That I may know Him and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death; in order that I may attain to the resurrection from the dead (Philippians 3:10-11)
There is an exalted joy for us to know and experience the knowledge of the Holy One of Israel. In reading His Word and knowing that Light which floods our soul by His grace, breeds a peace that passes all understanding. It is eternal life unto the children of God; our food and drink. How few are the times that we enjoy such nourishment without interference from the world, sin, and the evil one. What dangers there are in this pilgrimage that would seek to entangle our soul.
When we are young the LORD carries us in His bosom. He lifts us up on His shoulders and bears us through all the trial and danger of our pilgrimage. Our shoes do not wear out. The manna does not cease out of the land. But alas, the time comes – with the air of excitement of budding spiritual adulthood. There are greater and more foreboding heights to climb. The pilgrim learns the difficulty of the Way. The LORD teaches the maturity of trust that occurs when the Way is not easy – the manna ceases – and the shoes wear away. The groaning of those who have known the milk of His Word now echoes through the narrow way. The Light is dimmed but not extinguished. The meat becomes true meat indeed. The Way becomes very lonely and not greatly traveled. We learn the pathway of our fathers and of our Forerunner.
O’ pilgrim, do you not know? There is knowledge of the Holy that only comes when the power of His resurrection is manifested in the womb of the fellowship of His sufferings. Few tread this pathway for they are satisfied in the pleasant pastures below (how refreshing they are!). Their ears rarely hear the wooing of the Shepherd for the highlands beyond the clouds of darkness. There is knowledge of our LORD that can only be illumined in the womb of spiritual labor. However, it is not the struggle of death – but of life – the manifestation of the life of Jesus! Therefore we can take pleasure that when we are the weakest, He is the strongest. The life of Jesus is brought to light in a dusty broken pot.
Therefore my soul, do not despair in the struggle of yielding. Though we fall and stumble many times, we rejoice that in each, a wise and gracious Savior brings us back to standing. Should we not rejoice that we stand again rather than despair because we fell? Should it not fill our hearts with joy that in our failings, we have only failed one step closer to conforming into the Image of His dear Son? Lift up our feeble knees and weary arms. Turn our eyes from looking downward unto the upward gaze of the Light of His countenance. O’ soul be encouraged – He has never left nor absented Himself from you for one moment.