Desires and Disappointments: Deep Truths from Two Mentors
by Ellen Dykas
Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider Him who endured from sinners such hostility against Himself, so that you may not grow weary or fainthearted.
We need endurance to finish a race well, and that includes our lifelong journey of faith, obedience and love. I’m strengthened to know that Jesus is with me and that He eagerly provides running mates along the way. Friends, mentors and teachers are provided by God to encourage us to love well, and to keep our gaze on Jesus when lonely or disappointed.
I’d like to close out this week by sharing wisdom from two mentors who’ve taught me how to love wisely, honestly and courageously when it’s hard. Amy Carmichael has discipled me for years through her books. As a fellow single woman who faced various disappointments, I’ve felt a unique kinship with her. The poem below is one I’ve had on my heart often, when life didn’t flow the way I wanted.
Rose from Briar
Thou hast not that, My child, but thou hast Me,
And am not I alone enough for thee?
I know it all, know how thy heart was set
Upon this joy which is not given yet.
And well I know how through the wistful days
Thou walkest all the dear familiar ways,
As unregarded as a breath of air,
But there in love and longing, always there!
I know it all; but from thy brier shall blow
A rose for others. If it were not so
I would have told thee. Come then, say to Me:
My Lord, my Love, I am content with Thee.
Amy Carmichael, “Mountain Breezes: The Collected Poems of Amy Carmichael” (CLC Publications: Fort Washington, PA), 1999, p. 294.
Bill Smith mentored me while I studied biblical counseling at The Christian Counseling and Educational Foundation. His insights below have kept me on track with Christ’s gospel path regarding relationships.
“Slowly I have come to realize that my calling in every one of my relationships is to live with sinful people the rest of my life. Like me, each person in my life is weak or sinful in some way. But that doesn’t mean I am supposed to manipulate or nag them. Instead, I am to bear patiently with the things that are difficult for me to accept or that annoy me. NOT to condone sin, but to realize frankly that people DO sin and will need help. I am called to create healing relationships and to care for those who damaged...”
William Smith, “Loving Well, Even if You Haven’t Been”, (New Growth Press: Greensboro NC), 2012) p. 75.
Jesus faced disappointment in His relationships, and still does! We fail and sin against Him whenever we turn towards the world or people to satisfy our hearts. His response?
“Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in Me. In my Father's house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also.” (John 14:1-3)
STORE UP MORE TREASURES
At some point in our lives, we or someone we know will go through great suffering. I encourage you to go the MARKINC website and listen to the interview “Law Enforcement - The Families Behind the Badge" so that you can store up treasures of encouragement for the next rainy day in your life or someone else's. Here is a summary and teaser of this resource:
The headlines scream the stunning news far too often: Officer killed in the line of duty. What happens to the families of these brave men and women? Why would God let this happen? What about law enforcement families who lose their loved one in an off-duty death? We are confident this transparent and practical interview will not only encourage law enforcement families but will help those who love them better understand their grief journey.
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Contact Sharon with comments or questions at firstname.lastname@example.org.