As painful as the experience has been for her and as agonizing as it's been for her family to watch her suffer, God has not wasted these weeks. It's been a privilege and a joy to have her back with us for a while, sharing with her the lessons that He is teaching. Many questions are still unanswered...some may never be answered, but not because God is without a plan.
A couple of days ago, a book arrived in the mail....a gift from my cousin, a woman who possesses some of the keenest spiritual eyesight I've ever witnessed. Knowing the ins and outs of our daily struggle, she chose a book that she thought would minister to me during this time and she had it sent to me. It's written by Ken Gire, an author whose books she and I have enjoyed together before. But even she didn't know just how perfect it would be for the current circumstances. The book's metaphor is the climbing of Mt. Everest, and Gire likens our spiritual quest for answers to life's questions to this climb. He uses the book of Psalms as part of his "map" for the climb; his language is at times as thrilling to me as the climb is exhilarating to those fit enough to take it on. But the opening words of the second chapter stopped me dead in my tracks tonight, and I share them with you in case you too are trying to make sense of the mountain ahead, especially in light of God's purposes in the lives of your children.
How blessed I am that CJ is not left without a map...that some of the terrain ahead of her has been traveled before and has been left with markers and roadsigns and directions to shelter. And as we climb with her, together we leave even more accurate maps for those who come behind us--complete with postings of danger as well as notices of rest areas with fresh water and nourishing food.
The earliest renderings of Mount Everest were simple sketches. Later the landscape was mapped by hand, using primitive instruments. Today the methods of mapping are more sophisticated. The most recent measurement of the mountain was done in 1999, using precise calculations made by the millions of data points collected by the Space Shuttle and the Global Positioning System.
With each generation, the map gets more accurate. And this is how it should be, both in the natural realm and the spiritual realm.
It seems to me the responsibility of each generation is to map the terrain of faith with ever-greater accuracy. We are not painting pictures for our children; we are making maps for climbers, which our children will one day become. There are clefts in the rock where they can find shelter, but there are also crevasses into which they can fall to their deaths. To map the clefts and not the crevasses would be unconscionable.
~~from The North Face of God by Ken Gire
May God equip us all for the climb, and may He grant that we leave maps that allow our children to clearly see His faithfulness in every step.