He fell face down in the dirt. The field was plowed a week before and the small clods crumbled between his fingers with dry chaff and stems of the previous crop.
He couldn’t get up. This Valley of Elah, of sorts, was too much, too hard. The mountain was too high, the valley too low.
His energy was drained, resistance exhausted, and he was so weary of well doing.
Dirt on his forehead began to clear from the sweat of his brow while dirt below his eyes washed clean from tears.
There was just nothing left. Nothing could be done, and besides, nothing would change. So he laid face down in the middle of the field not caring what, or who, saw him there.
Would it be too much to ask God to just take him home, end it all with the flickering heartbeat skidding to a stop. And he would be free then. Free. Really free.
He heard the sound of air in and out of his lungs, felt the rise and fall of each breath.
The sun broke through. Warmth on his back parted the cold fog from his shoulders.
A sudden burst of determination, or maybe it was hope, but a burst of something pulsed through his veins.
More dirt between his fingers, as if clutching an imaginary ladder to climb.
More air in. More air out.
Left defeated by evil beings to die, or worse, give up, he makes no sound.
Resolve to the rescue. Comfort to congestion. Salve to the soul.
Breath in, out. In, out.
Sight beyond his eyelids comes into focus. It begins to return. Light beyond circumstances. Purpose past the pain.
Breath in, out.
Hope. Hope returns.
Faltering faith finds a firm foundation.
Stumbling in battle is never the same as laying down in war.
Rise up, soldier!
Weary arms push up from the place of defeat. Quivering legs rise from ashes.
He does not know what, nor when, not even why, but he knows The Way.
Listen beyond blaring air horns to a calm whisper in the wind.
Mount up on the wings of eagles.
Grow not weary of well doing.
See past today to eternity.
Pick up the sword.
Grab the shield.
So, he said to me, …. It is not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit says the Lord Almighty. Zechariah 4:6