Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: Day and Night (07/10/14)
TITLE: Twenty Four Hours
By Pauline Carruthers
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Light drifts in through a chink in the curtains. A silver moon creeps silently across a blueberry sky littered with clusters of tiny stars. It’s four am. Sleep evades me and the silence is overwhelming. My mind begins the familiar filtering process, randomly selecting a problem, nibbling around the edges, frantically seeking solutions. Finding none it clutches at additional negative information and slips deftly back into the unresolved file. Another problem flips to the surface.
I’m conscious of His presence and whisper His name in the semi-darkness. “Jesus”. He gently takes the problems and I answer His smile with my own, resolving once more not to grasp them back again tomorrow. We talk for a while until sleep bathes my thoughts in silence.
Sunlight illuminates the dust particles blown from restless trees onto damp windows. It’s seven twenty am and I don’t feel like going to church today. Automatically I shower, dress, eat breakfast and read my Bible, beginning where I left off yesterday.
‘…but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles;…’ (Isaiah 40:31 NIV)
“Oh Lord Jesus I long to soar like an eagle again, instead of walking through treacle in lead boots.”
We laugh together at the absurdity of my prayer and by ten fifteen I’m on my way to church, secretly delighting in His presence. After the service Annie invites me to a Praise Evening at the Mission Headquarters where I used to live. Instinct tells me it would be too painful without David, but I find myself answering in the affirmative. She tells me she’ll pick me up at five pm. By three pm I’m desperately praying that Annie will cancel. I can’t face being in our old home but I can’t let Annie down either. At five pm the ’phone rings and my spirit lifts. Answered prayer. It’s Annie. But she tells me she’s running late and will be ten minutes. Panic threatens to overwhelm, but the comforting power of His presence brings a calm to the inner turmoil.
By seven thirty pm I’m standing in the midst of hundreds of other Christian’s, hands raised in thankful praise to God. Problems reassigned to the back of my mind and a strong sense of Jesus by my side. The worship leader is calling to the front all those in need of prayer and suddenly I’m alone in the midst of a row of empty seats; conscious that the time has moved on to ten twenty pm, yet still happy to stay there. As we sing about chains falling off, the words, ‘The chains have fallen from my house’ enter my mind. Minutes later it feels like His hand clasps mine, leading me into the aisle amidst hundreds of others. Thankfulness that I will not make it to the front releases freedom to simply hold fast to His hand and go with the flow. A space clears and I’m looking straight into the eyes of a stranger. We move towards each other. She clasps me in her arms and we cry. I’m amazed when I hear myself quietly saying,
“I need a fresh anointing, my husband died twenty months ago and Satan is blocking the sale of my house”
A sense of Jesus’ presence engulfs me as we pray together. Joy wells up from my soul and peace wraps around in tendrils of mercy. Praise arises from the depths of despair and I can almost physically feel my hand still clasped tightly in His.
The clock ticks around to midnight and elation lingers as I climb into bed. I sense Jesus assuring me that the deep grieving is over. The time has come to look forward to what He has for the next stage of my life. Is it true that the chains have fallen from my house, freeing the sale to completion? In the silence a deep peace pervades my soul again. His love flows almost tangibly between us, yet I know this testing will continue for a while longer.
A full moon eases the dark blanket of cloud aside, preparing for the sunrise. It’s four am again and my heart rejoices in His continued presence. His name, “Jesus”, escapes in a thankful sigh. His compassion reaching out to refresh my spirit; reminding me that He is always with me. Day and night, from sunrise to sunset. I smile, unable to remember a time when He hasn’t been with me.
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