Do You Promise?
Description: A flash fiction Christian story about hope and faith. But if you’re not a Christian, go ahead and read it. Who knows, you might enjoy it, and I’ll try not to preach at you ;)
This flash fiction piece is dedicated to @EzekielSebentien who’s flash fiction pieces inspired me to write my own, and who’s continued support means so much to me.
Davion curled into a ball and moaned. He was on his bed, retching into a coffee can lined with a plastic bag. His body trembled with weakness. Nothing was right. He’d been heaving since four in the morning. More than anything he wanted a drink of water. But he knew it would just come back up, so he resisted.
Throughout this horror of a day, a song had been playing on his phone that was his lifeline. He needed something to keep his mind off the churning, the anticipation of the retching, and his weakness.
As his stomach roiled, the words echoed in his ears. Oh I try to fix your heart, but I leave with broken parts, like a criminal would.
I try to cover you with love, but the damage has been done. Will I ever be enough? If I could take us far from here, make the trouble disappear, you know that I would. If I could make the burden light, put the stars back in your eyes... I wish that I could.
Yes, I wish that I could, he thought as he rolled over, closer to the coffee can.
Tell me, it’s gonna get better. It’s gonna get better. It’s gonna get better. Is it gonna get better?
Tell me it’s gonna get better. Tell me it’s gonna get better. It’s gonna get better. Cause it’s gotta get better.
He retched, heaving his guts into the coffee can. Not that he had much of them left. With the taste of bile in his mouth, he listened to the next words.
Will it always be this hard, like we’re driving through the fog, waiting for the sun?
It feels like it’s always gonna be.
One day we’ll watch it burn away, we’ll be amazed we chose to stay. I pray that we would!
Tell me it’s gonna get better. It’s gonna get better. It’s gonna get better. Is it gonna get better? Tell me it’s gonna get better. Tell me it’s gonna get better. It’s gonna get better. It’s gotta get better!
It’s gotta. Please, it’s gotta. He leaned back up against the bed. It’s gotta.
It may never be easy. But it gets better believe me.
I know it may never be easy. So tell me now, You’ll never leave me.
Don’t leave me. Don’t leave me. He lifted his eyes up to the ceiling, then he closed them.
It’s gonna get better. It’s gonna get better. It’s gonna get better.
Tell me, it’s gonna better. It’s gonna get better. It’s gonna get better. Is it gonna get better? Tell me, it’s gonna get better. It’s gonna get better. It’s gonna get better. It’s gotta get better!
He flinched, hearing the sound of retching in another room. Probably one of the twins. There was another sound of retching. He flinched again. Probably both twins.
He took a trembling breath in. His stomach was quiet for now. Another breath.
Depression and sickness lurked over the household. Everybody was tense and tired. It rubbed them like a wrong fitting piece of clothing. More than anything they just wanted something to go right, but it seemed like nothing could. This whole week had been bad, from his sister leaving for college, to the car repair bill the parents argued over, to the twins fighting about a video game.
To top off this wonderful week Jayce woke up on Thursday night with a boiling stomach that soon boiled over, right onto mom’s carpet. But it didn’t stop there. Oh no.
The song started up again-but this time he paused it.
He didn’t feel up to it, but if he didn’t read his Bible portion today, he’d be behind on his Read the Bible through in a year plan. Last time that’d happened it’d taken him weeks to catch up.
So, with effort he dragged his Bible off his nightstand, flipped to the bookmark, and began to read.
Then a shoot will spring from the stem of Jesse,
And a Branch from his roots will bear fruit.
2The Spirit of the Lord will rest on Him,
The spirit of wisdom and understanding,
The spirit of counsel and strength,
The spirit of knowledge and the fear of the Lord.
3 And He will delight in the fear of the Lord,
And He will not judge by what His eyes see,
Nor make decisions by what His ears hear;
4 But with righteousness He will judge the poor,
And decide with fairness for the humble of the earth;
And He will strike the earth with the rod of His mouth,
And with the breath of His lips He will slay the wicked.
5 Also righteousness will be the belt around His hips,
And faithfulness the belt around His waist.
6 And the wolf will dwell with the lamb,
And the leopard will lie down with the young goat,
And the calf and the young lion and the fattened steer will be together;
And a little boy will lead them.
7 Also the cow and the bear will graze,
Their young will lie down together,
And the lion will eat straw like the ox.
8 The nursing child will play by the hole of the cobra,
And the weaned child will put his hand on the viper’s den.
9 They will not hurt or destroy in all My holy mountain,
For the earth will be full of the knowledge of the Lord
As the waters cover the sea.
10 Then on that day
The nations will resort to the root of Jesse,
Who will stand as a signal flag for the peoples;
And His resting place will be glorious.
Isaiah 11:1-10 NASB
His fingers gently brushed the words on the page. He closed his eyes against the longing that hit him. Right now, with sickness racking his body and his family, and with the angry tension permeating the house, the day that Isaiah spoke of seemed very far away.
And he wanted it so badly to come.
Determined, he flipped over to the last few pages of his Bible, to the book of Revelation.
Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth passed away, and there is no longer any sea. 2 And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. 3 And I heard a loud voice from the throne, saying, “Behold, the tabernacle of God is among the people, and He will dwell among them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself will be among them, 4 and He will wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there will no longer be any death; there will no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain; the first things have passed away.”
Revelation 21:1-4 NASB
With a deep sigh, he rested his hand on the page and turned his face upward.
“Do You promise?” His voice was low and weak. “Do You promise?”
He looked down at the words on the page. “Do You promise? That one day it won’t be this way? That one day You’ll dwell with us? That death will never grip old and young? That You Yourself will reign and no other?
“That disease won’t be there? That tears will never again trail down cheeks? That pain will be a word we don’t understand?”
He chuckled a little. “That even snakes won’t bite? That children shall lead lions? That nothing will ever be tainted with sin? Do You promise that one day all will be made as it should be? That only joy will abound and goodness know no end? Do You promise?”
He closed the Bible. He’d finished reading later. For now he was tired, and his yearning for a time of no death, of no disease or sickness was too strong.
He turned the song on again and tried to believe, with all his drained will, that it would get better. That it had to get better. That one day the ugliness of sin, of death, would no longer stain our world.
And as the song ended, he heard, deep and still within himself, a Voice.
Note: The song used in this story is not my own. The full credit goes to Mike Donehey, who wrote and sung it. I recommend you listen to it if you want to get the full essence of the story.