Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Start (01/16/06)
TITLE: If Only....
By Joyce Sykes
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I allowed my thoughts to wander back to all I had heard of this vast group of people. Their God had to be great and powerful. Not only had He delivered them from slavery, but rumors had spread of the Red Sea parting to allow them passage to the desert and their survival there for forty years. The gods my people serve could never accomplish the tales told throughout the years inside my small inn.
“Where are the spies,” angrily demanded one of the townsmen. My rambling thoughts rapidly return to the present. Several customers had fled after seeing the dusty Israelite men sitting in my inn earlier. There was no question now they had quickly passed the word of the spies’ location. My mind raced with possible answers.
“They left earlier by the city gate,” hoping my fear did not show. They only glared and ran back into the street. The day passed ever so slowly, as I waited for the first safe chance to return to the roof and my fugitive guests.
Finally, I could slip away. Quietly, I uncovered them and began whispering the events of the day. “The gates have been barred, and every available man is searching for you outside the walls of Jericho. I know who you are and why you are here. I have heard your stories all my life and I believe the God you serve is both God of the heaven above and the earth below.” As the men sat listening to my words, I could only pray they would see my heart.
I feel in my heart the end is near for the people of Jericho. Not only did I want to live, I longed for a new life, a husband and maybe even children. I longed to have a fresh start. The life of a prostitute was hard and ugly.
As we spoke, a vision of how they should return to their people flashed before my eyes. Would they listen? Rapidly, I shared all I knew and then I took a deep breathe and plunged ahead. “Please remember me when you come, spare me! I have risked everything to protect you.”
As they made their escape out of my window, I swiftly tied the red scarf so it could be easily seen when they return, just as they had told me. Immediately I began gathering my family behind the closed doors of my inn. Then the long wait began.
Within days Jericho was surrounded and each day became more agonizing, as I waited, and prayed to this unseen God, Yahweh. If only they would be true to their word. Now that fateful seventh day arrived, the routine has changed. The Jewish men outside the walls keep circling the city, once, twice …seven times and lift their voice with a shout unlike anything I had every heard before in my life. The walls just collapsed and the vast Jewish army began entering the city. My family stood at my side shivering as we listened to the screams of pain outside. My mind raced with the question would they keep their promise, and spare our lives.
Suddenly, the sound of heavy fists pounded the door. “Rahab, we have come to deliver you and all who are with you. Come quickly!” As we rushed to gather our few belongings, my heart began to sing. My ‘if only’ had come to pass. If this awesome God of the Jews could achieve this fresh start in my life, I could now believe He could make a way for one or two of my other “if only’s…” As I stepped past the ruins of the fallen walls, my heart raced with the knowledge my new life, my fresh start was here, and now.
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