Could that be rain pounding on the tent? Molly woke up in a flash and peeked outside. It was! "Dad, it's pouring!" she cried.
"I'm afraid you're right," answered Dad. "Let's ask the King to show us what to do."
They did. Then they ate some cheese and crackers, rolled up the tent and sleeping bags, and started out in the rain.
"I'm glad we brought these waterproof jackets," said Dad.
"And I'm glad we're going downhill instead of up," said Molly.
"Let's talk about the armor again," said Dad. "We'll need it!"
"Will it protect us against the rain, Dad?"
"Probably not. But it will protect us against getting discouraged or upset about the rain."
"How will it do that?"
"It helps us remember that our King is in control. No matter what happens to those who trust Him, He will use it for good."
"All right, tell me more about the armor. We've talked about the Belt of Truth and the Breastplate of Righteousness. What comes next?"
"The Shoes of Peace," answered Dad. We have peace inside wherever we go, when we remember that the King loves us, forgives us and helps us. Nothing is impossible for Him. Therefore we never need to be afraid."
"Can we help others have that kind of peace?" asked Molly. She was thinking about Lucy.
"Yes. Sharing our peace with others is real important," answered Dad. "Not that we can give peace to anybody. Each person must receive it from the King."
"What comes after peace?" asked Molly.
"The Shield of Faith."
"Faith! You mean, like believing in the King?" asked Molly.
"Yes, that and more. It includes trusting the King no matter what happens. It's remembering how strong and wise He is, then counting on Him to lead you and take care of you."
"Why is it a shield?"
"Because when you remember that the King is on your side, you don't need to be afraid. Even when bad things happened, the King will still be in control. Your faith in Him will stop all the scary thoughts--just like a shield."
"How do I put it on?"
"Just tell Him that you trust Him. Remember, He always hears you."
Molly closed her eyes and stood still for a moment. She was telling the King that she would trust Him, no matter what.
"The Helmet of Salvation. It protects your mind, when you know that your King has already saved you by bringing you into His Kingdom--and that He will save you every time you get into trouble."
"You mean nothing bad can ever happen to me?"
"Nothing that the King can't use for good in your life. Some things will hurt a lot, but He will help you through it--and teach you more about Himself. Remember, He always wants the very best for you. And He has power to do the very best--even when it doesn't feel good at the moment."
"I know He does!" said Molly. She thought for a moment, then she added, "I wish everyone knew that."
"So do I," said Dad.
"Is there more?"
"Yes, the Sword of the Spirit."
"The Sword of the Spirit? What's that?"
"The Book of Truth."
"Oh! How do I use it?"
"You ask the King to remind you of a truth that fits what's happening. Then you count on that truth by speaking or thinking it in your mind."
"Why is it a sword?"
"Because the King's truth is so powerful it cuts through the Baron's lies and tricks. It helps you win over all evil forces--both the visible and invisible ones."
Molly closed her eyes and thought for a moment. Then she burst out, "I just remembered a great truth that the King told us. He said, 'I will never leave you or forsake you.'"
"That's a perfect sword," said Dad. "Hold on to it."
Just then, Molly spotted the cabin. "Look Dad, somebody lives here. Maybe they've seen Tom."
"Let's ask them."
They walked up to the heavy door, knocked, then waited.
"Dad, I'm so glad we're wearing the armor," whispered Molly.
"So am I," said Dad.
The door opened. A tall thin man glared at them. "What do you want?"
"We're looking for three boys..." began Dad.
"They came by last night. They headed in that direction." The man pointed down the trail. "That's all I know."
"Thank you." Dad turned and began to walk away.
Molly hurried after him. Something inside made her want to get far away from there -- fast. Was the King warning her?
Go to Chapter 17