I shall not want to go through this

I don't want to go through this.

I realize that sounds un-spiritual. Perhaps it is.

We want our son. Yet the hits roll in like breakers under an ever darkening sky. It is so hard to trust the Lord. So easy to put our hope in the fickle fancies of Secretaries and Presidents and Prime People. So easy to get hopeful when the chief representative of the State Department travels to the DRC. I get excited because finally someone with authority, power and influence is there.

I don't think David thought it all that fun as he crested the pass and walked down into the valley of the shadow of death. He didn't say that it would be fun, but that the Shepherd would be there with him and that His rod and staff would correct and comfort him. Comfort him with the comfort that fears nothing. That fears no evil. Not even the evil that keeps our son from us. That keeps him from getting the surgery he needs. That keeps my wife's heart in raw unending brokenness. That keeps our eyes wet and our hearts aching. Comfort us with Himself. With The Presence.

The Presence that restores a soul. That lifts up with wings like eagles. The Presence that knelt in an olive grove and saw the soldiers's torches and asked if this cup could pass. The Presence that submitted and took that cup and drank down every brutal lash, every mocking word, every hammer blow that atoned for the very sin which keeps us from our son.

The Presence that listened as Paul begged his thorn removed and answered with Himself. That the unmerited favor of His goodness was enough. Sufficient to lead him beside quiet waters. To prepare a table in the presence of his enemies. To anoint his head and overflow his cup and follow him with goodness and lovingkindness all the days of his life.

That same Presence, that same Person dwells within me. This is know is true. And He does not take the thorn or brighten the valley. He does not make the pain stop or the ache abate. He too has a hammer. And between it and the Anvil we dwell. Yet He who rains down the hammer also reigns on High. And it is between the hammer and the anvil that we are made into the likeness of His Son.

Because reality is that a Person of authority, power and influence is already there in the DRC. He has always been there and He will not leave. And though I yearn to slake my thirst for understanding, I must be content to drink instead from the cup which overflows. The cup not of wrath, but of grace. Grace that dries our tears and fills us with good and perfect things - even while we walk through the valley.

We do not want to go through this. The Lord wants us to go through it. Only one way is right. Only one way is good. Not my will, O Lord, but Yours be done. For Your name's sake - shepherd me.