Thoughts on The Pilgrims Progress, Part the Second #6


Part The Second, p. 228-229

After Christiana and Mercy were approached by two unsavory men, they cried out for help. They were unharmed, but very scared until Reliever came to them. He wondered why they had not asked for help before they set on their way.

Christiana said they were so taken by their blessing that future dangers didn’t enter their minds. Then she wondered why the Lord had not given them help anyway since He knew what was to come.

This is Reliever’s response:

“It is not always necessary to grant things not asked for, lest by doing so, they become of little esteem; but when the Want of a thing is felt, it then comes under, in the eyes of him that feels it, that estimate, that properly is it due, and so consequently will be hereafter used…. So all things work for good, and tend to make you more wary.”

I see two related lessons here.

  1. God allows us to want and need things so that we learn to lean on Him. When we come to God with our fears, concerns, or needs, He may grant us peace, or clarity, or actual provisions. When we realize that all we have is from Him, we love Him more and appreciate all His blessings even more.
  2. This next one may be reaching, but I don’t think so. Parents can apply this to how they give to their children. If you give them everything and they never have to wait or ask or even work for it, it becomes much less meaningful. 

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