Previous Challenge Entry (EDITOR'S CHOICE)
Topic: HOME( 02/07/19)
| TITLE: The Journey of a Lifetime |
By Dave Walker
| ~ 1st Place |
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It seems incredible that this place -- this home -- should be just as I left it, when God's light is rampant on earth. And I've been part of it. What a journey! It was a spur of the moment decision, but the best I've ever made. I teamed up with Theo, and we just decided we'd take a road at random and see what village it led to.
The wiry old man sitting outside his house had half a dozen children playing at his feet. That gave us an opening.
"Are those your grandchildren, old man?" I asked.
His face softened and his eyes brightened as they wandered, first to them and then to us.
"All of them," he said.
Theo joined in. "Children are so trusting."
The laughter lines creased around his eyes. "They come to me with anything."
"Did you know that's the way we must enter the Kingdom of Heaven?"
The old man stiffened, his face suddenly hard. "Trust God like the children trust me?" He looked at the ground, frowning. "No. You see, I've had experience, which these children haven't had." His eyes misted over."I know what it's like to pray to God and have a silent heaven."
It was my turn. "Will you tell us about it?"
He stood up. "Come. I'll show you."
He opened the gate and ushered us into his home, leading us to a room at the back. On the way, we heard cries and the pounding of heels on the floor. He opened the door a fraction and bade us look. In the middle of the room tied to a pole that was fixed to the floor was -- what was it --- an animal? No, although like a crazed beast, its eyes burned with fury, the head swayed back and forth and the heels drummed up and down, up and down while it wrenched at the ropes holding it to the post. It was barely recognisable as a young girl, tormented and crazed by a thousand demons.
Closing the door, the old man took us to his sitting room. "That's Lydia. I've prayed to God day and night for my grandchild, but He's not listening." The tears trickled. "Can you see why I cannot trust Him as a little child?"
I glanced at Theo and saw his face shine. "Sir, God has heard your prayer. His timing is perfect. He wants you to know about His Messiah. He's come to save us from our sins and deliver us from the oppression of the Evil One."
He told him the good news of Jesus, the Messiah. On finishing, he said, "Now, take us to Lydia."
It was our first taste of the power Jesus gave us. With screeching and a stench that filled the house, the demons fled. Lydia's eyes softened, her face transformed and she spoke to her grandfather in a voice as sweet and clear as a mountain stream. "Thank you, Grandpa, for praying so earnestly for me." She smiled as she held the weeping, trembling old man. That evening we preached to a packed house. Lydia had waltzed around the village in a dance of joy, spreading the good news. The Kingdom of God permeated the whole village as we stayed at the old man's home preaching, teaching, healing the sick and driving out demons in the Name of Jesus.
Then we moved to the next village and the scene was repeated as we used Jesus' strategy, staying in people's homes and ministering from there.Luke 10:7) We'd never experienced such power.
Finally, after filling village after village with the light of God, we reported back to Jesus. "Even the demons obeyed us!" we exclaimed with excitement. The other seventy disciples had similar stories.(Luke 10:17)
But Jesus warned us, "Don't get carried away with the power I've given you. Remember from whence it came and rejoice that God has chosen you to be with Him."(Luke 10:20) It was a sober lesson. I admit, the power had gone to my head a little.
And now, my little home, it'll be good to sleep in my own bed with familiar things around me, but then I'll have to say goodbye to you. You see, there's a Messiah who has no place to lay His head,(Luke 9:58) and I'll be following Him wherever He goes.
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