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Lowell Brueckner

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An Allegory... part four


Chapter 7


..... The River (we can no longer call it a Stream) carried us for a good way and there was life on all sides. There was rich vegetation and fishermen along the banks were enjoying wonderful success. Then one by one, our little band drifted either towards one side or the other and in different places came to the shore.

I felt a powerful current take me from the River’s center towards the side and was actually driven by it onto a sandy beach. Looking to the right and the left, I could see some of my companions at a distance, but when I called to them, they did not answer nor come to me. The landscape was totally different. There were no trees, the air was warm and the sun beat down upon me. Yet I felt compelled to investigate this new environment. It was a wide expanse of dry land and there was no path to follow; yet I walked inland.

My mind struggled to comprehend what I was experiencing. My emotions were as dry as the landscape and I felt empty and abandoned. What had happened to the sense of the King’s presence? It seemed far away and the inner well seemed dry. I turned to look behind me and I could not see the River. Had I strayed so far from it? I stumbled on and it quickly became dark. I set up my tent and tried to sleep, but sleep was far from me.

That night, sleep came in minutes and wakefulness in hours. There were voices in the night and I could not distinguish one from the other, but they sowed doubts of all kinds. The next morning I arose and continued to wander through this wilderness and did so for many days. The days were short and the nights were long.

I could feel the forces of the enemy king on all sides. Uninvited, several of his emissaries visited me in my tent or as I walked. They were very real. For the first few days, when I opened the King’s Book, I found some words to be frightful, though I had read them many times before without any such result. As time went by, I came to realize that there was something deeper than my emotions and stronger than the confusion in my mind. Far below the surface, there was calm and a sense that all was right, the King was in control and was leading through a pathless wilderness.

As I can best describe it, little by little the words of the Book entered my being as naked, unadorned truth. Not all this truth was pleasant and much of it, I would rather not have known, but it was truth. Truth is a stubborn and persistent element. It refuses to be denied. I had to face it and address it.

In spite of my personal discomfort and that of my surroundings, I saw something good was happening. The confusion and fear began to disappear and I could see things more clearly than before. Now, when an emissary of the enemy king came, my soul found an answer to counter his lies. Most importantly of all, the desert took away confidence in my own will, efforts and abilities, offensively and defensively, and taught me that the only way I could survive, was by the sovereign hand and efforts of the King. I began to appreciate the value of what I was experiencing and I would never be the same. More now than a longing or a desire, I saw the need for the King’s powerful intervention in my life and in His people...

Chapter 8


.... One morning, after I had been walking for perhaps an hour, I saw a figure far to my right and it appeared that, if we continued to walk in our respective directions, our ways would cross before too long. As the figure approached, I saw it was my original companion. We hurried to meet and, as you can well imagine, the reunion was joyful.

We had not talked for long, before we both realized that our conversation was on a higher level than before. He had also been through the lonely desert and, although in different ways, he had learned some of the same lessons that I had learned.

It was amazing! Neither of us had a path to follow and yet, after many miles, we met again. Obviously, an unseen hand had been guiding us all the time and nothing that we experienced was by chance or without purpose. We were learning that in the bare circumstances of life, we could trust the King. When we did not hear or see the River, its properties were still present and it still fulfilled its functions.

We would need to know that, because in the days to follow, there would be greater tests than before. We had both discovered that sometimes we felt that the King was discouraging, rather than encouraging us. There were times when we would call and there would be no answer. But what was more disconcerting was that, when we did hear from Him, it was not at all what we wanted to hear. In spite of it all, there was something inside that compelled us to walk on. After all, what else could we do? We had left everything far behind and none of it had any significance for us. Later, someone told us that the desert was called “Refiner”.

One by one, we met with others, from whom we had been separated by the current of the River.  We were surprised by some of their experiences. One came upon a desert village, was falsely accused by its people and spent some time in their jail. Another came down with a fever and for a time, his life hung in the balance. Still another came under an extreme attack from the dragon and thought he was about to lose his sanity. Yet, here we were united again and able to share what had happened. Through it all, the faithful hand of the King had kept us.

His hand is a hand of deliverance. A young man, who came earlier to the same village, met with similar false accusations, as the fellow, who spent time in jail. An old lady went to the mayor saying that she knew that he was a wicked criminal, who had done terrible things in other places. The mayor would have thrown him in jail, but a youth of his age, who knew him from years in the past, intervened and vouched for his integrity. Just as he decided to leave town, the same lady invited him into her house and spread a table before him. He wondered if she had poisoned the food, and called to the King for protection. He then ate heartily with no bad results.   

In this reunion after our lonely times individually, the things that we shared seemed like stories from the King’s book...


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