Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Easter (05/30/05)
TITLE: The Encounter
By Sandra Petersen
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Her morning walk was always a good opportunity to think and pray. She had much to ponder. On this celebration day of her Lord’s resurrection she had begun to doubt. Ever since she had rededicated herself to the Lord’s service she had sensed an urgency to intercede for the salvation of the people she encountered on her walks. Like King David, she had bathed her pillow at night with tears for the lost. This morning she felt a gnawing concern that God was not listening, that her intercession was reflected back from a sky that had become as bronze.
With her head bowed down to watch her path, she did not immediately notice that she was not alone. Indeed, if not for the murmur of their voices she would have passed by without stopping. Distracted from her worry, she saw two figures kneeling at the edge of the tree line with their faces turned toward her.
“Welcome,” one called. The voice was melodic and soothing, like the soft patter of water from a fountain.
Karen squinted to distinguish the faces of these two strangers, bunching the front of her unbuttoned cardigan together with one hand She was quite certain she did not know either of them.
“We have been waiting for you to come,” the other stranger said. Not as sweet as the other, this voice rang with authority and confidence.
“W…waiting for me?” stammered Karen.
“You have spent long hours in prayer lately,” the first stranger commented.
“Y…yes, but how did you…”
“We know you have been interceding for the soul of this city,” the second replied. “My name is Gideon, and this,” he gestured toward his companion, “Is Jeremiah. We have come to pray with you.”
A feeling of new strength and unrestrained anticipation coursed through Karen’s body. Her wonder at the words of these strangers ceased. Without another question, she knelt in the spot that Gideon indicated. To her surprise, the rocks were as soft as plush carpet. Closing her eyes, she waited for someone to begin.
“Lord, this daughter has wept and grieved many times since she has called you Savior. She has repented for her sins, and through her faithfulness to You, she has been called to repent for the sins of her city…” Jeremiah prayed.
Gideon’s voice rose as he took over. “We call for a release of Your Holy Spirit to flood over this land and bring restoration and refreshing.”
To her surprise, Karen began to speak and with more passion than she had been able to muster in all her hours of intercession.
“We rebuke the powers of darkness that keep my neighbors in bondage to the evil one. We thank You for Your Son’s victory over the powers of death, darkness, and Hell. Turn my city away from the brink of destruction,” Karen’s voice broke, “For our sins are many.” She began to weep.
Jeremiah’s voice murmured over her heaving sobs. “Collect the tears of Your daughter, Lord, in a golden goblet. Let her prayers be as incense offered to You.”
As she humbled herself before the Lord, Karen bowed forward over her bent knees and whispered, “Here I am. Send me, Lord.”
Karen felt the tremendous weight of doubt lift from her. She sensed a channel open through the barriers that had hindered her prayers. Her efforts in her own strength would not suffice. Her Lord had defeated the enemy and won victory at the cross. She must depend on His strength to turn back the forces of evil in the city.
“Arise, daughter of the Most High God, “Gideon commanded. “Your prayers have been heard. Go and fulfill the Lord’s will.”
Karen opened her eyes and struggled to her feet. Gideon and Jeremiah were nowhere to be seen, and the rosy pink sky had been transformed into polished gold.
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