He stumbles through the door, slamming it behind him; cursing the world as his drink sloshes to the floor. An incoherent demand for dinner slurs out of his drunken mouth, as he makes his way to the living room for yet another round. The television will not work, and a tantrum ensues. He yells his curses and nearly falls to the ground before landing heavily on the couch. The loud thud rouses his wife’s worry, as she quietly peeks to check on him. She cautiously works on dinner, trying not to disturb the drunken shell of a man lying in the next room. He no longer resembles her husband but is a shriveled mess with glazed eyes and ashen face drawn with lines that do not resemble a man at all.
He stirs from his drunken slumber and staggers his way to the restroom; he doesn’t make it, but instead falls to the floor, his head narrowly missing the corner of the nightstand. She runs to his side, but he is incoherent and limp. After what seemed an eternity, she is able to get him up. Her heart pounds with fear, her arthritic body is in pain, and her heart is crushed…thoughts spin through her mind as to what she should do. She is angered with his behavior, yet she cries quietly alone in her room because she worries for him as his health continues to decline.
Day after day tensions mount as his drunken state continues. The nasty beast within rearing its ugly head, flaming words exiting its mouth to degrade; to torment; to crush the spirit of those who would dare come near. The drink fuels its flaming tongue, while poisoning the man in which it lives – it seeks to steal the light left inside so he can’t find his way; it seeks to kill his body slowly while he can’t see it coming; it seeks to destroy the faith his loved ones have left so they are crippled and cannot pray.
Because the man’s body is too injured to save by stopping, and most family and friends are too afraid of the beasts flaming tongue to come around, it believes it has won. But I tell you this you beast – you demon – won you have not, because as death comes we will fight for this man. As death comes we will not lose faith. As death comes we will continue to pray. You beast – you demon – take his body you may, but he is God’s child and with God his soul will stay.
The Statement of Truth and Lessons Learned
For far too long I have resented this man, I have been angry and bitter for all he has done. I have let the beast harden my heart and take me to places of deep darkness at the mere mention of this man’s name. I have prayed for him, but not with the power and tenacity I should have, because I let the anger overcome my love, compassion, and my faith in God. So, what changed? Why am I writing this now?
This man is not my enemy; the demon that is the devil’s right hand is. It has taken God to soften my heart and remember the forgiveness He has given me for the things I have done. Let us be reminded of John 8:7 NIV, “When they kept questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, “Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her”. I am a sinner, and it is only by God’s grace that I am forgiven.
This man is wrong in what he does, but I am no more innocent than he. I do not condone what he does; I do not have to like it or accept it, but I also cannot expect the demon to lose its hold on him if I am not praying with all my might and holding fast in my faith for God’s intervention even if this man’s anger is upon me. It is written, “They triumphed over him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony; they do not love their lives so much as to shrink from death.” Revelation 12:11 NIV. It is in this that I am reminded that the blood of the Lamb overcomes all, our testimonies help others in their times of trouble and lead them to God, His love, and His healing if they are willing to accept it. We do not love our lives, money, homes, or societal statuses so much so that we are afraid to speak His word and pray for others.
We must take up the armor of God and fight for our brethren and enemies alike. There is nothing the devil fears more than God’s people on their knees praying for those like this man…lost and weak. Don’t stop praying for each other and spreading your testimonies to the world. Stand together, even as death comes, and “take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the spirit, which is the word of God. And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests…” Ephesians 6:16-18 NIV.