On what had been a particularly horrible day, a faithful friend invited me over for a long walk through the woods to talk and to be bolstered. Afterwards, she invited me for dinner with her and her family. Together, she and I crowded into her kitchen and cooked potatoes and asparagus and hollandaise sauce to accompany a roast that was nearly done. The meal and fellowship was good for both body and soul and I forgot, for a time, how wretched my day had been and of all the tears that had spilled forth. With dishes ready to be stacked, she handed me the book The Sacred Romance by Brent Curtis and John Eldridge in hopes that it would offer encouragement. Needless to say, it has. Here is an excerpt:
“As I spoke with a friend about her painful life, how reckless and unpredictable God seems, she turned and with pleading eyes asked the question we are all asking somewhere deep within: “How can I trust a lover who is so wild?” Indeed, how do we not only trust him, but love him in return? There’s only one possible answer: You could love him if you knew his heart was good.
In the movie The Last of the Mohicans, brave Nathaniel has captured the heart of the beautiful Cora. With tremendous courage and cunning, he rescues her from an ambush set by the black-hearted Magua, leader of a warring tribe. Nathaniel leads Cora, her sister, and a few other survivors to a hidden cave behind a waterfall. Just when it appears they will escape and live happily ever after, Magua and his savages discover their hideout.
Once captured, the women may be spared but the men will surely be executed. With no powder for their rifles, Nathaniel’s only chance is to leap from the falls; by saving himself, he will live to rescue Cora another day. One of the other men calls him a coward, accusing him of foul and selfish motives. How is Cora feeling? What looks like abandonment may not be. Her only hope in the face of such wildness lies in the goodness of Nathaniel’s heart. At this point, it’s all she has to go on. It’s all we often have to go on too.”
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If you’re like me, this might just resonate with you. For the last year and a half, I’ve been on a hard and difficult journey. The Lord has been at my side, and with every curve in the road, I hope to see a welcoming meadow unfold before us. A place of rest and gentleness. But alas, the journey has more twists and difficult climbs than I imagined. More perils afoot than I could have ever foreseen. And now, as the road takes yet another new curve, I see God make a bold and terrifying leap that has me completely stunned in my tracks. I want to cry out to him saying, “I did all that you asked of me, and now that we’ve come this far, you up and jump through a waterfall without bringing me with you?! Are you crazy?”
The things is, God’s not crazy. But he IS wild.
And so part of me stands here wondering what on earth is going on. The other part of me knows that I will not be forgotten.
You are loved and you’ll not be forgotten.
The very words a different hero leaves behind for his lady when he must leave her for a time…all for her own good.
Not entirely the most tame behavior, these men. So why would we expect our Creator to be any more tame? How do we have a steadfast faith when we are in the care of such a wild God?
I think we do it by remembering that the God who created this world from His own imaginings does not fit along the lines of a road map. He’s a voyager. An adventurer. And since He’s writing the story–and the maker of the rules–He’s not one to shy away from forging new paths. Ones that might leave us stunned, or afraid, or at times, wondering where He’s gone off to. We might hear Him trashing about in the brush and we must remember that He will not forget we are waiting upon him. The path He is forging is for our own good and safety and so He must, at times, dare us to trust.
This is not a passive role for us. It’s wholly active. Let us carry that trust with faithful hands. Let us equip ourselves in the waiting by resting in God’s word and promises and girding ourselves in His truth; the stories that He has told us in the Word that tell us time and time again that no matter how hard it might seem, His people are loved and will not be forgotten.
For each of us, this bend in the road might look a little bit different. If you’ve been in the place that I am in, you know the feeling.
To stand here and wait — behind the waterfall. It’s loud and it’s uncertain and it’s far from comfortable. In the distance comes the familiar sounds of peril and despair. We are tempted to pace and to wring our hands. Tempted to wonder if God is still there. If he survived the fall. And yet we know the answer to that – because there is nothing impossible for God. He sees us and he knows. If you ever feel like I do… that God has taken that giant leap on your behalf, let us trust together that He knows what he is doing. That yes, He is wild, but that He is also good. He can survive any fall and conquer any enemy on our behalf. He is doing it even now and has been doing it since the beginning of time. Take heart in that — this heartache you might face, or this wild adventure you might be on — is not only something that God will see you through, but He’s passionate to do so.
“For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us. For the anxious longing of the creation waits eagerly for the revealing of the sons of God…But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 8)