I have forgotten the face of my father – Roland Deschain
The above quote is from an entirely different book, by an entirely different author. But it was what came to my mind after I finished As Silver Refined. In the Dark Tower Series, by Stephen King, it is an oft repeated phrase that means essentially that the person has behaved in a way that reflects poorly on their name – dishonoring their heritage and lineage. Kay Arthur relates in As Silver Refined that when a Christian begins spiraling through the 5 deadly D’s, they have believed wrong things about God. That’s what brought the King quote to mind – when, as a Christian, I begin to live as though God is who I have made him to be and not who He IS, then I have forgotten the face of my Father – my true Father, the one who has given me a heritage and lineage of grace.
I almost didn’t finish this book, though. Not because of anything the author said or did, but because, as soon as I started reading it my life imploded. My husband, who has a chronic illness, got very sick and had to be hospitalized and have multiple surgeries, I had to have surgery, my daughter got sick, I was told my job is going to be eliminated next year (I am the sole provider for our family), and someone I trust hurt me. August was no fun, September was even worse, and I’m still not certain what all of the final outcomes will be.
I had read two chapters of As Silver Refined when this started. And while I was struggling desperately with the concept of God’s sovereignty (I hadn’t read that far yet) in my own life, I at least was getting two things – One, the Refiner never leaves His silver on the fire unattended – He was with me, even when it seemed really hard to hear His voice or to see His face. And two, this was somehow all in God’s hands.
My sister texted me a scripture, Exodus 14:14, that says The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.” I clung to that promise as though it were the only one there was, and it was the only Bible I spent any time with over the course of the last 6 weeks, because I got to the point where I couldn’t read the Bible (or anything else), pray, or worship. I was just. Worn. Out.
Finally, last week, I was able to get back to As Silver Refined. Oh, how I wish I had kept reading it! I HAD forgotten the face of my Father – but He had never forgotten mine. The whole of my circumstances NEVER were the whole of who I am, but they felt that way. I was overwhelmed, discouraged. I did what I had to, but I had no joy. I wept as I read Kay’s words – “If it pleases You, it pleases me,” a reminder that I could absolutely be joyous in the face of ugly, hard, junk. It is not meant to harm me, but rather to transform me into the perfect representation of God’s righteousness. It is the privilege of grace to be given the opportunity to struggle, because only then is the full extent of God’s mercy visible.
So, thank you, Kay Arthur for the ministry you do. My circumstances continue to be uncertain. I have no idea where my families support will come from next year, when my husband will finally be well and home, or anything else. But – I know Whose I am. And if it pleases Him, it pleases me.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255