Once upon a time a six year old girl went out into her father's fig orchard to ask God if it was OK for her to go into a convent and spend the rest of her life praying for His children who were hurting.
But He answered by giving her two choices, and neither was a cloistered life of continuous prayer.
He offered her life as an opera singer and showed her what her life would be like if she chose to sing on a public stage.
(The Lord knows all of his children!)
What the little girl saw was how lonely she would be in spite of the many people who came to hear her sing.
Then He showed her the second choice and that is the one she chose. She chose it because at the same moment she knew He was hoping she would chose thusly, she was awed at how perfect the second choice was for her!
I don't know why He did not show her that she would lose (if even only for a short time) all the people He meant her to be surrounded with-her beloved and loving family. Perhaps He did not show her that horrible time because he knew it was but a 'might be' and not a 'will be'.
Maybe He did not because He knew she knew that Life is after all, Life, and that sorrows come amid great joy; that she knew that she would lose some of her loved ones because that is part of Life, that some leave us for one reason or another...
I'm not Job, nor Jeremiah, nor especially Jonah. I am me, and I want my family back. I do not want to live in a cave, and I do not need to be given a time out in a whale's belly to contemplate the errors of my ways.
I am like Joshua! My house, even if only a house of One, serves the Lord!
Am I like Joseph?
Have I the strength of that great One? Joseph turned the utter horror of being betrayed by his own loved ones to God's purpose-being in the right place to help his starving family (the very brothers who sold him into slavery down in Dothan!).
Do I go ahead to prepare the way for those who hurt me so badly if they should be in need?
Forty-six years later, the little girl would still make the second choice, and spend the next forty years in hope and love for the knock at the door...
"Jerusalem, Jerusalem! How I have longed to gather you as the hen gathers her chicks under wing! But you would have none of it!"
Once upon a time...