Sunday, February 1, 2015

My Friend, Mr Carroll Gleason

The Jeff Morton Report (jeffmortonreport@yahoo.com)

Sunday, February 1, 2015

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Walking through the Shadows
It’s been a long, unending journey for this Wayfarer but not without meaning for he has realized that the journey is the destination. So he continues on trekking through forests, over mountains, along meadows and beside streams. Many places along the way are dark and dreary, little light showing through the shadows engulfing him - mile after mile of shadows and darkness with no relief in sight. The mind is bombarded with thoughts of evil lurking about, ready to overtake him. Fear grips him, but he pushes on hoping to find respite from the drudgery.
“Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil!” Yeah, right! Easy for you to say. What’s this you say, “Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me…?” Okay, I’ll believe that when I see it. So were the thoughts of the Wayfarer many years ago while experiencing the dark shadows in the valley. Where’s the good in a divorce? Where’s the good in the ridicule and discouragements at every turn? Where’s the good and mercy in all the heartache, hurt and pain striking at every minuscule opportunity? Nothing but shadows and darkness with a rare, occasional, millisecond glimpse of light. Only enough of a glimpse to give him the courage to continue in hopes of coming through the darkness, though doubts lingered he would ever walk into the light.
It was during such times that drove him to his knees in prayer. Taking several hours of each day to read the Scriptures, even though the pain remained and the darkness enshrouded him. Where is this “goodness and mercy”? The reality had not pierced his thoughts that Goodness and Mercy had been following him each step of the way. It was unfailing but his focus was on the darkness that enveloped him and was unable to see through the density of that darkness.

As he continued to pray and read the scriptures daily he discovered that little by little new strength and courage was gained. Peace began growing inside, bringing comfort and relief. Over the span of several months the Wayfarer realized the amount he had grown in his journey through the shadows. He could actually detect the changes in his life, which were imperceptible on a daily basis, but looking back over those months he could see the measure of his growth. New character had developed, making him a better person. Finally, the understanding came that Goodness and Mercy had not failed him.

He could now pray to the Father, “Abba, if the divorce, pain, heartaches, discouragement is what it takes to bring me in closer relationship to You then I'll gladly go through it again In a heartbeat, if need be. Forgive me for allowing the distractions of this journey to keep me from you. You are ever present in the darkness to bring comfort. Your Goodness and Mercy are with me and I shall dwell in the House of the Lord forever.”

The Wayfarer continues his journey and often the road is treacherous and dark, but in those places he finds comfort in Abba. The pain and heartaches are lighter and fewer, but when they are encountered there is always Goodness and Mercy surrounding him. The Wayfarer has learned to walk in the shadows for the light is always within him. Certainly, the journey is the destination for we never arrive this side of eternity.

You cannot go on this journey with the Wayfarer, for it is his and his alone. You have your own journey to travel, taking you through different forests, other mountains, meadows and streams. All the dark places you must travel for your journey is for you alone and is your destination. Though you must travel it alone, you are never alone for He, Abba, is always with you. It is for you to discover each new day, with its challenges and struggles. It is for your growth and development as you learn to walk through the shadows and at times through light. It is yours to overcome those heartaches, pains and discouragement that enable you to grow in character and maturity. For you, too, are a Wayfarer on a journey, be it by choice or leaving heel ruts along the way. From this Wayfarer may you find shalom and comfort on your “destination”.

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