The Difficult Path

the_princess_path

Once upon a time a Great King had a daughter.  When she was young, he sent her on a journey with two things; a bag of rare and precious seeds, and a map. The princess didn’t know what kind of seeds were in her bag. She didn’t know exactly where the map would guide her. But she was vibrant and full of delight, jubilant to serve a noble purpose on this important journey.

Along the first road of her journey, the young princess was full of wonder and delight. There were magnificent things to see, much knowledge and wisdom to acquire, and countless songs to sing. Discovery was everywhere along this path. The sights were beautiful. There was nothing and no one, who could dampen her spirit. Her cup was brimming and overflowing with enthusiasm and rapturous joy.

A menacing enemy lurked in the shadows, throwing dark arrows at her, which would have crushed anyone else. But the enemy’s arrows did not thwart this princess. She was resilient. Whenever the dark arrows came her way, she would sing, and laugh at them. The princess cheerfully scattered seeds all along this road, and continued on her journey.

The king’s map led the princess to a new road she had never seen before. This road required an abundance of commitment and discipline. At times the terrain was smooth, and at times it was arduous. She looked around her, and the roads others were taking, didn’t seem nearly as formidable as hers. But she remembered the words of her father, the king who had told her, “To whom much is given, much is required. I have many seeds for you to plant, and many things for you to do. Always remember you’re on your Father’s business”.

There were many people along this road who needed her assistance. The princess stopped along this path many times, sharing, and helping all in need, in whatever way she could. She continued to sing. Her songs brought hope, peace, comfort, strength and victory to everyone she encountered.

She rose early, and she burned her candle and watched deep into the night. She heard stories and learned many things, becoming wise along her way. She wondered what the end of her destination looked like, but didn’t have much time to think about it, as she had much to do. Everyone who lived in this region heard of the princess, who was traveling through the land. She was needed and admired by all whom she met. Rich, poor, famous, meek, she knew and loved them all. She told people all along the way about her great Father, the king, and shared with them marvelous stories about how much he loved her, and all the people of the land. The princess thoughtfully planted seeds from her bag, all along this road, and continued in her journey.

Next, the king’s map directed his princess to a road that led directly to a looming mountain. As she began to walk this treacherous path, she was filled with fear and dread, the like of which she had never known. The nights were long and nearly unbearable. When day finally came, there was sunlight, but she caught only glimpses of its warmth through the menacing, rocky crags. There were flowers, but they were few, and far between. One by one, all the people whom she knew and loved left her side; as this path was either too difficult for them to climb, or their journey led elsewhere. Some whom she had served even began to accuse her of abandoning them. She longed for companionship and comfort. She never doubted her Father’s love, but at times she questioned the directions on the map.

The princess continued to sing, but her music was sung through tears. There were moments when memories of earlier days brought much comfort, but they also brought sorrow, because she longed for those times to return. The enemy who had lurked in the shadows in earlier parts of her journey, now advanced with full force. He pelted her with arrow after arrow. Some hurt her body. Some brought acute and intense pain to her very soul. The princess was noble, but her steps began to falter. She longed to find a dark and quiet cave where she could retreat in peace. This journey seemed more than she could bear. She feebly planted seeds all along this road. And because she was a daughter of the King, she continued her journey.

The treacherous path made a turn, and brought the princess to a barren wilderness. The ground was parched and dry, and planting the seeds now became more difficult than ever. The princess was so thirsty she could barely whisper, let alone sing. She was so exhausted that she couldn’t take another step, and she collapsed along the road into a heap. As the night came, she felt terror and fear grip her from every side. The darkness brought cool relief from the scorching sun, but she was alone, and began to shiver with cold and dread of the night. Tears rolled down her cold, numb cheeks and she sobbed, until she couldn’t cry anymore.

As she lay on the cold ground, she heard her father’s voice. He was singing over her. A flicker of warmth and hope rose deep in her heart. She found the strength to sit up and listen. Her father came near and held her close, and told her how much he loved her.

You must go on”, said the king. “Father, I am willing”, she cried. “My heart is willing. My mind is willing, but my body is so weak and I feel I simply cannot do it. Can I not just sit here and rest with you forever? This is where I want to be. Here in your arms”. Her father smiled. “I love that you want to be with me”, he said. “I am with you always. I never said the journey would be easy. To all whom I send on the journey, I give a bag of seeds. Some say it’s too heavy, and put it down. Some waste the seeds in gardens not mine. But you, my beautiful daughter, have been faithful with the task of planting the seeds you’ve been given. Lift up your head. You have more seeds to plant. My yoke is easy and my burden is light. I will strengthen you, and provide you with everything you need to finish your journey”.

The king gently led the princess to a high rock and stood beside her while he gave her a glimpse into his story. She could see the every road of her journey. She saw exquisite flowers blooming, and an abundance of fruit in every place her feet had walked. Peace reigned in places where seeds were sown. Love ruled in places where seeds were sown. There was joy and there was laughter where the seeds had been sown. Those who she served were all along the way, singing beautiful songs, and telling stories of the king’s love. The children and weak people she had tenderly cared for, rose up and called her blessed. Her faithful nurturing had led them to the path of the kingdom. Her eyes opened in astonishment when she saw some of the most destitute strangers who she had lovingly served with her hospitality were actually angels! In addition, seeds from the flowers she had planted, were now blooming all across the world.

The Father spread out a heavenly feast for the princess, and as she ate, he told her how much he loved her. “Now go”, he said. “There are others I need you to guide on this path. Many are lost, and I have sent you to seek them out and show them my love. You are revealing my love and my kingdom to them. There is rejoicing in heaven every time a lost child is found. You will come out of this wilderness, leaning on my strong, mighty and gentle arm, and when you have completed your journey on the difficult path, I will welcome you to the place I have prepared for you, where you will live with me forever. Many are called, but you, my beautiful daughter have been chosen”.

*This story is dedicated to several beautiful women I know, who are faithfully serving their Father, the King, through the most trying of circumstances. Even when life is full of pain and it doesn’t look the way they thought it would look, they continue to bless me and countless others as they share Christ’s love with us. I hope you are encouraged to continue on your journey, and fight the good fight as you read my little story. Following is a list of scriptures I allude to within the words. With love, ~Justina Dee

2 Corinthians 4

1 Peter 5:7-9

Luke 12:48

Matthew 28:20

Matthew 11:30

Proverbs 31:28

Hebrews 13:2

Zephaniah 3:17

 

Song of Solomon 8:5

John 14:1-3

John 3:16

Matthew 22:14

 

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