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.

7 comments:

Karen said...

It is so very hard, when you don't know what the cost will be and where you may be going, even when God has it all in hand, it's a big step. Oct 8th was the 2nd anniversary of the death of our niece. She died 4 days before her 1st birthday, after having been ill since she was born, and spending so much time in Hospital. Her parents aren't christians and there is still not much understanding. My FIL is a man of amazing faith and trust in God which blows me away. They now have a new baby, a son, but this journey, it's been very painful for them. Praying again for Ruby today and her family.

Sharon said...

Praying for you and this family.
"The dark night of the soul"--it comes in different forms--I understand.
He loves her too.Remember-He cried.

Deb said...

You wrote this at a time when there is a road I do not want to go down. your blog is so awesome. Thank you for helping me to be able to take my steps forward.. God Bless You.

BunnyGirl said...

I'm saddened to read of the trials you and your family are going through right now with Ruby. I'm joining my prayers with those of the others

Karen said...

Claire is having problems making comments, so I'm dropping by to let you know that she has given you an award

http://fireball.lifewithchrist.org/permalink/36023.html

Danifesto said...

Wow. I so needed to read this post! Thank you for sharing that. A friend of mine from back home died in a car accident and someone posted on the Facebook support group that it was all "God's Will" and that it was her time, blah blah blah. Which I know is ultimately true but I didn't really want to hear that, ya know? It's just all too raw and fresh and painful. Anyway your post hit the spot! Thank you!

Karen said...

Thanks for your comment Sarah. You know, just reading about it, I could feel that heaviness, that spiritual heaviness there, that isolation that you talked of. Very sombering. May God truly bless you and give you grace as you work for him there, may he lift you up and strengthen your hands.