16 July 2009

One less cord

We may quibble the Particulars of Charles Spurgeon’s Baptist affiliation, but the dude’s a master, to be sure.

I recently encountered the following snippet, particularly poignant of late:

Dear friend, have you found that trouble cuts the cords that tie you to earth? When the Lord takes a child, there is one less cord to fasten you to this world and another band to draw you toward heaven. When money vanishes and business goes wrong, we frequent the prayer meeting, the prayer closet and the Bible. Trials drive us from earth. If all went well, we would begin to say, “Soul, relax”. But when things go amiss, we want to be gone. When the tree shakes, the bird flies away. Happy is the trouble that loosens our grip of earth.

(I was totally with him till that “Happy is the trouble” bit—for our (post)modern ears, Spurgeon could use a little clarification there from Pastor Stuckwisch about happiness vs. joy :). No doubt he intended "happy" in the beatitudinal/“blessed” sense.)

A tangential thread: I met this quote in Tim Challies’ interview with Terry Stauffer, a Canadian pastor whose fourteen-year-old daughter was the victim of an apparently random murder last fall. All this “I don’t know how you do it” talk put me in mind of the grieving father’s closing comment: “We’re learning that God gives strength as we need it. When people say, “I could never be as strong as you,” I always think - and sometimes say - “I couldn’t either.” There’s no way either Juanita or I could have been prepared for the loss of Emily, or for the attention that we have received since her murder. God gives grace and strength step-by-step as it’s needed.”

As Rebekah wrote, “But I know how they do it. They do it one agonizing minute at a time, God have mercy.” And as Gauntlets added, “’They’ just don't know how you do it, but you know that your redeemer lives…”

Amen, and amen, as the tree shakes, and our grip on this earth loosens.

4 comments:

Rebekah said...

I'll even give him "happy" on an etymological basis.

lisa said...

Luke 14:26

This morning my mom and I were driving discussing this passage:

“If anyone comes to me and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple."

I find it gets harder as life moves along and your grip on this earth loosens to where your family starts feeling cast off, even though you love them more purely than you ever have before.

Thank goodness for the consolation of Christian brothers and sisters who are also having their fingers lovingly pried open.

Pam said...

Amen and amen.

MamaOnABudget said...

(Old post - sorry. Just started reading at the newest and kept going.)

We just, as in 2 days ago, experienced our second miscarriage. The first was so early - this one was later (10 weeks). While it was happening, I shared with some friends that my prayer this time was the same as the last - Lord, grant me strength to get through this. And when my strength is not enough, grant me Yours."

It's not something that people, removed from the Gospel, can understand - that you can get through the loss of a much loved and wanted child (parent/sibling/spouse) and still be okay. It's sad. It sucks. It doesn't really get easier. But there's always that promise that you will see them again! How joyous that message - even in the worst of times.