Monday, October 26, 2009

Despair Defeater

We are reading Pilgrim's Progress around here. We are at that dreary part where Christian and Hopeful are imprisoned in Despair's Dungeon. The sojourners made a wrong turn--and followed the road called Doubt. There is no light in Despair's dungeon. There is no mercy. The giant Despair relentlessly tortures Christian. His companion, Hopeful, tells him not to forget how God has led them in the past. How He has kept on the path toward their reward. Even though I have read this story many times, I can't remember how they escape in the book. I am waiting eagerly the climax--Christian's deliverance from Despair's clutches!

I can relate to Christian; I have followed doubt's path to despair. Where the grave seems easier than staying there in that lightless, awful place of despair. I have longed for death as a respite from the merciless torment of despair. Bryan felt that way, I know he did. And my heart is sad that I could not lead him to the sovereignty of God like Christian's friend Hopeful did for him. It consoles me to know that Bryan is whole and well and safe. No longer oppressed by despair or doubt. How can that NOT be good? I am still sad for me, my heartbroken parents, my kids. But I am not sad for Bryan. I grieve but I am learning to look at death as a teacher. There is a time for everything--even a time to die. And a time to number your finite moments and live those appointed days well--with joy. Not despair. I want to be like Christian's friend--Hopeful.

So here are my Monday blessings (a sure way to defeat Despair--counting your blessings):

136. the earth to live on (from Samuel)
137. God's forgiveness (from Kate)
138. kid's eat free on Mondays restaurants
139. capable plumbers
140. the Nutcracker (from Reilly)
141. our home (from Aidan)
142. spider man underwear (from Peter)
143. hot showers-so appreciated after NOT having water all day
144. school--growing instead of wasting away (Kate's contribution)
145. endless french fries at said restaurant
146. for grandma (from them all in unison)
147. game night (scoring the high on Hyperslide)
148. Jackie being born 45 years ago: her doting hubby who reminds us to celebrate that!
149. boy babysitter! so RAD! thanks Garrett
150. sleeping in
151. new sound proof family room--to facilitate # 150
152. friends who pitch in during a crisis--thanks Mer, Kellie, and Eno
153. pumpkins
154. brown-eyed boy in spiderman suit
155. cartooning class with Bigfoot (Aidan again)
156. little children chiming in with thanks
157. best friend's birthday--postponed celebration to look forward to (and DESSERT!)
158. flushing toilets
159. stillness
160. bedtime after a busy day

More later, there is a time for everything--a time to cuddle and say our nighttime thanks to Him. Goodnight.

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WARNING! Tissues Required-Video Slideshow of Bryan's Life-Sorry the music was muted!