24 January 2007

A Bitter Bud

We’re not necessarily doubting that God will do the best for us; we are wondering how painful the best will turn out to be. 

C.S. Lewis
We were promised sufferings. They were part of the program. We were even told, “Blessed are they that mourn.” 

C.S. Lewis

I’m sorry for the long absence. I took some time off for Christmas and then January hit, and hit hard.

Our family, both nuclear and extended, has been walking through difficult times. We each have a long and painful path ahead.

In the past, I would have prayed for the Lord to move me through this valley as quickly as possible, impatiently running full bore to reach the end. But as I survey our current landscape, I begin to see that I would have been crushed had the pain come all at once. At times it felt as if I would be, but his grace is sufficient and has meted the grief out slowly over time. His desire is not to crush, but to purify and make us into the glorious image of his Son. His motive is not punishment, but love - he wants us to learn more deeply that he is our only hope.

Jehovah-Rophi. I Am the Lord That Healeth Thee

(Exodus 15:26)
by William Cowper

Heal us, Emmanuel! here we are, 

Waiting to feel Thy touch: 

Deep-wounded souls to Thee repair

And, Saviour, we are such.

Our faith is feeble, we confess, 

We faintly trust Thy word; 

But wilt Thou pity us the less? 

Be that far from Thee, Lord!

Remember him who once applied, 

With trembling, for relief; 

"Lord, I believe," with tears he cried, 

"Oh, help my unbelief!"

She too, who touch'd Thee in the press, 

And healing virtue stole, 

Was answer'd, "Daughter, go in peace, 

Thy faith hath made thee whole."

Conceal'd amid the gathering throng, 

She would have shunn'd Thy view;

And if her faith was firm and strong, 

Had strong misgivings too.

Like her, with hopes and fears we come, 

To touch Thee, if we may; 

Oh! send us not despairing home, 

Send none unheal'd away!

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