Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: I SURRENDER ALL (to God) (don’t write about the song) (05/07/15)
- TITLE: AND WITH FIRE
By Dixie Koch
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Another toss in a sleepless night! She sunk her face into the mattress. Patty hated these nights; nights when panic came like creatures of the dark, slithering through the shadows, waiting to attack her.
Anxiety's aftermath always left her feeling uneasy, like she just wasn't prepared. What if she wasn't prepared for something lurking in the woody borders? Was God trying to warn her about something?
Morning always came too fast, and it never gave her time to wake up. She was grateful she had today off. Living in the center of nowhere in Northwestern Minnesota, she always had a long drive to work, which made for an even longer day.
Like every morning, coffee was the first thing she did. She loved to hear the sound of the perking pot. It talked such sweet promises to her. A step of guilt, like a scampering mouse across an old wooden floor, tiptoed into her heart. Shouldn't she be most excited to meet with God every morning? Shouldn't it get her heart to beating drums, just to hear His voice? Patty wondered what it would be like to hear God talk to her.
She stood at the base of the stairway, coffee mug in hand, and yelled upward. “Girls are you getting dressed for school? You haven't got much time left. Make it snappy!”
Soon enough cupboard doors were opening and closing. All the snaps, crackles and pops of bowls and milk being poured over cereal ensued right along with the normal morning chatter.
Like just another normal day, Patty poured herself another cup of coffee. But then....
“Mom!” Ruth screamed. “Mom, wolves are in our field and they've got Harvey!”
Patty could feel her spine bristle. She grabbed a sweater and charged out the door, and the girls followed.
“They're tearing him apart,” Rachael cried.
Patty knew it was too late. The little Cocker Spaniel was suspended between the jaws of six huge silver timber wolves, and they were playing tug of war with him. He was limp and lifeless.
“Oh dear God,” Patty whispered helplessly.
“Mom, what are we going to do?” Ruth's voice pleaded.
“Rachael, you just had gun training. Go get the gun.”
“But mom, I don't know what bullets go in what gun..”
“Go call the neighbors then, maybe Andy can come,” Patty answered.
Meanwhile, they shouted and shooed at the timber wolves from a safe distance, but the beasts seemed only to be amused at their efforts.
Patty stood by the old wood stove, letting the heat sink into her weary and cold body. Tears streamed and fell on the hot iron and vanished into steam. “The poor dog. Didn't he see them coming? He was helpless in the battle?” She sniffed back tears. “I see what my sister meant. We need a supernatural Helper. We are no match against the enemies without the Holy Spirit.”
Her sister, Mary Lou, had so often told her, “Patty, there's so much more. See, religion can't help you in the tough times. It limits God. The Holy Spirit comes to us when we are born again, and what many people don't realize is that He wants to live powerfully in us. He makes our relationship with Jesus real and bold. Patty, I believe we are living in the last days. Look around you, be alert, stay awake. And, above all, learn to hear His voice. The Holy Spirit is your helper. He will come like a flame of fire. He will be prepare you and your family and guide you for what lies ahead.”
“Oh God, I ask you to protect my family. And I just want to surrender my life and my time to you. I am so helpless. I am so unprepared for the tomorrows. And I haven't been hearing your voice, but I want to.”
Patty sunk to her knees. The heat from the stove radiated about her. But, she was sensing a fire growing inside of her. “I need you to prepare me and my family for the future. So, yes, Holy Spirit baptize me in your powerful flame. Keep me burning in your might.”
A peaceful surrender happened. She opened her Bible and read a favorite verse of Mary Lou's. “I indeed baptize with water unto repentance, But He who is coming after me is mightier than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.” (Matthew 3:11, NKJV)
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