This is a hard, hard thing to grasp.
A painful lesson to learn.
But it is truth:
The provision of God is adequate for my pilgrimage. God does not fail to see, know, understand, care, love, and ultimately to work all things ‘in conformity with the purpose of his will’ (Ephesians 1:11). His love is constant, though sometimes unfelt. His presence is assured, though sometimes He seems far away. His plan is good, though sometimes I hurt. For this present time I see dimly, mere faint outlines of all God’s purposes and plans. Yet I believe that His ways are better and His thoughts are higher than my own. In my time of trouble, my understanding is not crucial. It is my confidence in the person, the goodness, and the sovereignty of God that is the great, indispensable necessity.
~James Means, A Tearful Celebration
When my children were young, we made a habit of listening to classic books on tape as we made the miles between our rural home and all the places we had to go. It was glorious to learn together, explore together and build up a reservoir of common literary references.
One of the books we listened to was Pilgrim’s Progress by John Bunyan.
In it, Christian, the main character, is making his way toward the Celestial City. Along the way he meets all sorts of characters representing various temptations and snares common to all of us as we journey through this life.
I learned much from that book, the most important of which was this:
“To go back is nothing but death; to go forward is fear of death, and life everlasting beyond it. I will yet go forward.”
The road is hard. The journey long. The way perilous and uncomfortable.
But I will go forward, trusting that the Lord has made every provision for my pilgrimage.
“Blessed are those whose strength is in you, who’ve set their hearts in pilgrimage as they pass through the valley of Baca they make it a place of springs. The autumn rains also cover it with pools. They go from strength to strength until each appears before God in Zion.”