Thank you beyond words to everyone who responded to my last post with such encouragement and support. You really have really been the community of Christ to me in the last week, and I am very grateful for your friendship and prayer. As alluded to in that post, I've wanted to pass along some animal-related stories which have touched me over the Summer, sometimes even speaking to the tensions and longing I was experiencing personally. Following is one from renowned 19th century preacher Charles H. Spurgeon.
I wouldn't necessarily endorse the mildly callous experiment which Spurgeon describes in the following passage from his reassuring book All of Grace, a classic of the faith which a friend recently recommended to me (available to read at Christian Classics Ethereal Library or listen to via LibriVox). But the spiritual lesson which Spurgeon draws from the learning and self-preserving capabilities of mollusks is simple but profound, and one I hope to continue to grow into in my own faith:
Sometimes faith is little more than a simple clinging to Christ; a sense of dependence and a willingness so to depend. When you are down at the seaside you will see limpets sticking to the rock. You walk with a soft tread up to the rock; you strike the mollusk a rapid blow with your walking-stick and off he comes. Try the next limpet in that way. You have given him warning; he heard the blow with which you struck his neighbor, and he clings with all his might. You will never get him off; not you! Strike, and strike again, but you may as soon break the rock. Our little friend, the limpet, does not know much, but he clings. He is not acquainted with the geological formation of the rock, but he clings. He can cling, and he has found something to cling to: this is all his stock of knowledge, and he uses it for his security and salvation. It is the limpet's life to cling to the rock, and it is the sinner's life to cling to Jesus. Thousands of God's people have no more faith than this; they know enough to cling to Jesus with all their heart and soul, and this suffices for present peace and eternal safety. Jesus Christ is to them a Saviour strong and mighty, a Rock immovable and immutable; they cling to him for dear life, and this clinging saves them.