“The Chronicles of Narnia” book series is the absolute, all-time favorite book series in our household. We’ve read from beginning (The Magician’s Nephew) to end (The Last Battle) so many times, I’ve lost count.
My favorite book out of the 7 is The Horse and His Boy. Shasta is a young boy fleeing from his abusive father who is attempting to sell his son into slavery. Shasta steals a soldier’s horse and escapes into the night.
Seemingly to him, everything goes wrong. He ends up traveling with a girl who is running away from an arranged marriage she doesn’t want. He becomes lost, he is separated from his horse, he is mistaken for someone else and taken up, and over and over he is pursued by wild animals.
One night as he is walking by himself, Shasta finds a Presence beside him. He is terrified as he is unable to see what this thing is and finally gathers enough courage to start talking and asking questions. In the midst of pouring out his heart about everything that has gone wrong, the Presence speaks:
“I was the lion. I was the lion who forced you to join with Aravis. I was the cat who comforted you among the houses of the dead. I was the lion who gave the Horses the new strength of fear for the last mile so that you should reach King Lune in time. And I was the lion you do not remember who pushed the boat in which you lay, a child near death, so that it came to shore where a man, wakeful at midnight, to receive you.”
In this moment, the Presence, now revealed as the Lion, Aslan, tells Shasta he has always been working even when the boy did not know or understand. This resounds with me because I find myself in Shasta’s shoes.
Pouring my heart out to God, telling him my mishaps and failures, my confusion and “if-only’s.”
This last week has found me up at night, in the silent darkness, grieving in a way I can’t articulate.
Death of a dream can do that to a person.
For five years, I’ve pleaded with the Lord to relent, to change, to undo what was done. And the answer has been no.
In my most hopeful moments, I think it will come later. In my most despairing moments, I think it will never happen.
I find myself taking comfort from Shasta and the Lion because I need to know that in my unknowing, He does.
That in my confusion, He is peace.
In my hurt, there is healing.
In my wandering, He remains.
Looking at the vast landscape, I can easily get sucked into the next week, stretching into the next month, sliding into the next year and wonder how I’ll do it. How can I continue in the pain and feelings of inadequacies and can’t they please go away?
He responds, “My grace is sufficient for you…”
He has never asked me to make sense of it.
He has never told me I would make sense of the loss, but rather he would use it for my good and his glory. Even in the pain, he is doing things far beyond my comprehension.
He promises to walk this with me even when I don’t see him or feel him. For I live by faith and not by sight and I know he is a faithful, promise-keeping, covenant-fulfilling, redeeming God.
“There will be seasons, perhaps days, perhaps years, when no truth however expressed – whether through Scripture, prayer, the kindness of a friend, music or dance – will reach your soul deeply enough to offer joy or hope. During those seasons, remember, it was when our Lord lost all sense of His Father’s presence that God was in Christ reconciling the world to himself. The Spirit’s best work is sometimes done in the worst times.” – Dr. Larry Crabb
– Laurel Ewing, Women’s Ministry Director