How can it be
That You, my King, should die for me?
I know it’s true.
A lonely soldier walks up a rugged hill in a barren wilderness. It is drawing close to dusk, and she is weary from the day’s battles. She carries the wounds and scars from past defeats. Her body trembles beneath the heavy armor, and she wonders where she will find the strength to fight again. The place where she has come to find solace is empty. Nothing stirs except a gentle wind. No grass is growing, no trees swaying, only a lonely cross on the dust covered ground. With her last step, she falls to her knees and tears mix with sweat and dirt stream down her cheeks.
From the other side of the hill, walks one Man. Her Savior. He has come for only one reason—to love her. Although He walks as one with authority and wears the clothes of royalty, He kneels beside her in the dirt. He wraps His strong arms around her, and for the first time in a long time, she feels safe. Slowly, she moves her head to look into the face, the eyes of the one who came here for her. She is overcome by what she sees. No words could describe the love, grace and mercy found there. He points her to the cross and reminds her again of what He did for her there. This great Man, this King of all Kings, emptied Himself to the point of death for her. How could someone sacrificially love her so much? Would she ever understand the depth of what He did for her?
“Surely he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; . . . But he was pierced for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his wounds we are healed.”
It was no accident that she found herself in His arms. She knew she would find Him here. At the end of every battle, she could find renewed strength at this place, at the foot of His cross. But it had been many battles since she climbed the lonely hill, and it had been a long time since she met with her Savior like this. The weight of the war was growing too great. She had run out of strength to fight the battles on her own. What’s more, she was losing. She knew things were slipping through her fingers and her shoulders ached with a burden never intended for her to carry alone. So, she returned today, away from the world and the raging war, to be with Him.
“Not that we are sufficient in ourselves to claim anything as coming from us, but our sufficiency is from God.”
2 Corinthians 3:5
He had been waiting for her. He knew that she couldn’t do it alone. He saw how her armor had grown weak and broken. He knew the Enemy had been chipping away where she was most vulnerable and the battles had only grown worse and more intense. He was ready for her—ready to renew her with a supernatural strength beyond anything she could possess in human form. He had been beckoning to her from battle, longing for her to slow down long enough to listen. His faithfulness never waned. Continually, He would call to her, but she had grown fearful of showing signs of weakness. Other soldiers followed her lead; she didn’t want them to know she was afraid and broken, too. But daily she was losing ground. She needed Him, and although she knew it, she didn’t take the time to pursue it.
Until today. Today, she heard His voice. She felt Him drawing her. Respite. She just needed to stop and rest. The battle would still be there tomorrow, but in this moment, she would linger at His feet, in His presence just for a little bit longer. How she never wanted to leave! She wished that the victory that He had promised (and already accomplished) would be the end to all her battles. She didn’t want to fight any more. But there were still soldiers on the battlefield. Countless who were hurting and dying. They needed to know about this place. They needed to know about a Savior who was waiting there for them, too. They needed to experience His amazing love for themselves.
So, she would rise again. She would make the steady decline down the hill and march back into battle. This time, her armor would be stronger. This time, she wouldn’t wait so long before she took time to sit with her Savior again at the foot of the cross.
“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil.”