Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Vision (08/03/06)
TITLE: Valley of Vision
By Jan Ross
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I am deafened by the thunderous sound of my enemies. They have chased after me in relentless pursuit. Their clamor reverberates off the mountains encompassing me round about. My valley of refuge has become my prison. When will I be free? When will it end? The fiery arrows, the distant roar of insults being hurled from vulgar mouths, the stench of pagan incense looming in the air, yet I must endure!
I lay awake at night remembering the glorious day of my unexpected visitation … the horn of oil, the celebration, the everlasting covenant, but now look at me! From the heights of the mountaintop to the lowest depths of this valley, I’ve plummeted. How will I find strength to go on? And yet, I know I must.
The darkness is thick, as if it can be pierced asunder with my sword. My shield is weighed down by the heaviness of clouds. My helmet is wet with dew, soaked with sweat from my brow. My eyes are open, yet I do not see. My enemy provokes me day and night. I will not succumb!
My days have grown into weeks and weeks into months. My weariness like leprosy spreads throughout my flesh. My bones burn deep within me with merciless exhaustion. The enemy lurks … I feel his breath on my neck! Will I ever be free from the tempter’s snare? Will I ever break loose from the clutches of death? Will I ever see the mountaintop again?
My enemy has no face yet his nostrils breathe fire. Everywhere I turn he looms. I cannot continue in this valley blinded, alone and secluded within the pressing presence of temptation. Take me back to the mountain where I flourish! Hide me in the cleft of a rock. Shelter me in the shadow of Your wings! Encompass me round about with songs of deliverance. Fight my battles for me! Shatter the teeth of my enemies!
Sleep finally overtakes my heavy eyes. I sense the release of my enemy’s torment as my dreams carry me gently to dawn. The morning breaks forth with glorious light and the sun bursts with gladness. Suddenly I’m aware of a burning deep in my soul.
The Wellspring! I must find my way to the Wellspring for there I’ll find life. There I’ll find freedom! The vision in my mind gives way to reality; I push my way through my looming pursuers.
Strength! My weakness evolves into strength as I press on. The press is hard and almost unbearable. I’m drawn to the Light! I see the glimmering as it beckons me, “Come!” Step by step I’m compelled to walk in the path. Press on! I must press on!
Why must I walk through this valley? My God is more powerful than this! With the sound of His voice deliverance could be mine. Yet, the Light of His glory was dimmed until this moment. As I press on, the enemy’s grip releases my captured soul. Once totally imprisoned, I now run toward freedom.
Where is my enemy? Where are my pursuers? I am safe in this valley! My eyes are open! I see so clearly as if I had never seen before. The mountaintop … had it been my test and I sorely failed? Have I allowed my heart to give way to sin? How could I have been so blind? How could sin purchase my allegiance so cheaply? Oh my God, how could I have forsaken You?
I am overwhelmed by the brightness of Your grandeur. I thirst after You with an unquenchable thirst. The Well is not far off … I can clearly see Him! Lead me, oh King eternal, and draw me to You, my Wellspring of Life.
I dip my cup, I am renewed. Clear water effervescent with Life pours deep, quenching my parched soul. I drink and am satisfied. I sit under the shadow of the pavilion; I hear Your voice ever so clearly …
“My son, your wandering has not escaped My watchful eye. I have heard your voice from out of My holy temple; day and night your cry has ascended unto Me. Your mountains were too lofty – you could not see! Ahhh, but the valley has given you sight! To drink of the Wellspring of Life from the mountain heights, you had to first walk through the Valley of Vision. You have been tested and tried … you have come forth as pure gold.”
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