A Plateau

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The Way is good, but long and difficult.   At times it’s not possible to see the path through all the brush blocking our view.  It’s necessary to chop away at the overgrowth to be able to move forward.  It’s a hard path, but it’s not like you weren’t warned.  He told you:

But the gate is narrow and the way is difficult that leads to life, and there are few who find it.

You’ve been through the small gate and now you’re on the path, following The Way that leads to life.  You’ve had a rough road, but thankfully, some smooth spots were given. 

As you’ve walked The Way, you have learned to listen to The Voice.  It’s almost a whisper, faintly heard at times, but you’ve learned to be keenly aware whenever He speaks, not  letting other noises drown Him out.  (When that has happened, the path can become treacherous, indeed.)

Seeing the beautiful valley stretched out beyond, you knew it wouldn’t all be peaceful.  The times on the mountaintops were inspirational, but each time you’ve come down into a valley you’ve understood, that time of inspiration was also a time for strengthening.  For the valleys you’ve tread have not been easy.  But you know to walk the trail He has blazed.

There are times in the valley when you come upon a plateau. You didn’t realize you were traveling upward, just walking the path as it led, feeling a bit stronger.  Then, all of the sudden, the ground drops off once more.

You are standing before a precipice of suffering you never imagined could get deeper.  A valley within the valley.  But, you must walk through it. The Way does not lead around.  The path leads straight down.  You find you’re tumbling into darkness.

The Voice whispers, “Even the darkness is not dark to Me.”  So you walk through the darkness, not really seeing His light, hoping your foot hasn’t slipped from the worthy path.  Pushing through the briars when you’ve strayed.  Stumbling back, scraped, bruised, beaten by the path…but finding The Way…His Way…once again.

I desire to walk worthy. But I have stumbled in this valley within the valley.

He’s here, I know He is. It’s just a bit too dark to see right now.

But I will trust in His steadfast love, pressing forward, believing in His grace to endure the test…

…the trial…

…the suffering…

…it’s the only way to be proven genuine.

When we have impurities, He refines us through the fires.  The trials and tests of life — the fires — have made us more pure.  But…

…He will keep it up until He sees His reflection in us.

Therefore, since we have been declared righteous by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in the hope of God’s glory. Not only this, but we also rejoice in sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance, character, and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us. ~Romans 5:1-5

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15 responses »

  1. I don’t even have anything to say to that… just that at the end all I could do was *sigh*

    Lovely.

  2. Fires burn. And when He turns up the heat in the furnace with each trial, the flames become quite unbearable.

    I’m learning just how much He was “a man of sorrows…”

    And yet, I can still scarcely imagine nails going through my hands and feet.

  3. And I am so thankful for my Friend. Thanks for the reminder, Bajan. 😉

    🙂 Hi, Sara…thanks.

    Hey, Nor. Your comment made me think of these verses in Hebrews:

    Think of Him who endured such opposition against Himself by sinners, so that you may not grow weary in your souls and give up. You have not yet resisted to the point of bloodshed in your struggle against sin.
    ~Hebrews 12:3-4

    It’s one of the reasons I chose the title of my blog to be “Consider Jesus”…

    It’s good to see you here, Nor.
    FYP 😉

  4. It’s a very difficult lesson for us to learn that a God who so Loves us can allow us to endure such misery at times. (and also ensures at other times we may experience supreme Joy) 😉

    It is also an essential lesson – as i am sure you can appreciate Sis – even if the lesson proves almost unbearable at certain times.

    Certainly a lot of the reason for our suffering down here is a result of how closely we cling to this life – at times it is all we can see feel or understand and that is something His Spirit assists us in recognising – providing we are not so stuck in our stubbornness and hardened hearts that we fail to fully grasp why we need to seek an alternative to our very shortened life here on earth – and learn how to listen to and follow the Will of Spirit over this earth.

    and how also to be a loving child of our Father in heaven – loyal to Him till the End while glorifying Him always over our own ‘personal’ ego and desire.

    i have been reading Eccl Ch 1 a bit lately and find it explains a few things concerning how we see the earth.

    And also prepares us somewhat for the gaining of Wisdom.

    i think it is this chapter that in part explains the concept that ‘Ignorance is Bliss’.

    i pray that your Bliss is not found in that fashion and that You successfully walk the Path the way He has prepared for you down here.

    And that you get some relief from the darknesses soon.

    love you.

    <B

  5. Amen and Amen.

    We cannot become gold unless we go through the purifying process and He is making us into gold i.e. fit to enter the kingdom of Heaven once He returns.

    I know your pain is deeply rooted and it will take time for you to heal. All I can encourage you to do is embrace the process because it is from the Lord and it will take you from faith to faith and glory to glory as He promises to do; for our own good and for His glory.

    Love you and praying for you. Always.

  6. Good morning, Love. I enjoy reading the wisdom found in Ecclesiastes, especially Solomon’s conclusion:

    There is no end to the making of many books, and much study is exhausting to the body. Having heard everything, I have reached this conclusion:
    Fear God and keep His commandments, because this is the whole duty of man.
    For God will evaluate every deed, including every secret thing, whether good or evil. ~Last three verses of the book

    No matter what we endure, we will be held accountable for the choices we have made in this life. To fear/revere/honor/respect God and obey His commands is our chief duty in this life.

    That’s truly enough to keep me looking for the narrow path. Enough of my way — my ego, as you say — Joy comes from having a single-minded view of life. I’m looking to Him. Thanks, Love! 🙂

    Hey, Gch! I’m so thankful and humbled that He never gives up on us. He will always come seeking His sheep. It never gets too dark for Him. He will never leave us or forsake us. I am learning to embrace the process. Love you, Gch! 😉

  7. You just helped my understanding even more Sis 🙂

    After reading the last 3 verses of Eccl 12 i went back to read the last 3 verses of Eccl 1:

    16 I communed with mine own heart, saying, Lo, I am come to great estate, and have gotten more wisdom than all they that have been before me in Jerusalem: yea, my heart had great experience of wisdom and knowledge.
    17 And I gave my heart to know wisdom, and to know madness and folly: I perceived that this also is vexation of spirit.
    18 For in much wisdom is much grief: and he that increaseth knowledge increaseth sorrow.

    The last line stung me the most the last time i read them, but this time it was the second line i needed to understand….

    You rightly pointed out Solomon’s conclusion of man’s DUTY – to Fear God and keep the Commandments, but verse 17 indicates something as important that i misunderstood until just now…

    Giving our heart to Wisdom increases sorrow – our heart is to be given to LOVE of the Lord.

    Doing our duty is secondary to what our heart loves for we will fail to do our duty if we do not love that which our duty is surrendered to.

    Man has a real problem loving Him over himself.

    Jesus got it right! 😉

    Thereby we have Hope.

    <B

  8. Duty before devotion leads to self-righteousness and legalism.

    Devotion before duty leads to relationship and good works.

    That’s from another post. If we get duty before our love for Him, we will be working from a wrong motivation. But you know, I think in that word “Fear” is the understanding of honor and respect. Not quite love, but definitely reverence. And of course, Solomon is speaking of wisdom and what he’s found to be futile in life. So the only thing of value, that is not all vanity, the only thing worth doing that will last, are the things we do for God.

    There’s much wisdom in that.

    So much for any words of wisdom from me. 😕 It’s been a long, arduous day. Much yard work…but I do love it!

    Blessings, Love!

  9. I have enjoyed reading your blog.
    I am new to the blog world, but have seen the miracle of the blogging community and prayer in the last two days. Hope you will stop by my blog and pray for little Maggie.

  10. i’m glad i got that figured out – now those two sentences make perfect sense 🙂

    I agree! There are many meanings behind the word we translate into English as ‘fear’, not least of which is the commonly accepted sense. There are certainly good reasons for fearing Him and what He is capable of.

    Just as there are many reasons to Love Him with all your Heart

    Wisdom indeed Sis 🙂

    Enjoy your gardening – but please don’t over-exert yourself, slow and steady is the way to go! a little good workout each and every day .

    Maybe 6 out of 7 perhaps? 🙂

    <B

  11. Over-exerting is easy to do, Love, but I’ll try to pace myself. It’s almost warm enough to swim here, I guess that means it’s cold enough to do what there? Build a fire? Hunker down for the winter?

    Is it almost time for another walkabout? I hope not. But that’s purely selfish on my part. You tend to break for blogging this time of year…?

    Blessings to you, Love! 😉

  12. It was THREE degrees in Perth this morning! ( That’s about 38 of your degrees) We’ve had the gas fire burning a few nights now – and no more wearing only shorts 😯

    I hope you get to enjoy the pool and the sunshine in your life Sis – it’s not all bad, is it?

    i go walkabout as the ‘mood’ (and need) finds me. Not sure when it will do so next.

    I listen for His voice – but at the moment He does not appear to be calling me to be somewhere ‘else’.

    Does Brother Ed’s bible study of this wek hold any comfort for you in this time Sis?

    …when i am weak, then am i strong 2 Cor 12:9

    forgive me if you have already used this quote in a previous post 😉

    love

    <B

  13. This was beautifully depicted, Michelle. Exquisite. You can paint with words as well as with ink. 🙂

    And by the way, your post from awhile back about resting places along the trail … has stayed with me and popped up in my heart many times over the last months. So thank you for being obedient, and writing what you felt. It has blessed me. 🙂

  14. Wow, Annie. Thank you. (I didn’t see this earlier) I needed that encouragement tonight.

    I sometimes wonder if I’m following His plan for this blog. But I do need to share what’s on my heart. It’s where I am…in Him.

    Hmmm…resting places along the trail…I might need to find that one. If I can. 😕

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