Wednesday, October 10, 2007
The Road Less Travelled ...
Picture this. Jesus is in the garden of Gesthemane. He is deeply distressed … perhaps the most distressed we see him in the gospels. So distressed that he is sweating drops of blood. It is his dark night of the soul. His heart is overwhelmed with the magnitude of what lies ahead. He is looking to the path laid out before him – the cup of his suffering … and in this moment … this single moment in time, he calls out to God, “if there is any other way … take this cup from me …” In that moment, that moment of knowing, he is fully human in his grief and yet still God. We know the rest of this … that Jesus was able to say, “your will Father … YOUR will be done.” And it was.
I am so glad I worship a God who has walked down the paths we find ourselves on. He does not stand by impassively … he has lived it. He understands – more than we could ever know. Sometimes, as we follow God, we walk through dark places. And, as I said once before in this blog, sometimes darkness is really dark!
This weekend, I was a MESS. A friend said to me on Friday that God has a beautiful plan for Ruby. He made this comment having lived out the reality that God’s plans are not always ours and I have lived the same thing. It was hard to hear, because it immediately took me to a path and specifically, a fork in the path. I could look along one of the directions of that fork and I thought, I have walked this path before and dear God, I do not want to walk this path again. I had to face the fact that Ruby may have a short life. We don’t know. God does. It hurt my heart and I did not want to look at it. My heart cried out to God … “No! If there is any other way." I found it overwhelming.
Now here is the thing. In my struggle and wrestling with God this weekend, I know the following: this struggle is not about a lack of trust or a lack of faith. This struggle is not about believing God is on the throne and has a plan. This struggle is about the acceptance that I will follow God wherever the path may take – and I (like Jesus) have looked down one of those possible paths and found it overwhelming. I do not want to go there. I do not want Ruby to go there or, my family. Sometimes that’s what it is for us. Not a lack of trust … just a knowing of the nature of the path and a desire to avoid this … to avoid pain. My friend said to me, “Pain is good Sarah – you are feeling.” My response was, “I don’t want to feel.” Yet … this pain, this grief, this wrestling, this is the fire in which compassion, empathy and love are forged.
I am not through the other end of this, but I have the reassurance from Psalm 23 – when my path takes me through dark places – even in the shadow of death, HE is with me. He has walked there already and darkness is as light to him. We will get through.