O, Lord, they tell me I have so offended against thy law that, as I am, thou canst not look upon me, but threatenest me with eternal banishment from thy presence. But I have never known myself clean: how can I cleanse myself? Thou must take me as I am and cleanse me. Thou requirest of us to forgive: surely thou forgivest freely! Bound thou may be to destroy evil, but art thou bound to keep the sinner alive that thou may punish him, even if it make him no better? Sin cannot be deep as life, for thou art the life; and sorrow and pain go deeper than sin, for they reach to the divine in us. To see men suffer might make us shun evil, but it never could make us hate it. We might see thereby that thou hatest sin, but we never could see that thou lovest the sinner. Chastise us in loving kindness, and we shall not faint. Art not thou thyself, in thy Son, the sacrifice for our sins, the atonement of our breach? Could we ever have come to know good as thou knowest it, save by passing through the sea of sin and the fire of cleansing? They tell me I must say for Christ’s sake, or thou wilt not pardon: it takes the very heart out of my poor love to hear that thou wilt not pardon me except because Christ has loved me; but I give thee thanks that nowhere in the record of thy gospel, does one of thy servants say any such word. Thou bearest our griefs and carriest our sorrows; and surely thou wilt one day enable us to pay every debt we owe to each other! We run within the circle of what men call thy wrath, and find ourselves clasped in the zone of thy love!”
by Jolyn Canty
The Gordian Knot, a legend of Phrygian Gordium associated with Alexander the Great, is often used as a metaphor for an intractable problem. This knot, described by Quintus Curtis Rufus, was comprised of “several knots all so tightly entangled that it was impossible to see how they were fastened.” Legend says that in 333 B.C., Alexander the Great attempted to untie the knot, and when he could not find the end of the knot to untie it, he sliced it in half with his sword. This is called the Alexandrian Solution.
I believe that the problem of pain, as C.S. Lewis called it, and the horrid suffering in this world, is like the Gordian Knot. We cannot understand why God allows pain and suffering. We blame, guess, barter, beg, and finally only find peace through acceptance, but we don’t fully understand it. Charles Spurgeon, when preaching at the Metropolitan Tabernacle in London, England, spoke of the dilemma of pain and evil and of the “many Gordian Knots which wicked men may cut, and which righteous men may try to unravel, but which God alone can untie.”
Corrie ten Boom used to say that nothing, no matter how painful, can touch us, unless it has been filtered through His hands of love. His hands that were wounded for us. Similarly, we cannot cut through the problem of pain and suffering; it is only with time and a new perspective from which we allow God to untie the knot and unravel the mystery, that we understand the reason He allowed the pain and suffering. As MacDonald said, “We run within the circle of what men call thy wrath, and find ourselves clasped in the zone of thy love!” I pray this lovely symphonic interpretation of the Gordian Knot will remind you to leave everything in the Hands that were wounded for you.