I mentioned earlier that we listened to the CD dramatized version of C.S. Lewis' The Horse and His Boy on our journey... and what a perfect story to accompany such a trip too... through mountains and across deserts and over rivers. I felt like we were travelling with Bree, Hwin, Aravis, and Shasta, and I half expected to see lions around any curve.
The day after the Grand Tetons, we drove through the mountains in Wyoming - winding roads around tall pines and high rocks - and as we did we listened to "The Unwelcome Fellow Traveller," one of the most haunting and beautiful chapters, I believe, in all the Chronicles of Narnia. It's when Shasta is lost in the mountains alone, and then he feels the presence of someone else with him. He is afraid, and begs to be left alone, and claims he is the unluckiest person in the world. After he tells all his sorrows to the Someone, this is what happens:
"I do not call you unfortunate," said the Large Voice.
"Don't you think it was bad luck to meet so many lions?" said Shasta.
"There was only one lion," said the Voice.
"What on earth do you mean? I've just told you there were at least two the first night, and-"
"There was only one: but he was swift of foot."
"How do you know?"
"I was the lion."
I sank into the deeper corners of my heart then, and prayed silently for a while. I thought of my own sorrows, the parts of my own life that I consider unfortunate and tragic. Fears and tears, physical weakness, relational brokenness, and changes and disappointments that have wrenched my heart. And I realized Jesus has been in them all... As Aslan did for Shasta, Jesus has protected me, comforted me, pushed me to develop new strength, and forced me to move in order to live more deeply in Him. He doesn't view my misfortunes as such; He knows the purpose each circumstance has served in my relationship with Him, and He sees them as good. What I see as horrible and hopeless, He sees as opportunities of hope.
Knowing that makes me want to trust Him more and fight against him less. I'm learning that when He promises that His plans for me are good, that doesn't mean everything He allows to happen in my life will feel good or even look good, but the end result, if I choose to trust Him, is very good. He desires to know me and to be known by me, and His plans for me are leading me deeper and deeper into that relationship that brings glory and honor to Him.