I read this not long ago but can never remember where did I read this, it speaks much truth especially on this journey of fighting against child trafficking.
“It’s not easy to be called to the table to eat and drink and dance with God. It is not easy — in fact it is almost intolerable – to experience the white robes of glory blaze in a pinnacle of beauty and then be told we can’t stay there. Even worse, after moments of glory, God generally tells us to engage a difficulty that is impossible to handle at our level of maturity and faith.
Glory casts us not into ease but into the arms of a relentless God who desires for us to know even greater glory.“
We have various moments of glory throughout this journey standing for Cambodia, speaking of the atrocities this nation has and still endures. I could even spell out which event on which date and on what lesson that involved how deep the degree of pain and grief. The word “pinnacle” is the right word to use. A pinnacle. A climax. A peak. A top. A summit. An acme. An apex. A vertex. A zenith. We have lots of moments that demands extreme joy that feels like we are standing top on the top of the hike, out of a long stretch of desert walk, as such joy is not of this world. Yet we all will have to climb down from that pinnacle of beauty and glory for He does have something else to give. It usually takes another long stretch of walking on plain desert sand under scorching heat. That takes a long stretch of waiting while walking until we see and reach another pinnacle.
Another writer wrote on Isaiah 40,
“… what fascinates me is Isaiah’s threefold promises to those who wait. They shall rise up on wings as eagles, they shall run and not grow weary, they shall walk and not faint. Actually it’s not so much the promises themselves that fascinates me as the sequence of them. The promises culminate, not in eagle-like soaring, but in pilgrim-like trudging: walking and not fainting. According to the conventions of Hebrews poetry, the sequence of ideas should progress from the lesser to the greater. So we would expect the sequence of promise here to be reversed: Waiting on the Lord allows us to walk and not faint, to run and not grow weary, to – YEAH – rise up on wings as eagles. This is far more dramatic, climactic, inspiring, spectacular. It is the miracle we hope for. Any of us can walk. That is commonplace. What we really want is to fly.
But Isaiah – well, God — sees it otherwise, We may want wings, but what we really need is to walk without failing down – to plod through blistering heat, chilling cold, drenching rain, scathing storm, over dreary flatness or tangled thickets or rocky gorges, through swampland and bad land and no mans land. And to do it all in steadfastness, undeterred,. To go deeper into the holy wild, farther from borderland, and to not faint.
The soaring was much easier than the walking. The soaring required less endurance. At first it felt like the greater accomplishment, the heroic facing down and overcoming of obstacles, the literal and figurative act of rising above. In retrospect, it was the lesser task, the more ordinary one.
Indeed, what is more amazing – Elijah calling down heaven’s fire and routing the prophets of baal, or his willingness to press on in the face of a hateful, death dealing queen and king bent on his destruction? What is more amazing – healing the lame, the blind, the sick or caring for them, with vigilance and diligence and genuine love, day after day after day? What is more amazing – the crippled man taking up his mat and walking, or his living with faith and hope and thankfulness in his skin blistering, blood clotting immobility until the day death comes? What is more amazing, the star running back who just scored the winning touchdown in the championship thanking God on national television, or the old man with Parkinson’s disease thanking God in his musty, lonely apartment? Does soaring on wings ever rank in its miraculousness with walking and not fainting?”
I would rather pick walking and not fainting!! May we all walk even in the blistering heat, in the choking sorrow, in the unpromising circumstances and challenges, may we all walk and not faint. We are here, praying, pounding on the gates of heaven even with our blistered hands and fists. We are pounding on its gates, stomping on our feet, ceaselessly for you all, for those whom we are called to love and to serve until our very very last breath!
One wise woman proclaimed this at the top of her lungs in front of thousands congregants, “It comes to a point where we move from feeling SAD to feeling MAD. We are angry at injustice, the anger towards injustice provoke us not just to feel something, but to do something.”
That’s where we are, every time we encounter some unbearable and painful reality, we have our moments of sadness, deep roar of grief and tears all muddle together as we groan to the deep from our deep. We wipe away our tears. We sit up from our fetal position crouching down on the floor, feeling the numbness on our knees, kneading the hunger dulling off our stomachs. We sit up. We rise up. We stand. We breathe steadily. We push through the barricades. The emotion stands for a moment, we have a battle to fight. We have our Lord to stand on our side and fight on our behalf. Here is our prayer!!
12 Arise, Lord! Lift up your hand, O God.
Do not forget the helpless.
13 Why does the wicked man revile God?
Why does he say to himself,
“He won’t call me to account”?
14 But you, God, see the trouble of the afflicted;
you consider their grief and take it in hand.
The victims commit themselves to you;
you are the helper of the fatherless.
15 Break the arm of the wicked man;
call the evildoer to account for his wickedness
that would not otherwise be found out.
16 The Lord is King for ever and ever;
the nations will perish from his land.
17 You, Lord, hear the desire of the afflicted;
you encourage them, and you listen to their cry,
18 defending the fatherless and the oppressed,
so that men of this earth will terrify no more.