Echoes From the Campfire

There are some trails a man can ride that can be ridden by no other.”
              –Louis L’Amour  (The Californios)

    “Therefore put on God’s complete armor, that you may be able to resist and stand your ground on the evil day [of danger], and, having done all [the crisis demands], to stand [firmly in your place].”
              –Ephesians 6:13 (AMPC)
I just finished a chapter in my new book (The Shepherd) where the main character, Tom Franks, has just come through a deadly fight.  Bullets were fired, people were killed and Franks was wounded.  As he sat there in his pain, being tired and weary after what had taken place, he was alone with his thoughts.
    In our human battles; the physical, emotional, and spiritual, there is often a tremendous letdown after the victory has been won.  This letdown, after a fight, is often more dangerous to the soul, as there can be a lack of alertness.  We have stood in the evil day–now what?
    We know how to train and prepare.  We understand and fulfill our duty.  The enemy did not breach the wall and was turned back.  Now we are alone with our own mind.  “Lord,” we cry out, “arm me for the silence!”
    Think of Jesus in the agony of Gethsemane.  The weight was beyond His ability to withstand.  He pleaded for it to be removed–His Father didn’t hear Him.  He pleaded for His disciple to watch and pray with Him–they slept.  He was alone–in the silence.
    In the battle we grip and wield the sword with fury.  We slash at the enemy with all our being, now in the silence we need the breastplate–His righteousness.  It is not our righteousness, but the righteousness of Christ that we know that we have done the right.  We have served Him well and endured.  Then we can truly say, “I have done all, and I still stand.
    In closing this morning, I want to leave you with a prayer from George Matheson.  I ask that you ponder and contemplate it.

          “Save me, O Lord!  save me from my own companionship!  Protect me from the solitude of my heart; arm me against myself!  I have been strong in the hour of outward battle because I heard the voices of human sympathy; let me hear the voice of a greater sympathy for the watch of the night!  I was able to withstand in the day because there was work to be done; help me in the shadows when no man can work!  Teach me that the heart has a duty greater than the hand!  Teach me that I am not a perfect soldier when I can only fight!  Teach me that the courage which can endure is nobler than the courage with can strike!”