Jesus never promised an easy road through life upon following Him. In fact, He basically promised the opposite–that the way will be difficult and riddled with hardships. Each of us, in following Christ, will go through experiences that are painful, difficult, life-altering. In these experiences we have a choice: how will we respond? Kick and fight against it, whine and pity ourselves, scramble around breaking our necks to find a way out prematurely, stomp off in anger and tell God we’re not playing if He’s not going to play our way? Or will we have the grace (God promises the grace, it’s up to us to employ it) to respond with a quiet, steadfast heart that is willing to submit to whatever cup our loving Father will pour for us, trusting Him to know what’s good for us even though in our limited perspective the situation seems very very bad? Thankfully, we have so many models to look to, people who have gone through tragedy or hardship and come through shining quietly. I think of people I’ve admired as I’ve heard their stories–Susanna Wesley; Elizabeth Prentiss; Joni Eareckson Tada; Alba, a humble, joyful woman in the rural mountains of Ecuador (the only one in this list that I’ve had the privilege of meeting); and of course, my great hero of the faith, Elisabeth Elliot–who lost not only Jim, her famous first husband, but also her second husband to cancer. Each of these women–and there are many others, countless women everyday whose names and stories never become known–went through extremely difficult situations, tragic situations, and yet remained steadfast and quiet. Lord, give me grace–as you allow pain and trials in my life–to follow in the footsteps of these women who followed you faithfully even when the way seemed dark, lonely, and too heavy to bear.
When I hear this song, I think of them:
“The Moon”–Kendall Payne
The moon’s worn thin, succombed to the pressure. Her silver dress hangs in the sky like a rag. Her coat, her cloak, her cover of darkness fails to hide the tears that she’s cried. Oh, she cries. But she still shines, though the night falls around her. By her light, I find my way. When I fear the path laid before me, I look to the light of her face and thank her for being so brave.
The moon remains in fullness or frailty. A faithful climb, and I stand amazed at the way she still shines, though the night falls around her. By her light, I find my way. When I fear the path laid before me, I look to the light of her face and thank her for being so brave.