Do you know the legend of a Cherokee boy’s ‘rite of passage’? His father takes him into the forest, blindfolds him and leaves him alone. He is required to sit on a stump the whole night and not remove his blindfold until the rays of the morning sun shine through it.
He cannot cry out for help to anyone. He cannot tell the other boys of this experience, because each boy must come into manhood on his own. The boy is naturally terrified. He will hear all kinds of noises. Wild beasts may be all around him, or some stranger might do him harm. The wind will blow trees and earth, and shake his stump, but he must sit stoically, and not run away. For once he survives the night, he is a man.
And after the unnerving night the sun will appear, and only then may he remove his blindfold. It is then that he will discover his father was sitting on the stump next to him, and has been at watch the entire night, protecting his son from every danger through the grim ordeal.
The members of Christ the King also are never alone—we have our LORD’S faithful promise—revealed in the work and Person of Christ Jesus—as testified and witnessed by His appointed apostles.
Even when we don’t know or feel it, Almighty God is superintending His people, and sitting on the stump, pew or bed beside us. And when trouble comes (and it most certainly does), we must reach out to Him in prayer, remain focused on His Word and trust Him. But often we ‘take off’ our faith before the dawn and look to feeble emotions and worldly wit in the attempt to get through our personal darkness.
We need to recall Jacob’s flight from his brother. On a disturbing lonely night at Bethel, he dreamed of the stairway between heaven and earth; our Lord revealed—no promised—that He would protect him. Jacob awoke and exclaimed, “Surely the Lord is in this place—and I did not know it.” That’s the basic recipe for the ‘cake’ in our lives; our God is truly with us—the ‘icing’ is that at times, we actually know it!
We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed … so we do not lose heart … for we walk by faith, not by sight. 2 Corinthians 4.8-9; 5.6-7
by Mark Gade, for the CtK E-newsletter