Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Cup - 10-25-12 Deadline (10/18/12)
TITLE: Punishment to Salvation
By Lynn Smith
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Rain pelted against the roof of Jonati’s small house, startling her. She could barely see across her backyard as the heavy rain clouded her view, so she stood and opened her window slightly. Immediately, she was assaulted by ice cold water and a powerful wind that slashed at her eyes. Jonati had never seen such a deluge; it was drenching everything in sight, and the tree that she had planted as a child swayed back and forth, making her worry that it might snap in half.
God’s wrath was coming.
Jonati screamed out, “El Shaddai… Mighty God… I have offended you and broke your laws. Every day I cry out to you, and I have done everything in my power to appease you. Why must I drink from the cup of punishment that never gets consumed?”
Thunder roared, and if Jonati didn't know better, she would have thought the mountains were re-positioning themselves. At the same time, billowy dark grey clouds soared across the sky as if they were escaping something; and Jonati grabbed her chest as she felt that her heart was about to explode. She wanted to crawl under her bed and disappear… especially from God.
“You know everything I do; from far away you understand all my thoughts.” (Psalm 139: 2 GNT)
She wanted to open her lungs and scream. Jonati could not run from God no matter how hard she tried, and her stomach tightened as she took note of all the horrible things she had done within the past few months. She had betrayed her husband, Even, by committing adultery with a man from work, and she could never forget the anguish that twisted his face when he had found out. It crushed her. As a result of the affair she became pregnant, then secretly suffered an abortion so Even wouldn't be racked every day with the pain of having to raise another mans child. The instruments used to murder her baby had severed her soul in two, but that was the price she had to pay for disobeying the Commandments.
Jonati curled up on her bed as she contemplated everything she had lost- her husband, her baby, her dignity, her job, and most important… her connection with God. She never imagined that a heart could hurt so much; and if it were possible, she would rip it out of her chest so she could no longer feel. With her eyes closed, she felt as if she was falling into an endless pit; her purpose in life was gone.
Faintly, she heard a knock at the door. Her stomach plummeted, taking with it the last bit of peace she had left. No one ever came around at two in the morning; well, at least not during the six months that her husband had been gone. Running down the stairs, she thought she saw a familiar silhouette through the sheer white curtains. Could it be? She fumbled with the lock, and threw open the door to see Even standing there, soaked to the bone. With a gentle look on his face, he entered.
“Honey, I missed you.” Taking a step forward, he embraced her with all his strength.
“But… I thought you hated me.” Tears welled up in the corner of her eyes. “I am so sorry for hurting you.”
“Shh.” He placed his finger against Jonati’s lips, and then led her to the sofa. “I have always loved you, but I refused to forgive you… till now.”
Even took her face in his hands. “I know you carry a lot of guilt, Jonati, and I have suffered much also. God was not pleased with me for the anger I felt towards you, and how I allowed it to fester to the point where I wanted to end our marriage.”
“But God showed me the way to peace and forgiveness… through his son, Jesus Christ.” He took a deep breath, “Will you accept him?”
“Yes,” Jonati exclaimed. All the guilt, despair, fear and sadness, disappeared as she drank from the cup of salvation.
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