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"Who is this coming up from the wilderness leaning on her Beloved?"
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(written in response to a friend who is finding her way...)
...A feeling of "suspended animation"...yes, I can relate to this feeling exactly...a feeling of Chrysalis...hoping there are wings on the other side of the waiting.......so far there has just been more waiting...
...feels like a string of false finishes sometimes...just when I arrive at what I think is the end of the course, there are still "miles to go before I sleep"....
...is my need patience? endurance? trust in God's timing?
Whichever, it is definitely a stretch right now......my soul is being stretched beyond what I thought I could bear....but here I still am, bearing it...not broken......
Hard to walk/wait without a roadmap...there is the fear sometimes that I'm missing the boat entirely.....
It is a struggle right now....one that I hope means growth, one that I hope is not futile fumbling...one that I hope leads to a crack in this cocoon, one that will let in some light...one that will result in flight....
In the analogy, "Hinds' Feet on High Places", the main character, Much-Afraid, whom the Good Shepherd has promised to take to the High Places, is speaking with the Shepherd....In one defining moment, near the end of the journey, near the top of the mountain, in a chapter called "In the Mist", He asks her with utmost solemnity,
"Do you love me enough to be able to trust me completely, Much Afraid?"
Much Afraid answers, "You know that I do love you, Shepherd, as much as my cold little heart is capable..."
The Shepherd replys, "Would you be willing to trust me, even if everything in the wide world seemed to say that I was deceiving you - indeed that I had deceived you all along?"
Much Afraid answers hastily, "Why, yes, I'm sure I would, because one thing I know to be true, it is impossible that you should tell a lie..."
The Shepherd looks deeply, compassionately into her eyes, and very quietly asks, "Much Afraid, supposing that I really did deceive you? What then?"
Much Afraid looks into His eyes, then bursts into deep sobbing tears and then, after a time, she decides, and, looking straight into His face says...."My LORD - if you can deceive me, you may. It can make no difference. I must love you as long as I continue to exist. I cannot live without loving you."
At this point the Good Shepherd laid His hands on her head, then with a touch more tender and gentle than anything she had ever felt before, repeated as though to himself, "If I can, I may deceive her." Then, without another word he turned and went away.
...In the end, Much-Afraid makes it to the High Places intended for her all along.....But the path takes her first through, not a mid-life-crisis, but a crisis-of-faith...A place of decision...
I believe that is where we are at...I believe that it is necessary, critically necessary, that we go through this, though we do not understand just now. But it is a crucial piece of the journey. A conduit to the bursting cocoon.
When the disciples were on the boat, in the middle of the raging storm, completely without their bearings, Jesus comes on the scene. They were in a "mid-ocean-crisis"...
Though Jesus momentarily permitted it, His ultimate intent was not that they should leave the boat and walk on the water, but that they should invite Him into the boat with them, so that He could take them to the other side, out of the storm, safe to shore, where a new part of their lives would begin, with greater trust in the One who navigated them through.
See you on shore, my friends, perhaps just a short time from now...
your friend and traveling companion,
"Though He slay me, yet will I trust Him."
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