Monday, January 11, 2010

Sorrow & Suffering

So, I only made it through two weeks of regular posting in December. No where near the goal of posting everyday I was hoping to accomplish. Well, Christmas kind of surprised me. Sleep deprivation.

Anyways, now that Jack is sleeping through the night (Glory Be!) I am getting more sleep. My only problem now is that the wonderful Erik and I are trying to catch up on Lost before the season starts in February. So, we're staying up late watching that!

That is not the point of this post... :)

I am reading Hinds Feet on High Places by Hannah Hurnard. It was recommended to me by my sister-in-law's mother, as well as my own. And I would have to say that it is a great read. I have enjoyed the quiet pace of the book, as well as the content. It gives me hope that within me is growing a quiet and gentle spirit. And even in the midst of trials, I can be submissive to the Lord who is my Shepherd and will only lead me through things for His Glory and my growth.

One of the most profound ideas in this book is the companions the Shepherd gives the main character, Much-Afraid.
"Here are the two guides which I promised," said the Shepherd quietly. "From now on until you are over the steep and difficult places, they will be your companions and helpers."

Much-Afraid looked at them fearfully....They were so silent, so strong, and so mysterious. Why did they not speak? Why give her no friendly word of greeting?

"Who are they?" she whispered to the Shepherd. "Will you tell me their names, and why don't they speak to me? Are they dumb?"

"No, they are not dumb," said the Shepherd very quietly, "but they speak a new language..." "But as you travel with them, little by little, you will learn to understand their words."

"They are good teachers; indeed, I have few better. As for their names, I will tell you them in your own language, and later you will learn what they are called in their own tongue. This," said he, motioning toward the first of the silent figures, "is named Sorrow. And the other is her twin sister, Suffering."

Poor Much-Afraid! Her cheeks blanched and she began to tremble from head to foot. She felt so like fainting that she clung to the Shepherd for support.

"I can't go with them," she gasped. "I can't! I can't! O my Lord Shepherd, why do you do this to me? How can I travel in their company? It is more than I can bear. You tell me that the mountain way itself is so steep and difficult that I cannot climb it alone. Then why, oh why, must you make Sorrow and Suffering my companions? Couldn't you have given Joy and Peace to go with me, to strengthen me and encourage me and help me on the difficult way? I never thought you would do this to me!" And she burst into tears.

You can imagine from the above quote that the Shepherd gave Much-Afraid exactly who she needed to make the journey. It could not have been any other way.

So often we fight against God's ways. So often I cry out to God, "Why this way, Lord? It would be easier if..."

I find myself asking God to make our lives easier so I would reach the "high places" (those places close to God) faster. More money, less debt, fewer personal hang-ups, etc. But if God were to just give me Money & Spiritual Health as my companions, what need would I have of the Shepherd? Would I ever cry out to Him to come to my aid? Would I ever receive His loving hand through the tough places if I was self-sufficient? I have to answer resoundingly, "No!" He knows that I need Suffering in life. He knows I need Sorrow. Maybe it's the humbling aspect of Suffering and Sorrow that is necessary in our walk. I wonder, even, if I must embrace Sorrow and Suffering, not just walk with it. I tend to think so.

1 comment:

Heather said...

Thanks for sharing. I've actually never read that book, but my mom too has spoken highly of it...