Wednesday, May 20, 2009
The streets and sidewalks of this great city were quiet on the morning we took this walk, gasping for breath as we climbed one hill after another.
It was a different scene on the day we arrived, a busy, bustling saturday afternoon. The beautiful weather had drawn everyone outdoors, and it was hard to walk against the press of people all around us.
The air was filled with the harmony of different languages blended together into one lovely melody. The different races and nationalities formed a colorful human rainbow. We took a seat to watch them all walk by - so many of them - and I thought about the Father who knows each one by name.
"How is it possible, Lord?" I thought. So many, and this is just one small corner of your great big world. How can You see us all; know every heart; hear every whispered prayer; love each one with such longing?
It seems impossible, and yet that is just what He does. He sees each one of us as though we were His only child. I was reminded of this when I read just what I needed to hear from Him the other morning. Always, He supplies what I need. I am only one, and yet He gives me His undivided attention every moment of every day.
I have wrestled with this question of suffering and unanswered prayer and trust. It is, I find, a long journey in understanding. Just when you think you have made it to the end of the road, you find it is only a sharp curve that leads you further still. Longing for help and reassurance, I read Elisabeth Elliot's words:
"Instead of seeing His everlasting love, tenderly bending down to our humanness, longing over each one of us with a father's speechless longing, we sometimes think of Him as indifferent, inaccessable or just plain unfair.
The worst pains we experience are not those of the suffering itself but of our stubborn resistance to it, our resolute insistence on our independence. To be "crucified with Christ" means what Oswald Chambers calls "breaking the husk" of that independence. 'Has that break come?' he asks. 'All the rest is pious fraud.' And you and I know, in our heart of hearts, that that sword-thrust...is the straight truth.
If we reject this cross, we will not find it is this world again. Here is the opportunity offered. Be patient. Wait on the Lord for whatever He appoints, wait quietly, wait trustingly. He holds every minute of every hour of every day of every week of every month of every year in His hands. Thank Him in advance for what the future holds, for He is already there. 'Lord you have assigned me my portion and my cup' (Ps 16:5). Shall we not gladly say, 'I'll take it , Lord! YES! I'll trust you for everything. Bless the Lord, O my soul!"
There it always is - trust. Not simply trust, however, but trust in One Who loves me with a love beyond measure. He loved me so much He sent His Son to die in my place. Is it not a love worthy of my trust? Yes, and so much more.