“So stand ready, with truth as a belt tight around your waist, with righteousness as your breastplate, and as your shoes the readiness to announce the good news of peace.
At all times carry faith as a shield; for with it you will be able to put out all the burning arrows shot by the Evil One.
And accept salvation as a helmet, and the word of God as the sword which the Spirit gives you.”
The King was helping the Princess learn how to wield the shield of faith. The shield was high enough to protect her entire body and designed to stop the dragon’s fiery darts. She needed to have faith in the King, and faith in herself. Sometimes it was too big to carry. It seemed Silver-tongue wanted to undermine that faith for he tripped her up constantly.
Dropping her shield, she asked the King for help as she could not go on. She did not have faith that she was heading in the right direction. The way was too hard. Silver-tongue did not think enough of her to ever give her a chance. He plainly did not believe in her. She was made responsible for everything that was wrong in the relationship. He made her life a misery.
The King knew she was too worn down to lift the shield right then, but asked her to carry it, saying “Courage is the conquering of fear by faith. If you do not fight the dragon in your Kingdom, then I cannot occupy it, and the dragon will continue to fight for what is yours. Do you want this?” She took the shield, and said “Lord, is it not the prince who is supposed to wear armour and kill dragons”? The Lord smiled and replied “Only in fairy tales.”
The King explained that the shield had substance.
Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. Hebrews 11:1
“You have used the shield already, last year when you warded off that attack in the Pits after your father died” He reminded her. She thought back to that week of September 1994. Silver-tongue had been particularly nasty, full of venom and spite. His cutting words found their target and kept on coming. He would not leave her be.
Nastiness and negativity came in the door with him and stayed long after he left. There was no peace. Her mind dwelt on thoughts of negativity and hate. To add to the misery, she wasn’t being given the space to grieve for her father as she needed to. Silver-tongue wanted constant attention. If he didn’t get it by charm, then he’d get it by wounding. She had been fighting the dragon in her own strength and was near exhaustion.
One night the King had heard her tell her young son that he didn’t need to feign illness if he was worried about attending a birthday party, he just needed to tell her. “Mummy can’t help if you don’t tell her” she said as she tucked him into bed. “You need to take your own advice” the King told her as she came downstairs. “What do you mean?” she asked Him. He replied “Your thoughts are killing you. It’s like watching death by a thousand cuts!” He replied with concern. “I can’t help you if you don’t tell me. You must give those thoughts to me.” She frowned as she replied “I can’t, they are foul and accompanied by lots of swear words.” “Don’t worry about that, I can handle it” He replied, adding “Tomorrow, we start.”
She nodded. As soon as she put the kettle on in the small kitchen the next morning, the bad thoughts started, and the King prompted her to give them to Him. Her shield went up as she silently said “Lord, I give this to you”. She held her ground, repeating it over and over like a mantra as they kept on coming. The hate gained no purchase or traction in her mind. No matter where she was, for three days she prayed silently, and kept at it doggedly. On the third day of giving the King all of that hate, she encountered Him in a dream that night, finding herself on the ground floor of a house with a flat roof. Hearing Him call her name, she followed His voice upstairs. She found Him in a white tiled bathroom holding a sack open. He looked comforting, but His words weren’t. “Come here, there is a snake in your pocket” He told her. Alarmed, she cried “What? Take it from me!” He shook His head and said “No, you have to give it to me.” Frightened, she said “It will bite!” He replied reassuringly “You won’t be harmed.” She dug into her pocket and removed a small death adder which immediately sank its fangs into her hand. “Lord, I give this to you” she said as she shook it off into the sack. He quickly coiled the neck of the sack closed and said “Well done! Daughter, your faith has made you well.”
She awoke to Johnny Nash singing “I can see clearly now”. It was strange because she always had her clock radio set on alarm. The words of the song were laden with meaning and promise, for something was different. The emotional pain and bad feelings were gone, along with the hacking cough that she had endured for the last ten months, the cough that had started in that week of unbearable stress the previous December. She had peace of mind that went beyond all understanding.
I can see clearly now, the rain is gone,
I can see all obstacles in my way
Gone are the dark clouds that had me blind
It’s gonna be a bright, bright Sun-Shiny day.
I think I can make it now, the pain is gone
All of the bad feelings have disappeared
Here is the rainbow I’ve been praying for
It’s gonna be a bright, bright Sun-Shiny day.
She went to the Doctor with a big smile on her face and said “we can cancel the chest X-rays”. The Doctor was surprised the cough which had resisted two lots of antibiotics had gone. “Jesus healed me” she told Him. Impressed, the Doctor told her that Jesus did heal patients but they did not admit it or speak about it openly.