God), who have set their hearts on pilgrimage.” Psalm 84:5
___________________________________________________________________

A faint grayish glow stirs the robins in the maple tree outside my window as the sun begins to rise. They announce the new day expectantly, but I remain oblivious – bound to fitful sleep.

My heart suddenly races in response to the insistent alarm’s raucous “blee-blee-blee-blee…” I throw the blankets back and swing my feet over the edge of the bed, dizzy with adrenaline. Today I must face myself squarely, as well as the test results from the doctor’s office.

The robins continue chirping. I shudder involuntarily, and wonder how I can navigate the five frantic hours until it is time to discover my diagnosis. Still, duty calls. My bakery won’t run itself on its own, I reason.

While the robins sing, my fearful thoughts race. What will I do if the biopsy proves I have cancer, Lord?

You are about to begin a pilgrimage to the Zion of your heart. I am waiting to lead you; I will be with you.

I stumble to the bathroom and stare at my disheveled self in the mirror. I’m traveling to the Zion of my heart? Like the Jews made pilgrimages each year to Jerusalem to observe religious festivals? If you say so, Lord. But I have to get through today, first.

The journey has already begun.

I nod my head, and stare at my mouth full of foamy toothpaste. Sure. But bring on the routine…and then we’ll see about this journey.

Wash face. Fix hair. Get dressed. Gulp vitamins. Drive to the bakery. Mix frosting. Decorate cakes. Set up display case. Turn on the cash register. Plug in “open” sign. Unlock door. Greet the first customer of the day with my heart in my throat. Smile. SMILE! Watch the clock. Only an hour left until the doctor’s office opens.

You seem to be traveling alone. Would you like companionship?

I jump…because in the next split second, the business phone rings. It’s my friend Janet, wondering if I have the test results back yet. I tell her no, but that she can pray for me. I’m feeling a little shaky.

Minutes crawl by like crippled caterpillars, inching toward the appointed time of the call.

Finally, I nervously dial the familiar number and greet the grumpy nurse. She knows me by now. I’m the problem case; the one that’s hard to figure out. What? The tests were inconclusive? You can’t tell me anything? I hang up and stare blankly at pantry shelves laden with nuts – jams – powdered sugar. Nothing. I know nothing.

“I know nothing…except Jesus Christ and him crucified.”*

Where did that come from?

“…apart from me you can do nothing.”**

My pounding heart seems to freeze.

“I can do everything through him who gives me strength.”***

I face the back wall, shaken, and wipe tears with the corner of my apron.

“May (Jesus) strengthen your heart so that you will be blameless and holy…”****

Blameless and holy? I’m scared and angry, Lord. I can’t do this.

Who says? We have a narrow road ahead of us. Now start walking.

I gather myself and step out of the pantry into a now-busy kitchen. Unknowing employees bustle around the tiny room packed tightly with stack ovens, coolers, and stainless steel work-tables. Customers hang on the glass case, drooling over hand-made cinnamon rolls and other delicacies. Ah yes, life does go on, doesn’t it.

That night I lay in bed, physically and emotionally exhausted. No diagnosis. What will happen next? Am I strong enough to handle the unknowns?

+ + + + +

Just now I heard a robin singing at the top of his lungs. It has been almost exactly ten years since God called me amidst robin voices to travel to my heart’s Zion! Through cancer surgery, years of malfunction, prayers, loneliness, research, set-backs, breakthroughs and divine revelations, I’ve discovered mysterious inroads deep within myself I never knew existed. I am hardly the same person, but am stronger; I am dependent on hope.

Where will You lead me today Lord, in the power of Your Holy Spirit?

The pilgrimage continues.
__________________________________

*I Corinthians 2:2
**John 15:5
***Philippians 4:13
****I Thessalonians 3:13


The opinions expressed by authors may not necessarily reflect the opinion of FaithWriters.com.
Accept Jesus as Your Lord and Savior Right Now - CLICK HERE
JOIN US at FaithWriters for Free. Grow as a Writer and Spread the Gospel.


This article has been read 965 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Helen Paynter04/27/06
Good writing, great story - I'm guessing there was an autobiographical element here?
Jan Ackerson 04/29/06
Oh, this is magnificent!
Jean Elizabeth 04/30/06
Very well done. The writing flowed smoothly. I especially liked the inner dialogue.
Laurie Glass05/08/06
What a testimony of God's presence and power in the life of one who seeks Him. And your writing drew me right in - not only could I picture the scene, but I could feel the anxiety. Great job.
Caitlynn Lowe05/09/06
Wow! A wonderful piece, great job! I especially liked your last sentance..."Where will You lead me today Lord, in the power of Your Holy Spirit?" Great job!