By Nancy Virden (c)2020
I’m reading The Pilgrim’s Progress in Modern English translated from author John Bunyan’s 17th century text by L. Edward Hazelbaker. Pilgrims in this book are people, especially one, living through triumphs and losses on their way to heaven.
The main character relays a story about a good man named Little Faith from the town of Sincere. He too is making the pilgrimage to heaven.
Little Faith falls asleep near Deadman’s Lane, known for its murders and robberies. As he wakes, three thieving brothers approach, hired by their king who lives in Bottomless Pit. These hoodlums, Faint Heart, Mistrust, and Guilt begin verbally abusing him.
Faint Heart, who stands for timidity and weakness, attacks Little Faith’s strength and courage. Frozen in fear, Little Faith does not run or fight. Faint Heart demands money. When refused, Mistrust, who symbolizes doubt and unbelief, undermines Little Faith’s trust and confidence. Mistrust grabs spending money out of Little Faith’s pocket, who squeaks “Thieves, thieves!” No one hears him save Guilt who represents shame and dishonor.
Guilt responds with a severe clubbing about Little Faith’s head, bludgeoning his peace and contentment. He is laying there bleeding when the brothers leave.
Do you ever feel robbed and bludgeoned by timidity, weakness, doubt, unbelief, shame or dishonor? Has your strength and courage lost steam? Is your trust in God and confidence in your salvation stifled by pain? Are peace and contentment elusive?
Unfortunately, Little Faith becomes a complainer, bitterly telling everyone he encounters on the way to heaven about his misfortune. This is the example we can avoid- allowing Faint Heart, Mistrust and Guilt to follow us all the days of our lives.
Psalm 23 gives us another option. Jesus has a symbolic name too, the Good Shepherd:
The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing. He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he refreshes my soul. He guides me along the right paths for his name’s sake. Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. Surely your goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.
Today’s Helpful Word
1 Peter 2:24-25
He himself bore our sins in his body on the cross, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; by his wounds you have been healed. For you were like sheep going astray, but now you have returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls.
Always the Fight Ministries (ATFM) has been displaying compassion for those fighting mental illness, addiction, or abuse since 2012. Nancy is the founder and voice of ATFM and openly shares her emotional resurrection from despair.
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NOTE: I am not a doctor or a mental health professional, and speak only from personal experiences and observations. In no way is this website intended to substitute for professional mental or behavioral health care.
If you are feeling suicidal, or concerned about someone who is, in the U.S. call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-TALK (8255), or for a list of international suicide hotlines, go here.
If you are suicidal with a plan, immediately call 911 in the U.S. or go to your nearest emergency room. In the EU call 112. (For other international emergency numbers, go here ). Hope and help are yours!