I journal. I write my thoughts, events, Scripture, lessons, quotes, struggles, prayers … the brutally honest truth of my heart. Something I enjoy doing on occasion is taking a look through previous journals. Over the last few days, I’ve been reading through my journey of the past 3 or so years. There are several things I could comment on, many similar themes and lessons I see the Lord has taught me (and is still teaching me), unexpected circumstances and outcomes. Across these pages are scattered evidences of God’s faithfulness and goodness. I look at the confusion I felt during trials – from the pages of my journal, life looked like the messy, unattractive backside of a tapestry. But looking back from this vantage point, I see the beautifully woven tapestry that God has perfectly put together — and I can rejoice in His amazing power and work in my life. Oh, why do I doubt Him today when I see such faithfulness written on the pages of my life?! I read Psalm 77 today … quite fitting.
I actually didn’t get on to share all that. Rather, I wanted to share some quotes I came across on the pages of May 2009. Reading them the other night blessed my heart. I quoted this book in another post. The book – Passion and Purity. The author – Elizabeth Elliot. If you don’t know the story of Jim and Elizabeth Elliot, well … read the book. To sum it up: they fell in love, he thought he was called to be a single missionary and told her they couldn’t be together, they were apart and in love for several years, they finally got married. OK, now you don’t have to read the book. 🙂 Enjoy.
Today the thought occurred to me, suppose He should ask me to wait five years? It stuns me to think of it. Yet – could I imagine that the mercy of God which has stretched to me from everlasting to everlasting could be exhausted in five years?
On loneliness …
Nevermind if you cannot feel His presence. He is there, never for one moment forgetting you.
It is one stage, and only one stage, on a journey that brings you to God. It will not last.
Wherever you are, be all there. Live to the hilt every situation you believe to be the will of God. – Jim Elliot
The effect of my troubles depends not on the nature of the troubles themselves but on how I receive them. I can receive them with both hands in faith and acceptance, or I can rebel and reject. What they produce if I rebel and reject will be something very different from a mature character, something nobody is going to like. Rebellion – if this is the will of God for me now, He doesn’t love me. Rejection – if this is what God is giving me, I won’t have any part of it. Faith – God knows exactly what He’s doing. Acceptance – He loves me; He plans good things for me; I’ll take it.
Our vision is so limited we can hardly imagine a love that does not show itself in protection from suffering. The love of God is of a different nature altogether. It does not hate tragedy. It never denies reality. It stands in the very teeth of suffering. The love of God did not protect His own Son. That was the proof of His love – that He gave that Son, that He let Him go to Calvary’s cross, though ‘legions of angels’ might have rescued Him. He will not necessarily protect us – not from anything it takes to make us like His Son. A lot of hammering and chiseling and purifying by fire will have to go into the process.
This is from one of the letters Jim wrote Elizabeth when they were away from each other.
Besides this, there is the somewhat philosophical realization that actually I have lost nothing. We may imagine what it would be like to share a given event and feel loss at having to experience it alone. But let us not forget – that loss is imagined, not real. I imagine peaks of enjoyment when I think of doing things together, but let not the hoping for it dull the doing of it alone. What is, is actual – what might be, simply is not, and I must not therefore query God as though He robbed me – of things that are not. Further, the things that are belong to us, and they are good, God given, and enriched. Let not our longing slay the appetite of our living. It is true that our youth is fast fleeing, and I know the rush of wants, the perfect fury of desire which such a thought summons. All that it involves – this getting on to thirty – brings a push of hurry and a surge of ‘possible’ regrets over the soul. And, Betty, this is just exactly what we have bargained for. Obedience involves for us, not physical suffering, perhaps, not social ostracism, as it has for some, but this warring with worries and regrets, this bringing into captivity our thoughts. We have planted (in our integrity) the banner of our trust in God. The consequences are His responsibility.