I’ve drawn much comfort from the final book in the “Chronicles of Narnia” series by C. S. Lewis, entitled “The Last Battle.” The protagonists find themselves in a fight that appears to be hopeless. Outnumbered, weary, and bruised, the tiny band of heroes struggle to protect those who turned against them. Literally stuck between a rock and a hard place, they battle on. They don’t surrender their post even when they hear distant drums signalling the dreadful promise of more enemy troops approaching them. Resisting the temptation to flee, they make use of what arrows and swords they have left to make some ground against their enemies.
As one of the warriors grieves over the loss of a friend who falls before her eyes, her leader doesn’t rebuke her. Instead, he instructs her to turn her head, so her tears will not wet and ruin the string of her bow. Together, they placed their trust in Aslan, who represents the Christ-figure in this allegory. They understood it was not their business to know the outcome of their effort. Their business was to do Aslan’s will, no matter what the cost and no matter how deep their grief.
Lay down your need to understand when you are in the thick of a battle.
I have participated in countless spiritual battles in my life. Some of the outcomes of those battles I still do not understand. Some of those battles continue to rage on. In every battle I face, the Lord of Hosts urges me not to lose heart. In seasons of heart-wrenching betrayal, confusion, and overwhelming grief, I cry out to God for an explanation. “Why?” God doesn’t always answer my questions. I’ve learned to lay down my need to understand when I am in the thick of a battle. I’ve determined to press on in faith until He calls me to rest. My questions can wait until then.
Several years ago, I was invited to join with a group of intercessors in prayer. The goal: to see God work the miraculous in an impossible situation. My heart sank when I was given details of what we were about to face. I didn’t need to count the cost. I already knew the emotional, spiritual, and physical price I would pay if I were to join this mission. We were called back to active duty to fight a familiar foe that threatened to take the life of a precious child.
Press on until the battle is over.
As we gathered, I looked around our circle. We had warred over this situation before, and we saw the hand of God change impossible circumstances. These were victories won through agony, tears, fasting, and unwavering faith. Our intercession and prayers stood solidly on the foundation of an overwhelming trust in a God who hears the cry of His children and who rules supreme. There were minor setbacks over the years, but now a huge battle loomed. Could we find the courage and fortitude to press in again?
We knew war could be ugly even in the spiritual realms. I could see that my fellow prayer warriors were asking themselves the same questions I was asking myself. Many of us took part in the previous skirmish, and we carried the knowledge, skills, and scars earned through that battle. We would stand. We would persevere. We would press on until the battle was over.
God asked us to be willing, humble, obedient, and open to His training. We placed our trust in the One who reigns over all. Although we fought with tenacity, the outcome was not one we wished to see. Even so, we learned new skills that we carried into our next battle.
Ecclesiastes 4:12 (NLT) – “A person standing alone can be attacked and defeated, but two can stand back-to-back and conquer. Three are even better, for a triple-braided cord is not easily broken.”
Keeping the above scripture in mind, think back to significant battles in your Christian walk. Journal about them this week. Specifically, take note of the skills you developed during those seasons.
Did you enlist the help of others? If so, what benefits or drawbacks did you experience by working as a team? If you preferred to battle on your own, what were the advantages and disadvantages of that choice?
When answers to your hard questions are not forthcoming, how do you deal with disappointment? How do you keep your heart free from offense?
All Bible verses, unless otherwise attributed, are from the English Standard Version (ESV).
Until Next Week
©2017 Katherine Walden
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