Warrior

Through the smoke and haze of the battlefield, in a ditch, amid the mud, sweat, tears, and blood, stood a weary warrior. The slain were fallen down around him. He had been fighting to save his country, and had just won a decisive victory. His chest rose up and down violently as he tried to catch his breath. He tried to sheath his sword, but his hand wouldn’t let go. The muscles had long since locked into place.
Slowly he crawled over the corpses, out of the ditch. Ever so slowly he staggered to his feet, and turned to look upon the havoc he had caused.
“One, two, three, four, . . . . one hundred . . .”
The enemy’s body count was horrendous. And they had all fallen at the hand of one man. One man, his sword, his shield, and his God.
The warrior felt strength flow into him. The adrenalin flowed through his blood, as he turned to face three soldiers coming to fight him.
He stood upon the knoll, looking down on them as they ran up to confront him. Closer and closer they got. He readied himself for the fight.
The bearded face of the enemy, his green eyes that glowed, his gnarled skin and bloody garment: the seasoned warrior took it all in as the first soldier took a swing at him. The enemy’s battle-axe swung at his head, missing by inches and hit the ground, mud flying into the air upon it’s impact.
The warrior stepped forward, smashing his shield into his opponent’s head. At the same time, he spun opposite, spit flying from his mouth, his sword slicing through his opponent’s armour lengthwise, then crisscrossing across his throat, killing him. Blood sprayed all over the warrior’s armour.
From the corner of his eye, he saw the other assailant’s sword, coming down on him. He raised his shield to meet the falling blade. There was a terrible clash as the sword ground into the warrior’s battle shield. Metal bit into metal, as the sword left yet another mark on his tried and trusty shield-a small shield that had protected him countless times from arrows, darts, and every other weapon that he had come against.
As his opponent recovered, he drew back his sword and gave a vicious underhand stab into his enemy’s ribs. The muscles in his arm contorted as they constricted, driving the sword deep. Right until it could go in no longer. He could feel it life of his enemy slip away. He watched as the man gasped and fell down, the sword still stuck inside him. He put his foot on the dead man and tore his sword out.
The third man who was bringing up the rear, now stopped short. The warrior turned to look at him, his sword posed menacingly in his hand. The third man’s eyes grew wide as terror pierced them. He turned tail and ran. The warrior sprinted after him, his sword now raised as he brought it down onto his enemy’s exposed back. A strangled cry emitted from the enemy’s throat. The third man now lay dead on the ground. Another victim of the warrior’s double-edged sword.
The warrior now had a brief moment of peace. The last of the challengers were now dead. The battlefield was his for a few moments. He staggered a bit, his head spinning around as the blood rushed to his head. He felt so tired and weary all of a sudden. The invincibly he felt a few moments ago was gone. Now he felt cold and tired. The mud, the blood, the sweat, and the tears were grinding into his skin. He felt thirsty and hungry. He felt wounded and alone. The hand holding his sword hung by his side as he now turned to look around him.
The crowd that had gathered around him now had dispersed. Why did they run after they had all shown their support for the King’s cause? After their lips had proclaimed their ‘allegiance’?
His weary eyes gazed through the gloom, looking for comrades fighting with him, but he couldn’t see them anywhere. All he could see were tattered banners, discarded amidst burning ruins, the armies of Hell marching past them. All he could see were comrades throwing down their swords and raising stained white flags of defeat. They slowly came out of their holes where they were hiding, their flags fluttering in the breeze, their arms raised in surrender to the hordes of demons that surrounded them with spears lowered.
All he could see were comrades running, arrows striking them in the back, cutting them down. All he could see, were battles in front of him. Battles that were ten times bigger than the one he had just fought.
He could see the banners of Hell flutter high in the breeze, moving forward at the head of their column. Not just one or two, but dozens of them, slowly but surely, bearing down on him. So that was why all the spectators had fled. They still didn’t trust God. He watched the huge columns of enemy forces wind their way towards his hill.
He could feel himself falling. Falling into a pit that never ends. The darkness swirled around him as he felt depression cave in on him. He started running for the nearby ruins of a house. Running, the warrior who faced off over three hundred enemy soldiers, running for his life. He stumbled and fell. Fresh layers of mud now coated his armour as he staggered into the ruins of the house. He staggered into a dark corner, out of sight, all alone, or so he thought. He curled up in this corner, his sword and shield finally released, lying on the ground beside him.
“God!” He screamed inside, “Why am I the only one fighting for you?! This is a lost cause! There are too many for me!”
He pounded his head against the wall, “God! Where are you? I can’t keep doing this!”
The memories of old flooded his mind. His teacher surrendering to the black horde. His father finally paying the ultimate price with his life. His best friend becoming a traitor.
“Please, take my life now! I can’t do any more than my fathers did!”
Great sobs wracked his frame. Finally he fell asleep, fatigued from all his exertion.
He could feel someone shaking him. He stirred. And suddenly sat up, ready to fight for his life. But no one was there, save for a man in shining armour. He took a deep breath. He could smell something other than mud, sweat and blood. Fresh bread, that’s what it was. He looked down. There is was on the ground beside him, baking on coals, a cruse of cold water beside it.
“Arise and eat.” said the man.
He sat up and numbly obeyed. The man turned and melted away into the smoke. Still weary, he lay back down to sleep, but moments later, he felt someone shaking him again. He opened his eyes. It was the same man.
“Arise and eat, because the journey is too great for thee!” said he.
Once again he got up and ate. But this time, he would not lie down again. He needed to retreat. To get back on track. Deep inside him, the warrior spirit still breathed. The enemy had got him down, but he wasn’t finished yet. There was a journey still ahead of him, and he needed direction.
Forty days and forty nights away, stood the mount of God. The mount of God where his forefather’s had talked with God. Where giants before him had resorted for strength and guidance. Forty days and forty nights, over a barren land, ravaged by time. Desolate, dry, and thirsty, a land wherein lay the bones of his ancestors who had fallen by the way.
He could feel strength flow into him again from the bread and water that his King had sent. Strength to make the journey to the mountain of God. Forty days and forty nights across a wasteland that once was a battlefield too.
********
God’s warrior now stood in a cave. A cave amongst the rocky mountains of God.
“What doest thou here?” said God.
Said the warrior, “I have been very jealous for the LORD God of hosts: for thy people have been overrun, they have surrendered, and they betray their own countrymen; and I, even I only, am left; and the enemy seeks my life, to take it away.”
“Go,” said God, “Stand upon my mount.”
The warrior now climbed up the mount. He could feel anticipation throb in his body. What was there that God wanted him to see? What did God want to tell him? Every footstep brought him closer to his destination, till finally, he stood there, on the mount of God, where his heros had once stood.
His keen ears now picked up a whisper of wind, that now became a roar. The wind whipped through the mountains, picking up boulders and smashing them against the mountains, breaking them. But God wasn’t in the wind.
The ground beneath him began to shake as an earthquake shook the mountains. But God wasn’t there either.
Then came a fire. It’s heat scorched his weathered face, as it burnt upon the rocks. But God wasn’t in the fire either.
But then he heard it. Something that only one who talked with God alot would hear. A still small voice. Just audible amidst the sudden silence.
He went and stood in the cave’s entrance.
Then came that still small voice to him again, “What doest thou here, Elijah?”
Once again he stated his reply, “I have been very jealous for the LORD God of hosts: because the children of Israel have forsaken thy covenant, thrown down thine altars, and slain thy prophets with the sword; and I, even I only, am left; and they seek my life, to take it away.”
Said that still small voice to him, “Elijah, I want you to go to the wilderness of Damascus and anoint Hazel king over Syria. And then you will anoint Jehu, the son of Nimshi, to be the next king over Israel. And finally, find Elisha the son of Shaphat, and anoint him to be the next prophet in your steed.”
Elijah caught his breath. So there was Elisha who was still serving God. But that was only one more. He still felt so down and out of the fight.
Then the still small voice said something else: “Elijah, I still have seven thousand in Israel, who have not yielded yet to the enemy.”
Suddenly he felt himself soar into the sky, where he gazed down upon the battlefield. All of a sudden, he could see them, like lights in a dark place, fighting against the foe. Seven thousand who wouldn’t surrender and wouldn’t give in. Seven thousand, each fighting their own battles, yet seven thousand fighting the same war. Seven thousand fighting alone, but seven thousand with God fighting for them.
God’s voice whispering in his ear, “You’re not alone.”
He felt the fire inside him grow and wax hot. His eyes soaked in the sight of those seven thousand warriors. Men just like him, standing their ground against all odds.
He could hear God’s soft voice echoing, “What doest thou here, Elijah?”

Author’s notes:
This story is a dramatization of Elijah, after his victory at Mt. Carmel over the prophets of Baal, and then his fleeing before Jezebel, and finally his journey to the Mt. of God. I wanted to try and picture a spiritual scene. Elijah had just defeated the enemy against amazing odds, and all around him the people were now proclaiming Jehovah as the One and Only God. But then Jezebel got mad, and we see Elijah suddenly disheartened, asking God to take his life. What happened? After the heights he had just reached, what brought Elijah down? In my re-telling of the story, I wanted to picture Elijah suddenly realising that though he had won the battle, there were much bigger ones coming. I think that Elijah grew tired, as we all do, and from his standpoint, got discouraged, because after all that had happened, it seemed like he was the only one. And bigger battles were coming his way. He was tired. Henceforth his cry to God, “I, even I only, am left; and they seek my life, to take it away.” I love the way that God confronted him on the mountain, and I really hope that you can feel the excitement rush through your blood and the tears well in your eyes, when you think back to the stormy day in Elijah’s life, when God whispered to him, amidst the fire, earthquake, and wind, “There are still seven thousand in Israel, who have not bowed unto Baal and have not kissed him. Elijah, you feel alone, but you’re not alone.” And the same for all of us, “Christian, you may feel alone, but you are NOT alone.”

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