It came out of nowhere. I sit on the edge of my bed doubled over in blinding pain, the stomach agony rendering me incapable of being a part of anything except battling for my own wellness. I had felt strong and accomplished just earlier. The current affliction hit hard, fast, and I felt myself reeling. For a time, the realm of my dark bedroom would be the place I would wage war and wait to rise again.
I could hear one of my middle sons alight in the hallway. It was the boy who is growing gangly by the day, and now is almost as tall as I am. After a faint knock, he leans in and speaks just above a tender whisper, Mom, we are with you. You are not alone.
He turns back down the hallway, and I can hear his footsteps enter the dining room, where the clatter of soup spoons on warm bowls will be followed by pumpkin carving—all joyous in full color.
A while later, my son opens the door, and he leans in tender again, whispering, Keep fighting. You can make it. We are just right out here—all of us, praying for you.
I am moved by the reality that my nearest and dearest are so deeply caring, and in heartfelt prayer for me. Although in another realm, down the hall and in full light, they are holding me up in prayer and cheering me on until the trial passes.
I begin to think of the very gritty reality of the unseen war you and I wage. We aren’t called the Church Militant by some small mistake! Here, in this earthly realm, we fight blinding encounters. Sickness, disease, and lack nip at our heels time and again. It is often the battle of our own sin brought upon ourselves, or the sin of others that touches us, causing heartbreak. But we are not alone—the realm of heaven is involved in our lives. The saints are the nearest and dearest—the Church Triumphant cheering us on from a glorious, resplendent realm right beyond us. We are each the object of eternal affection—loving prayer is carrying us through every trial until we overcome.
Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us . . . ( Heb 12:1).