By: Darrelyn L. Tutt
It’s 2:30 in the morning; my mind is occupied with weighty thoughts.
I rise because I cannot sleep.
Enter my “book” room and scan the shelves for a particular book of comfort.
Selection: GRACE ABOUNDING
Author: John Bunyan
Renown writer of The Pilgrim’s Progress.
Exceptional and extraordinary preacher, writer and expositor of England in the 1600’s.
My fingers touch the well-worn book grateful for the writings and refuge of a fellow pilgrim;
Grateful for an individual who identifies with my own internal affliction.
John Bunyan ... a true companion on my spiritual journey.
My eyes light upon a dog-eared page.
An excerpt from the great saint’s soul:
…I often found in my mind a great urge to curse and swear, or to speak some grievous thing against God, Christ His Son, or of the Scriptures. Now I thought, surely I am possessed of the devil. At other times, I thought I would be bereft of my senses; for instead of praising and magnifying God the Lord with others, if I but heard Him spoken of, presently some most horrible blasphemous thought or other would bolt out of my heart against Him.
…These things did sink me into very deep despair, for I concluded that such things could not possibly be found among those who loved God.
While this torture lasted, which was about a year, I could attend to none of the ordinances of God but with sore and great affliction; then I was most distressed with blasphemies, and despair would hold me a captive there. If I was reading, then sometimes I had sudden thoughts to question all I read. At other times my mind would be so strangely snatched away and possessed with other things that I neither knew, regarded, nor remembered as much as the sentence that just then I had read.
The afflicted individual will derive comfort from these candid, reflective, honest difficult thoughts.
The “un”afflicted may flinch and question whether such words ought to be written.
Afflictions may surely differ in name but their content suggests evidence that the heart’s owner is a deviant of the worst kind.
This ... I am familiar with with.
John Bunyan was stricken with countless internal afflictions.
Each, in the end, contributing to a deeper and more instructive search into the scriptures;
Compelled to love the compelling One….
He continued on.
John Bunyan whispers to every afflicted soul,
You are not alone.
Maintaining his affection for Christ and His word amidst the cruelest of internal afflictions;
He continued His pursuit and his final testimony secured him a wondrous ovation both on earth and in heaven.
Christ triumphs over affliction;
Praise the Lord!
Afflictions have different names;
arrive in different forms in each of our lives.
In the end…
They prove an extraordinary catalyst to a wondrous conformity.
Stay in the word.
Stay with the One who authored it.
God will be faithful in "your" affliction.
“I know, O Lord, that Thy judgments are right,
and that Thou in faithfulness hast afflicted me.”