Is it me, or has life taken an interesting turn of late? In our mountain valley we have experienced one heart-rending trial after another. The "refining process" has been evident in a myriad of ways.
A little over ten years ago, our valley was hit extremely hard during another trying time. Six wonderful people: four teenage girls, & the younger brother, as well as the father of one of these close friends were taken in an instant. They died together one dark wintry night in a car accident--and our lives were never the same.
We found ourselves reflecting on the sacrifices and journeys made by pioneer ancestors. We were drawn to a painting by the talented Kelly Price Clark that depicted the horrendous ordeal experienced by the Willie & Martin handcart companies. Angels were shown descending to aid in their survival.
I believe there are times during our mortal journey when the mountain we're being asked to climb is so steep, we can't do it alone. It becomes our Gethsemane---a source of tremendous pain . . . and growth.
The poem I'm sharing today was written ten years ago. It came out of the heartache experienced with the loss of those I mentioned. May it inspire hope to any who may be struggling through an uphill climb.
The way was long---the journey cold
No sign of relief was in sight
Together they toiled with their limited strength
Their hearts burdened with sorrow and fright.
"How long must we suffer---how can we endure?"
"Will we survive this dark trek into pain?"
And yet they continued---'til they gave all they had
Exhausted, they persisted to struggle and strain.
And just when they thought they had no more to give
Tears leading to hopeless despair,
When they had done all they possibly could on their own,
Angels descended there.
We all make such journeys during our lives
We all suffer and struggle and strain
And during those moments when we think all is lost,
Our Father is aware of our pain.
Oppressive loads are lightened---new strength is found
Angels hover beside the valiant soul
We're never alone through our darkest trials
God is with us and in control.
Cheri J. Crane