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This was it. God's work was done. Soon he would die like the others, either by exposure or his condition. And for what. So that their New Jerusalem would go unfounded. That much was clear. What he couldn't understand is why God stopped him now, on the verge of aiding that end. Fear after all is the most influential motivator, and they had composed the message to cause men to fear. Certainly such bad fortune as his could only be God’s intervention. Was God really so human. Would He spurn his assistance so. Would He want all the credit for Himself.

He thought not. In which case there were but two explanations. He didn’t believe the first, which was that there is no God or if there is that He does not act in mens’ lives. The only explanation then was that, like Abraham and Job, God was not punishing him but testing him. Those passages made clearer sense to him now than they ever had. God wanted to see how faithful he was to fulfilling His plan, whether he understood it or not.

Such as his circumstances were, God must’ve expected he would give up. But he refused. He worked his foot free from the log and rolled onto his back. The movement made his shattered bones swim inside his arm. The pain was as excruciating as any he’d ever felt after battle but nothing compared to what he was about to experience. He knew his body was God's temple and so it was a sin to bring harm to it. But in this case he believed God would forgive him.

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The End

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