I don’t remember what was heavier…the box in my hands or the weight of all of it on my shoulders.
“Down, down…DOWN,” is all I heard while the force of pressure felt like a thousand hands all over me, pushing, pulling, driving me to the ground, forcing me to submit…but who was I submitting or refusing to submit to?
Each step became more weighted, more labored, as if I was walking through knee-deep muck and filth. Powering through it as best I could, fighting, resisting, pushing through as I had so many times before, only this time I became afraid…I became overwhelmed with fear, knowing I was not going to win.
It was a moment alone, literally. Outside, in the dark and on the driveway, throwing out garbage.
If a neighbor had seen me, they would have only seen a man walking toward the large green bin with a box in his hands. They would have thought nothing about it on the warm summer night, all the stars out and the light breeze that swept past us all with it’s peace.
What they wouldn’t have seen was the legion of demons my pride had summoned to hold me upright, taking my arms and pulling me forward in ropes and chains, forcing me to walk in deeper and deeper in sin, step after grueling step in direct defiance of the Grace I felt coming to claim me.
The pulling, the constant pulling in every single direction was killing my soul. It was self-inflicted and brought on by the lies I told myself that promised a fool’s freedom.
It was like being in a crowd of millions all pushing, pulling, shoving, forcing me to do their twisted dance. They came at me with laughing, yelling, SCREAMING, cruel and evil faces which wore smiles of false promises, lies and deception. They offered instant and temporary relief of the pain that was momentarily held at bay by nameless beasts that were waiting for me to reach out willingly and open their cages to once again battle me. It was self perpetuating hell, brought on by ego, pride, selfish greed and a confused sinner’s misguided wrath.
The pressure, dear God the pressure. Who was I supposed to submit to? My ego? My will? My mirrored self who thought he pulled the strings of his own puppeteer life?
My head was screaming, “I DON’T NEED YOU! I DON’T NEED ANYONE!!!” I was so alone in the dark, but surrounded by confusion, blinding jealousy and binding pride, all children which had their own names that I had given them throughout my life. All of them created by me, raised by me, thrown away to be forgotten by me…but the sins of our past that we create always grow up and wait in the shadows until we call them back for the dues they are owed.
And in the near distance I could see a clear figure commanding the chaos which engulfed me. I saw me, myself standing on top of this battleground hill, pointing at me, myself…directing the legion I had created and called to advance relentlessly, ruthlessly and unforgivingly on me.
It was then, seeing my own eyes, so full of lies, hate, anger, abuse and nary a light of apology that I had known the lifetime path of falsehood on which I had lead myself astray.
And in the hell, the noise that sounded like smashing glass, twisting steel and crashing tidal waves was overpowered by the deafening sound of my own betrayal…
I knelt, I knelt on rocks and razors, swords and shards as the legion pushed me on to it deeper and deeper to dig into my knees, then my hands, arms and face…
It was then, in the hell chaos, that I softly called to Him…I whispered in that fear the legion hear me…
“Jesus…Jesus Christ…I need You.”
No sooner that my words left my lips, did the blinding light of Grace wash over me, filling every inch of me, every fiber, every dark part of my hardened, blackened heart.
No brighter light could be shone, with which only the eyes of those who are loved by Him, can bear to be open to be called on to witness. Witness He who stood amongst the legion, ordering their surrender while calming the noise with only His presence. Caging the beasts with his eyes and exposing the lie that was not me, on the hill, with the wrapped arms of His embrace.
Holding me in the light, He and I alone, weeping, begging, openly sobbing and letting everything go, I surrendered. And it was in that moment I knew who I was surrendering to…to Christ. And it was then, that I was saved.