Unable to dodge this time, the arrow goes straight into his right shoulder. As the pain shoots through his entire body he drops to the ground, gasping for breath. He stays on his knees, his right arm lifeless beside him, and the world around him begins to fade to black. Blinking hard, he looks up and sees his friends' faces still hard and stern with zeal. He screams and, biting the pain, raises his sword to strike another enemy through.
Another hits him dead on, this time penetrating his stomach. Again, he falls to the ground, but quickly regains his footing. With the little strength he has left, his right arm still hanging limp at his side, he stands to continue the defenses. He blows his horn for more assistance, he strikes another blow.
Right in his neck - but this is no arrow. He is hit with a tranquilizer dart. The enemy saw that he was too determined to be defeated by mere blades. Almost immediately he collapses on the ground. Desperate to fight through the pain he determines to stand up...but still he lies there. There's no feeling in his legs, his arms are numb, and he can't even feel the pain from his wounds. He's unable to move, unable to defend himself, unable to run to shelter. The enemy continues to shoot at him and stomp on him and spit in his face. Still, he lies there - paralyzed.
What if his allies, his closest companions, ran past him saying, "It'll go away soon," or "You need to go get help for that," or "Yeah, and look at how hard I'm having to fight."
Or what if they told him, "Pray and read your Bible"?
I've been in this battle so many times, and when you're fighting as hard as you can while your friend just lies on the ground it's so easy to say "pray about it" or "how are your devotions?" or maybe even "you must have some awful sin in your life." But when it's me lying immobile in my own blood - my enemies pummeling me - and I feel like there's no hope because I'm stuck all I want is to hear someone say "Hold on, I'm coming!"
In life I'm fighting alongside my brothers and sisters, and there are times when I get struck time after time after time. I'm wearing my armor, I'm fighting hard, I'm surviving...until finally Satan paralyzes me and I fall to the ground unable to fight him anymore. Then, with sincere pleasure and satisfaction, he beats me senseless with his hateful lies.
When that happens, there is nothing better than one of my fellow soldiers running to where I am and shouting, "Don't worry, Abby, I've got you covered!" They come to hold their shield of faith out over me, to swing their sword of the Spirit above my head. They come wearing the same belt of truth that I have (only mine has been covered in dirt and blood). These are my allies, these are my teammates, these are what I desperately need and what I want to be when my brothers and sisters are under siege.
For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.
But encourage one another daily as long as it is called Today so that none of you may be hardened by sin's deceitfulness.