Ever read This Present Darkness or Piercing the Darkness? I have and they are compelling. I try not to focus on evil. As such, imagery of demons and Satan rarely enter my imagination. Not because I refuse to face a broken world filled with such things but mostly because it’s depressing. Conversely Angels are quite appealing. But I am careful not to get obsessive about these beings as they are not to be worshiped in any fashion. With these items prefaced, I will get to the point. I believe the narratives that Frank Peretti details in these two works of fiction are much more close to the truth than we would like to think.
For those unfamiliar with these particular works, they detail a true spiritual attack on individuals and towns. Peretti tells the story from two points of view; that of our normal, human perspective and that of Angels vs. Demons. Scary, yet fascinating to mull over isn’t it? It adds a new dynamic to the old devil on one shoulder, angel on the other imagery. There are literal battles taking place unseen to the naked eye for your eternal soul. The evil forces usually have an agenda in these stories that serve a greater scheme than to just torture you but they are not beyond taking time out of their day to do just that.
I do not think real possession can take place with believers. And possession in general is pretty debatable in modern circles but Biblical if you do some research. What I do think happens more often though is actual, spiritual attack. If I fail to describe my experience with Anxiety in more elaborate terms that is the best way to define it…Spiritual Attack.
It’s midnight and I am fast asleep. Not necessarily in the deep, dreamy world yet but unconscious. Suddenly my body jerks to a sitting position and I let out a scared yell as though I had a nightmare. My heart pounding, my body covered in sweat…I was dying. I don’t know how I knew I was dying but it’s as though you can feel your mortal coil slipping away. Terror…sheer terror!
“I cannot die, I don’t want to die. What is wrong with me? I at least need for my wife to wake up, so she knows that there is something wrong. Honey, honey…wake up!”
This was the first night it had gotten out of control. The first of many. On that night, I actually got My Wife to believe that something was wrong, that I needed her, and that I was not crazy. But after countless nights for a period of sixth months I couldn’t blame her for being hardened to it. The seriousness of the matter never changed for me but to her I just became the over-reactive weirdo that insisted on waking her up every night to tell her that I was dying. I am sure she had fleeting thoughts of ‘who have I married?’ at times. I was certainly not the normal Edge. But who was the normal Edge and how do I get him back? It would be a long time finding out the answer.
Sparing you many details for now, God released me from this prison and taught me many lessons…the biggest of which was humility. I was raised with a can-do attitude and had the inflated confidence to go with it. There is nothing wrong with a healthy self esteem but failing to realize your dependence on God is essentially asking to be taught a similar lesson. Another realization came to me through these episodes as well. Depression and Anxiety were not just made up medical terms to explain away people’s behavior and lack of control over their lives. I was very judgmental about these kinds of conditions and people. What I failed to realize was the gripping reality of such illness. It really does affect your mind, body, and spiritual self. Physically, your brains chemicals are off kilter and various illnesses can manifest. Mentally you become very paranoid, scared, and out of touch with reality. Spiritually, desperation and pleading takes over. It was not uncommon to fall prostrate on the floor begging God to help me and give me rest.
He answered my call but not immediately. I will likely continue to glean various reasons for His allowance of this attack of me through the years. I will likely have more attacks occur in different forms. I am a fallen being and if I get my just deserve, will perish miserable, alone, and without hope. Thanks be to God for his saving grace, His Son’s sacrifice, and free gift of salvation. Without Him, I would continue to be…well, nothing.