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Time His Clandestine Sin
By David Story

"Be careful! Watch out for attacks from the Devil, your great enemy. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for some victim to devour." 1 Peter 5:8 (NLT)

* * *

A man is alone in his home office, sitting at his computer. Charts and books lay in front of him on his desk. He looks intently at one of the charts he brought home from work, then gazes back at the computer screen, focusing on the image being displayed.

He continues his search...

A knock comes on the door, causing the man to jump. Regaining his composure, he calls out, "Yes?"

"Daddy." It's his little girl. "I need some help with my homework. Can I come in?"

He hesitates before answering her. "Daddy's working right now, honey. Go ask your mother, okay?"

"Okay," she yells back.

The man listens as he hears the patter of footsteps fade, then he folds his arms and lays his head down on his desk, ashamed.

The image on the computer remains.

* * *

'Resist the Devil, and he will flee from you. Draw close to God, and God will draw close to you.' James 4:7-8 (NLT)

* * *

Ashamed, but not yet abandoned to his Maker, the man draws his attention again to the computer and the image on the screen. His search begins again, and his hungry eyes dart back and forth as picture after picture appears.

In silent desperation he finally calls out. "Help me, God. I can't stop this on my own."

An invisible hand touches his shoulder, and at the same time the man hears a quiet, small voice. "Just turn it off. Now. Walk away. I am here with you; I will not leave you or forsake you. I love you, and I forgive you."

The man tries desperately to pull away. "I can't."

"You can. Be strong. Concentrate only on my love for you, and turn the screen off."

Finally, in tears, the man slowly reaches his hand to the monitor, and with one quick motion, he turns it off.

* * *

'Fix your thoughts on what is true and honorable and right. Think about things that are pure and lovely and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.' Philippians 4:8 (NLT)

* * *

He walks down the hall, poking his head into his daughter's room. She sits at her little desk, pen in hand.

"Hi, Daddy." She smiles as she looks at him.

"Hi, honey." The smile almost melts his heart. "Did Mommy help you?"

"Yes. I'm sorry I bothered you."

"It's okay." He starts to leave, and then sticks his head back in the doorway of her room. "I'll tell you what. From now on, I'll keep my office door open, and if you need anything you just come on in."

"No knocking first?"

He smiles back at her. "No knocking first."

Walking down the hallway toward the living room, he stops for a moment, taking a deep breath.

He finds his wife on the sofa, watching TV. He sits down beside her.

"You're through with your work already? You usually stay in there all evening."

He nods as he takes her by the hand. "You know, I was thinking maybe I'm spending too much time in there. Think I'd like to spend more time with my family than cooped up in that office all the time."

She squeezes his hand. "Your family would like that very much."

He's close to tears now, but he's not letting them show.

Still she notices the look on his face. "Are you okay?"

He bends over and kisses her on the cheek. "I am now." Smiling, he nudges even closer, and turns his attention to the television.

Silently he thanks God, and asks Him for the strength to overcome in the days ahead...

* * *

'Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. If you do this, you will experience God's peace, which is far more wonderful than the human mind can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.' Philippians 4:6-7 (NLT)
David Story has been a FaithWriters member for almost two years, where he has been a consistent entrant in the Writing Challenge and has had three of his entries place in the top ten. David also has published an e-book, titled, "Whispers," which is presently #2 on the FaithWriters best sellers list. David is currently working on two books: "The Max Chronicles," and "The Prayer Chain." He and his family reside in Texas. If you would like to write to David, you can do so through the Letters page of this magazine.