Posted by: Michelle Knoll | April 17, 2013

A Tale of Two Kings – War

So this is what it had to be.  War.  On the deepest level.  This was the confrontation that would not be denied.

The girl stared into the air in front of her.  Though she wasn’t looking at any human face, she was looking into the eyes of a face so real she could reach out and slap it.  So sinister she could feel its ugliness glaring back at her.

The eyes of their enemy were cold.  Filled with death.  Glazed over with delight.

“You.  Won’t.  Win.”  The girl spoke barely above a whisper, not wanting to be heard by those around her.  This was her private battle.  She didn’t want others to jump into the fray, muddy her thoughts, confuse the situation in her heart.

Her mom had tried to console her, but the words sounded more like defeat.  So the girl fought them off.  She didn’t mean to be rude to her own mom, but she didn’t have time for that sort of talk.  None of this “whatever happens will happen” stuff.  No, she knew what she believed and she was going to stand by what she believed God had told both of them:  their son, the little king, would indeed come home.  From the hospital.  Alive.  Well, and getting stronger.

They had eaten dinner that evening, and made small talk with the king’s grandparents.  The girl wasn’t up to small talk.  That sort of thing didn’t matter. What mattered was the war.  It was here.  It was all around her.  She was ready, and she didn’t want distraction.  It was time to go to the front lines.  It was David against Goliath, and as far as she was concerned, Goliath’s head was coming off tonight.

In her heart, the girl drew her sword.  In her heart, she saw the enemy suddenly become very quiet.  In her heart, she felt all the unwavering confidence of a warrior who knows he has the upper hand.  In her heart, she tasted victory, and she wasn’t going to let go of that taste.  In her heart, she knew the enemy would cower in fear.

In her hands, she carried her Bible, the sword her God had given her for life’s battles.  In her mind, verses raced past, a furious recollection of all she had studied in her life up to that point.  She would stand on every verse in her arsenal.  She would see God bring victory!  And she wouldn’t stand for anything less.

Did God owe her victory?  The walls of her parted Red Sea gurgled around her as she continued to walk through on dry land.  Was she being presumptuous?  She pondered the question, searching her heart, for the answer might very well determine the outcome.

She stopped, in her heart, and lowered her sword.  Was she being presumptuous?  Was she demanding something that wasn’t rightfully hers?  Had she charged off into battle without orders to do so?  Was she facing the wrong sea?

She could lay down her sword, right now, and give in to what all the doctors and nurses had said all along: he’s going to die.  She could succumb to that statement, let it take over her thinking, and even agree with it.  And she knew if she did, he would probably die.  Words have immense power, more power than the human mind can fathom. And she knew, she could do that.  Yes, she could give in, agree with everyone else, and let her son go.  But what purpose would it serve?  Would it bring God any glory?  Would it bring Him any praise?  Would the acceptance of all the negative statements be the right thing to do?  Could she live with knowing she had backed down, accepted the statements and the diagnosis of a heart “falling apart, cell by cell”?  Could she walk away from this war for her son’s life?  Should she?

For the first time in days, she cried, more out of frustration and anger than sadness.

The hardest part of war is the choosing.

But within her, deep within her, was this… knowing.  And it would not let her rest.   It would not let her be.  It was a force deep inside her, like the waters of a geyser, churning, churning, never still.  It was building, growing stronger, pushing upward, ever increasing, until… WHOOSH!  It burst through the fog of her thinking, shattering the uncertainty, laying waste the question over what her course of action should be.  She knew beyond doubt that there was more to her son’s life than this!  She knew her son was to live.  She knew it!

And with that knowing, she raised her sword again, and placed the tip of it in their enemy’s face.

“Tonight, you… will… pay.”

She seated herself in the chair beside their son’s bed, flipped open her Bible, and started praying.  Her husband stood on the other side of the bed, praying as well.  They knew friends were praying back home.  Their parents were praying in the hotel rooms.  Music filled with scriptures was playing in the small tape recorder next to the little king’s bed.  The nurses quietly went about their business, not willing to interrupt the vigil of the girl and her husband.

The girl flipped from one scripture to the next, confessing every promise she read, praying constantly for God to show Himself strong.  She would not falter, she would not back down.  She kept her emotions in check, and did not speak out of fear or doubt or despair.  She stood her ground in confession.  Her husband did likewise.  This would be accomplished!

Finally, at 3 AM, a concerned nurse could no longer hold her peace.  “Please,” she begged, “go and get some rest.  When he comes out of PICU and is placed on the regular floor, it will be up to you to take care of him.  You need to have strength to do that.”

She was right, and the girl knew this.  The girl’s husband knew it, too.  But it was hard to leave.  They only had 6 hours left before the 24 hour period was up.  Still, he was not going to be in PICU much longer, and their roles would change from observant parent to serving caregiver.

Reluctant to leave, but realizing the necessity of sleep, the girl and her husband walked slowly out of the ward.  They would continue the prayers through the night, away from the little king’s side.  The war was still on, until God said it was time to stop battling.

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