Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Chapter 32 : Returning to the abyss, pt. 1

I try to obey, yet find myself sitting at the foot of the bed, staring at the objects on the shelf for a very long time. Finally, I fall asleep, sitting there, leaning on the post at the foot of the bed. Not long afterwards, I wake, blinking in the morning light. I feel neither rested nor refreshed. I am stiff and my mind is foggy. I look around and find that He is there, still in the doorway, watching me.

“Come with Me.” He invites, extending His hand to me. I unfold myself from the awkward position on the bed and slowly walk to Him. It is somehow a relief to be in His company again. He entwines my arm in His tenderly. “Come; let us go out into the garden.”

We walk carefully down the outer stairs to the garden grove below. I wonder briefly if we are going to the place of correction again. I find that I am at peace even if this is the case. But it does not seem to be His destination. We walk through the garden, talking for much of the morning.

As we walk, though, I feel a pull, a pressure on me that distracts. Things seem confusing, unclear. I do not know how to see what is going on around me, how to understand what I am feeling and hearing. The pressure builds and builds, becoming impossible to ignore, overwhelming. “Papa, what is this? Please help me! I can not continue this way, help me!”

He turns to look at me. “What are you hearing?”

Until this moment I did not realize that it was indeed a voice that I felt more than heard. I pause for a moment to listen for it and I hear clearly now the words, “You are not wanted.”

Now I understand what I am responding to, what I am feeling. But I do not understand where it is coming from. The voice is not loud, just a muffled sound, but enough to raise a reaction within me. “Where is this coming from? What have I done? What do I need to do to get rid of this?” I find myself growing more and more agitated.
His answer takes a long time. “It is the voice of the abyss.” He explains.

“But how? We shut the door—nailed it shut. You quieted that voice.” I am confused, remembering my struggles through that place.

“Come, I will show you.” He guides me through the garden, to the sunny side of the castle. We pause at the bench by the water and he points out a door in the castle, near the waters edge, at the corner of the wall. In all the times we have been here I had never seen this before. “There is another door to that place.

“You did shut the door to the abyss, but the voice is strong, even penetrating through the song of grace that you hear now. It is not coming at you in the old ways. The voice is calling to you in new ways now.”

I realize that this door is in the sun, not in the shadows as before. The voices, feelings I am struggling with are coming from a source which has never been a source before, my husband. This is a new picture and new way indeed. “What must I do, Papa?” I ask, desperate to make it stop.

“You have a choice; you can nail the second door shut. The voice will remain, but the door will be shut and you do not have to go into that place. Or, you can go into that place and silence the voice.” He does not seem to indicate which the right choice is.

I think for a moment. I do not want to go back there, but there does not seem to be much of a choice. Closing the door does not silence the voice and I want it silenced. “Will you go with me? I can’t go back there alone.” I begin, stammering with anxiety.

Placing His hand on my shoulder He says, “You will not go alone. But you must prepare first. You cannot go as you are right now.”

“Yes, Papa. Please, help me.” I am relieved that He will be with me. Even now, the thought of facing that abyss alone is more than I believe I can do.

“Come, then, first you must eat.” He guides me around the side of the castle to the back door to the kitchen. We walk in and He begins to prepare a meal for me. He places a large piece of meat on a plate and pours a large glass to milk. Instead of going into the dining room, He turns back outside, heading toward the intimate picnic area. We sit at the table and He places the meal before me.

I hesitate for a moment, not knowing where to begin.

“Drink the milk.” He tells me.

I hesitate, not understanding why that is important now.

“Drink. It will replenish what is being taxed right now. It is the foundational things that are being attacked right now. These are what are usually attacked, and debilitated. It is rarely the deep things that come under such attack.”

I take up the large glass and begin to drink. It is incredibly rich. Not like the milk I am accustomed to drinking, stripped of the richness for health’s sake. I must drink slowly, it is so rich. I savor the flavor and the fullness, not having realized the depth that was present in His milk.

PS 59:9 O my Strength, I watch for you; you, O God, are my fortress, [10] my loving God. God will go before me and will let me gloat over those who slander me.

PS 59:16 But I will sing of your strength, in the morning I will sing of your love; for you are my fortress, my refuge in times of trouble.17 O my Strength, I sing praise to you; you, O God, are my fortress, my loving God.

PS 62:1 My soul finds rest in God alone; my salvation comes from him. 2 He alone is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I will never be shaken.

PS 62:5 Find rest, O my soul, in God alone; my hope comes from him.6 He alone is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I will not be shaken.7 My salvation and my honor depend on God; he is my mighty rock, my refuge.8 Trust in him at all times, O people; pour out your hearts to him, for God is our refuge.

PS 62:11 One thing God has spoken, two things have I heard: that you, O God, are strong,12 and that you, O Lord, are loving. Surely you will reward each person according to what he has done.

He reminds me of His strength, His love. His is my fortress and I will not be shaken from His arms for He alone is my refuge.

As I finish the milk, I find strength returning to my bones. I am strengthened and reassured. I am finding peace in Him once again. “Thank you, Papa.” I breathe. “You were right, that is exactly what I needed.”

“Now, take the meat.”

I begin to eat the meat He has placed before me:

PS 55:12 If an enemy were insulting me, I could endure it; if a foe were raising himself against me, I could hide from him.13 But it is you, a man like myself, my companion, my close friend,14 with whom I once enjoyed sweet fellowship as we walked with the throng at the house of God.
PS 55:20 My companion attacks his friends; he violates his covenant. 21 His speech is smooth as butter, yet war is in his heart; his words are more soothing than oil, yet they are drawn swords.
PS 56:1 Be merciful to me, O God, for men hotly pursue me; all day long they press their attack.2 My slanderers pursue me all day long; many are attacking me in their pride.
PS 56:5 All day long they twist my words; they are always plotting to harm me.6 They conspire, they lurk, they watch my steps, eager to take my life.7 On no account let them escape; in your anger, O God, bring down the nations.

PS 55:16 But I call to God, and the LORD saves me.17 Evening, morning and noon I cry out in distress, and he hears my voice.18 He ransoms me unharmed from the battle waged against me, even though many oppose me.
PS 56:8 Record my lament; list my tears on your scroll-- are they not in your record?
PS 56:9 Then my enemies will turn back when I call for help. By this I will know that God is for me.10 In God, whose word I praise, in the LORD, whose word I praise--11 in God I trust; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?

PS 55:22 Cast your cares on the LORD and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous fall.
PS 55:23 … But as for me, I trust in you.
PS 56:3 When I am afraid, I will trust in you. 4 In God, whose word I praise, in God I trust; I will not be afraid. What can mortal man do to me?
PS 56:13 For you have delivered me from death and my feet from stumbling, that I may walk before God in the light of life.

Men have hurt me, come against me, those who were close and trusted. When I call to Him, I am saved, He does not forget me, but sees and records my distress. He delivers me from my distress, the efforts of those against me have no effect on Him, but His hand is against them and He will turn them back. His is for me. He will never let me fall, I trust Him and will not fear. No man can harm me beneath His coverings, I walk with Him.

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