"It is necessary for us to undergo many hardships to enter the kingdom of God." (Acts 14:22 NAB)
In my last post, I discussed praying that God would do "whatever it takes, no matter how painful" to accomplish His Will in my life. However, I can say from my own experiences that God answers this prayer in hearty measure, and therefore this prayer should not be embraced lightly. In fact, when the long valley that loomed across my path after I graduated from Liberty University was at its darkest and most painful, I felt at times that I may not have consented to it had I known beforehand how dark and painful it would turn out to be. It is truly a dangerous road, with very real threats and fearsome foes. But Our Lord in His supreme wisdom does not allow us such foresight, and instead brings us one small step at a time in the journey towards Union of Love with Him, and total conformity to His Will. It is only afterwards, when the metal is brought out of the fire of testing, that the beauty of the work that was being accomplished is truly seen.
To all those who are on this same journey and feel that the trials, temptations and testings are sometimes too much to endure, I can confidently say from firsthand experience that God is using those very hardships you think stand in your way to bring you to where you most want to be: closer to our Beloved Lord.
O World! O Life!
O Struggle! O Strife!
O precipice and fearful way!
O tangledness and thorny fray!
Behold the feet on shifting sands
and the eyes made blind by darkened lands!
O Caution! Caution! O Humble steps!
O Patience in the darkest hour!
O little hand awaiting the touch
of familiar grasp and cheerful warmth
taking you to places never known
which otherwise would have never been found!
O Trust! O Peace!
O Hope beyond hope!
O Quietude! O Rest!
O Courage and Faithfulness! O!
My prayers are with all those fellow sojourners following Our Lord wherever He leads!
Next time: Part 7 of My Conversion Story: "The Road to Rome"