Monday, February 11, 2008

Great Gain in Great Loss


Jesus, my all in all thou art;
My rest in toil, my ease in pain,
The medicine of my broken heart,
In war my peace, in loss my gain...
~~Charles Wesley

I looked back and couldn't believe my last Aunt Jane's Hero post was on November 8th. Imagine that. To think that last July I had grand intentions that this would be a weekly series on this blog, one I even thought could be finished by now. I hate to say this, but sometimes I have expectations which come far short of reality. Well, enough of that--I've beaten up on myself sufficiently. I go forward with new resolve to be more diligent, even if I don't meet my initial goals. Now for Chapter 5 . . .

". . .The Young Men's Christian Association opened its arms to him; he became interested in the once-despised Mission School, and once or twice his voice was heard at the weekly prayer-meeting which he never used to attend. He felt, at times, that he had gained through loss; that he was a happier, better man; and yet a voice often whispered in his ear; that next to the love of God he needed the love of a Christian woman."

Horace? Is this speaking of Horace? Yes, a different Horace as you can clearly see. These final lines of the chapter are evidence that the most wonderful thing that could possibly happen to any wandering young man had occurred--he had been brought back to his God. In Horace's case, it had happened as a result of the heavy hand of divine providence. The episode is a stirring account of how our young hero, in the midst of great loss, came into possession of great gain, even Christ. We stand in awe, as if this fictional character were someone we knew.

Last night, during prayer time at our church, someone asked prayer for their wayward son. At that point I took a mental excursion around the room and counted four families who have either a son or a daughter who has strayed. As I thought about them, I thought of Horace and what happened to him in this chapter. I don't wish on any of these young people that they'd experience a loss such as the one Horace endured; but, oh, I pray they'll lay hold of his gain. Then, my thoughts went even further to ponder whether any of these parents would just as soon see God have hard dealings with their wandering ones if it's the only way. It's a tough call--to an area of prayer where any parent would tread with trepidation.

Note: I've intentionally not mentioned what Horace's great loss was. Remember, these posts are little prods to get you to read the book!

12 comments:

Susan Kelly Skitt said...

Certainly, yes, God's ways are always best, even when their hard. Oh how when we pray as a parent, we take all our cares to our perfect Father who neve makes mistakes. There is no shadow of turning with Him, praise God!

Now you have me curious as to what that loss was in the story.

Beverly said...

I'm so glad that you did another Aunt Jane's post. "God moves in a mysterious way, His WONDERS to perform ..."

Mimi said...

As parents it is so very hard for us when we know that God is going to have to deal harshly with one of our children... but sometimes it needs to be done and we have to have faith and remember that God loves them more than we do so He will always do what is best for them..
thanks for this wonderful post...
and I do need to read the book...

Kathy at Sumballo said...

Maxine, thanks for the reminder that wayward children (and that includes us) are healed by God's grace. I appreciate your steadfastness (and understand your busyness!!)

eddie said...

Thanks for that Maxine! It is tough to pray to God asking Him to do what's necessary in the lives of those we care about. good thoughts.

Cami said...

I think our side-eddy's are God's divine leading. It's timing we mess up on more often than not. I am positive of that. I believe you were meant to share this snippet "now," not "then." May God use it to draw hearts close to Himself.

Ruth said...

Sometimes I get so sad about all the brokenness in the world. Somewhere I read that the world's brokenness is the birth pangs of love.

This thought really encouarged me--God is redeeming this world to a wonderful relationship of love with Him.

Mishel said...

Yes indeed, it is hard sometimes to allow God to do what He needs to do--to bring that wayward one back to Him. We are dealing (and praying) for a dear nephew right now--trusting the Lord that one day we will see this precious young man's heart turned back toward the Savior.

Thank you for an excellent post and excellent thoughts!

sparrow's song said...

Could you explain a little bit for what the Aunt Jane's hero post is about?

I admit that I've selfishly neglected to pray for what's best in knowing that I may have to endure those trials right along with my child. I'm tired. I've fainted. And at times I often feel very much alone.

Maxine said...

Actually, Sparrow, the hero of this story had gone far away from the Lord, and it's in this particular chapter that the Lord brought pain, suffering,and loss into his life. A direct result was that Horace came [back] to the Lord. It's not totally clear whether he was saved in the first place.
A young person I know of has recently made a sharp break from the Lord and from her family. My point is, do her parents dare pray for pain and suffering in her life if it's the only way God can get her attention? It's difficult to pray for God to bring a loved one back by His hard hand. But which would be worse--an easy road away from the Lord, or hard dealings which bring them back?

sparrow's song said...

So, if this your story you've created? Or a true story?

I might not pray directly for their pain and suffering but rather submit to His plan that unfolds, whatever that may include, when we place our child in His hands which I have done. So to that I would definitely agree since I understand that is what brought me back. However, when the parental spiritual yoke in labor is lopsided, the row is usually dug uneven or too shallow. After that, when they get to a certain age your influence dwindles. That's when regrets set in. What parent hasn't asked themselves if they couldn't have done more? My concern is that it wasn't enough. This is only part of my heartache in the present post on SS.

Maxine said...

Sparrow, I don't know if you ever read Stepping Heavenward, but Aunt Jane's Hero was written by the same author, Elizabeth Prentiss. I only wrote a companion to it--a workbook that I'm still in the process of revising. These blog posts contain my thoughts on the Prentiss book; many of the thoughts are repeats from the companion.
I'll try to remember to pray for the difficulties you're going through right now. So many people I know are going through similar trials. There will always be regrets, because we always, all of us, fall short. I agree, we often wish we had done more (or in my case there have been times I wish I had done less. Hard to explain, but that's another story.) Anyway, it's in God's hands, sister.