A Lesson from Pooh and Piglet
Do you like greeting cards? I do. I enjoy receiving all sorts of them. But when it comes to giving them, I especially like the ones which only suggest the greeting, rather than spelling it all out for us. There is a Hallmark "Classic Pooh" card that is just such a one. I didn’t even have to go looking for it the day a friend was on my mind and in my prayers--there it was, eye-level on the rack by the grocery checkout aisle I was standing in. On the bottom left corner of the card’s front, Pooh and Piglet are walking away from us. Pooh has his hands clasped behind his back and Piglet is looking up at him and reaching up to touch his arm. Their conversation is printed close by:
"Pooh!" whispered Piglet.
"Yes, Piglet?" said Pooh.
"Oh, nothing," said Piglet.
"I was just making sure of you."
The friend who was on my heart that day had just gone through a very difficult experience; one full of injustice. That she was struggling to hold on to her faith was not surprising. Nothing in what had just happened to her looked like Jesus was involved. I sensed that the Holy Spirit, though, wanted to use this card to encourage her; to help her know that God understood; that it was okay for her to want to make sure of Him; that this painful and struggling process would, in the end, reveal to her that she could be sure of Him.
When I was a little girl, throughout the course of a day at home my mother would sometimes call out my name. When I answered she would say, "I just wondered where you were." These days I can be sitting in the living room, for example, and notice my husband walking through the house and up the stairs—obviously looking for me. (It’s too much fun watching him look to reveal my whereabouts!) We like to know where our loved ones are. It puts our hearts at rest. In the same—yet larger and more important—way, we want to know where our Lord is. We want to be sure of Him. When we’re not, we have to do something about it. We can’t just pretend it doesn’t matter. We can’t pretend to believe when we don’t. We can’t turn our backs and walk away, though, either, especially when we’re angry at our only source of comfort. I think Piglet got it right. What can we do but ask? He knows we need reassurance. He knows we are but dust and struggle to see with spiritual eyes. He says, "A bruised reed He will not break, and dimly burning flax He will not extinguish"(Isaiah 42:3).
You have probably seen movies with this scene: a very distraught or angry or bereaved woman beats her fists against her husband’s chest until she is spent, and then collapses into his arms, hugging him and crying and being comforted by him. Sometimes our asking takes on a similar intensity. I believe Jesus much prefers for us to "get in His face" and express ourselves honestly like this than for us to stand on the other side of the room trying to talk ourselves into understanding Him. David in Psalm 13:1-2 got in the Lord’s face when he lamented, "How long, O Lord? Will You forget me forever? How long will You hide Your face from me? How long must I wrestle with my thoughts and every day have sorrow in my heart?" By the end of that Psalm David is ready to give us the equivalent to the woman’s collapsing into her husband’s arms: "But I trust in Your unfailing love; my heart rejoices in Your salvation. I will sing to the Lord for He has been good to me" (verses 5-6).
It is when we find Him in the darkness, hear His still, small voice there, and surrender to Him there, that the assurance of His whereabouts becomes solidified in our hearts. Then we have that most precious of possessions—faith.
I Peter 1:6-9 (NLB)
So be truly glad! There is wonderful joy ahead, even though it is necessary for you to endure many trials for a while. These trials are only to test your faith, to show that it is strong and pure. It is being tested as fire tests and purifies gold—and your faith is far more precious to God than mere gold. So if your faith remains strong after being tried by fiery trails, it will bring you much praise and glory and honor on the day when Jesus Christ is revealed to the whole world. You love Him even though you have never seen Him. Though you do not see Him, you trust Him; and even now you are happy with a glorious, inexpressible joy. Your reward for trusting Him will be the salvation of your souls.
Jude 20-21 (NKJ)
...you, beloved, building yourselves up on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit, keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life.
II Corinthians 1:3-4 (NKJ)
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.
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