Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Thou art with me....

This post, from Pilgrim's Progress, is for anyone who feels like they are walking in darkness today....a reminder that we are not alone. Last night I was thinking and remembering something I heard in a sermon on Hannah recently that gave me great comfort. Do you remember how Hannah was one of two wives? That the other wife, Penninah, tormented Hannah because she didn't have children? Abominable behavior, but her cruel words were what sent Hannah crying to her knees, and it was then that the Lord remembered Hannah, had mercy on her, and gave her her desire. This reminded me that God can use the most horrible circumstances to bring Himself glory, and for our good.Also notice at the end of the story below - Christian's night has a morning (joy in the morning).


A walk to remember in the sunset ".....Now at the end of this valley was another, called the Valley of the Shadow of Death; and Christian must needs go through it, because the way to the Celestial City lay through the midst of it. Now, this valley is a very solitary place. The prophet Jeremiah thus describes it: “A wilderness, a land of deserts and pits, a land of drought, and of the Shadow of Death, a land that no man” (but a Christian) “passeth through, and where no man dwelt.” Jer. 2:6.

Now here Christian was worse put to it than in his fight with Apollyon, as by the sequel you shall see. Christian went on his way, but with his sword drawn in his hand, for fear lest he should be assaulted. I saw then in my dream, so far as this valley reached, there was on the right hand a very deep ditch; that ditch is it into which the blind have led the blind in all ages, and have both there miserably perished. Again, behold, on the left hand there was a very dangerous quag, into which, if even a good man falls, he finds no bottom for his foot to stand on: into that quag king David once did fall, and had no doubt therein been smothered, had not He that is able plucked him out. Psa. 69:14.

The pathway was here also exceeding narrow, and therefore good Christian was the more put to it; for when he sought, in the dark, to shun the ditch on the one hand, he was ready to tip over into the mire on the other; also, when he sought to escape the mire, without great carefulness he would be ready to fall into the ditch. Thus he went on, and I heard him here sigh bitterly; for besides the danger mentioned above, the pathway was here so dark, that ofttimes when he lifted up his foot to go forward, he knew not where, or upon what he should set it next.

About the midst of this valley I perceived the mouth of hell to be, and it stood also hard by the wayside. Now, thought Christian, what shall I do? And ever and anon the flame and smoke would come out in such abundance, with sparks and hideous noises, (things that cared not for Christian’s sword, as did Apollyon before,) that he was forced to put up his sword, and betake himself to another weapon, called All-prayer, Eph. 6:18; so he cried, in my hearing, "O Lord, I beseech thee, deliver my soul." Psa. 116:4. Thus he went on a great while, yet still the flames would be reaching towards him; also he heard doleful voices, and rushings to and fro, so that sometimes he thought he should be torn in pieces, or trodden down like mire in the streets. This frightful sight was seen, and these dreadful noises were heard by him for several miles together; and coming to a place where he thought he heard a company of fiends coming forward to meet him, he stopped, and began to muse what he had best to do. Sometimes he had half a thought to go back; then again he thought he might be half-way through the valley. He remembered also, how he had already vanquished many a danger; and that the danger of going back might be much more than for to go forward. So he resolved to go on; yet the fiends seemed to come nearer and nearer. But when they were come even almost at him, he cried out with a most vehement voice,"I will walk in the strength of the Lord God." So they gave back, and came no farther.


When Christian had traveled in this disconsolate condition some considerable time, he thought he heard the voice of a man, as going before him, saying, "Though I walk through the Valley of the Shadow of Death, I will fear no evil, for thou art with me." Psa. 23:4.

Then was he glad, and that for these reasons:

First, Because he gathered from those words, that some who feared God were in this valley as well as himself.
Secondly, For that he perceived God was with them, though in that dark and dismal state. And why not, thought he, with me? though by reason of the impediment that attends this place, I cannot perceive it. Job 9:11.
Thirdly, For that he hoped (could he overtake them) to have company by and by.

So he went on, and called to him that was before; but he knew not what to answer, for that he also thought himself to be alone. And by and by the day broke: then said Christian, “He hath turned the shadow of death into the morning.” Amos 5:8.

Now morning being come, he looked back, not out of desire to return, but to see, by the light of the day, what hazards he had gone through in the dark. So he saw more perfectly the ditch that was on the one hand, and the quag that was on the other; also how narrow the way was which led betwixt them both. Also now he saw the hobgoblins, and satyrs, and dragons of the pit, but all afar off; for after break of day they came not nigh; yet they were discovered to him, according to that which is written, “He discovereth deep things out of darkness, and bringeth out to light the shadow of death.” Job 12:22.

Now was Christian much affected with this deliverance from all the dangers of his solitary way; which dangers, though he feared them much before, yet he saw them more clearly now, because the light of the day made them conspicuous to him. And about this time the sun was rising, and this was another mercy to Christian.....Then said he, “His Candle shineth on my head, and by his light I go through darkness.” Job 
 29:3.
Pilgrim's Progress

Sharing with -
Women Living Well,
Seeds of Faith Women, 
A Holy Experience,
Lace,   Words Matter,
and Serenity Now


7 comments:

  1. I am so happy to have found you through Women Living Well. I will be coming back to read through your blog posts.
    http://milestonesoffaith.blogspot.com/
    Kerry

    ReplyDelete
  2. I had a nice visit at your blog today.
    You write very faith promoting posts.
    Thanks for sharing and blessings to you!
    living Waters by LeAnn
    http://lgwilliams.blogspot.com/

    ReplyDelete
  3. Hello Stefanie,
    thank you for linking to LACE today.
    Pilgrim's Progress continues to be inspirational and instructive for today's "Christian".
    A message of hope for all!
    blessings..Trish

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  4. Hi Stefanie, we are so blessed that God is with us despite our faults, gripes and sinful natures. I enjoyed reading your post. God Bless.

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  5. It is so wonderful to find someone who has gone before us who can understand what we are going through when we are in despair. It gives comfort to the soul.

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  6. Hi Stefanie,
    This book is always helpful and comforting. I'm glad of the reminder you have given me.
    God Bless
    Barb from Australia

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  7. Thank you all - I'm glad it has been a blessing. This book has encouraged me during a hard week.
    Stefanie

    ReplyDelete

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"Seek ye the LORD while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near: For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts. For as the rain cometh down, and the snow from heaven, and returneth not thither, but watereth the earth, and maketh it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater: So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it."
Isaiah 55:6,8-1