This week, I’m stepping outside of my guidelines to share a story that I hope you’ll take the time to read.
Lately, many of my lifelong friends, as well as a few blogging friends have experienced challenges in their lives. Some have faced the death of a loved one, a life-changing illness, or an incident that has left one fearful of the future.
Below, I’d like to share a story that was mailed to me by the mother of one of those dear friends. It was written by Roselyn Aronson. My hope is that you’ll find it as comforting as I did.
Mr. Tentmaker, it was nice living in this tent when it was strong and secure and the sun was shining and the air was warm.
But, Mr. Tentmaker, it’s scary now.
My tent is acting like it’s not going to hold together. The poles seem weak and they shift with the wind, a couple of the stakes have wriggled loose from the sand, and worst of all, the canvas has a rip. It no longer protects me from beating ran or stinging flies.
It’s scary in here, Mr. Tentmaker. Last week I was sent to the repair shop and some repairman tried to patch the rip in my canvas. It didn’t help much, though, because the patch pulled away from the edges and now the tear is worse.
What troubled me most, Mr. Tentmaker is that the repairmen didn’t seem to notice that I was still in the tent. They just worked on the canvas while I shivered inside. I cried out once, but no one heard me.
I guess my first real question is, “Why did you give me such a flimsy tent? I can see by looking around the campground that some of the tents are much stronger and more stable than mine. Why, Mr. Tentmaker, did you pick a tent of such poor quality for me and even more importantly, what do you intend to do about it?”
“Oh, little tent dweller,” as the Creator and Provider of tents, “I know all about you and your tent and I love you both.
I made a tent for myself once and lived in it on your campground. My tent was venerable too, and some vicious attackers ripped it to pieces while I was still in it. It was a terrible experience but you’ll be glad to know they couldn’t hurt me. In fact, the whole occurrence was as a tremendous advantage because it is this very victory over my enemy that frees me to be of present help to you.
Little tent dweller, I am now prepared to come and live in your tent with you, if you will invite me. You will learn, as we dwell together, that real security comes from my being in your tent with you. When the storms come, you can huddle in my arms and I’ll hold you. When the canvas rips, we’ll go to the repair shop together.
Someday, little tent dweller, your tent will collapse (for I’ve only designed it for temporary use). When it does, you and I will leave together. (I promise not to leave before you do.) Then, free of all that would hinder or restrict, we’ll move to our permanent home and together forever rejoice and be glad.”