May 10, 2021 - Sylvia’s Plath’s Path

Sylvia Plath, considered one of America’s greatest 20th century poets, died in 1963. She committed suicide by sticking her head in a kitchen oven and turning on the gas, with her one- and two-year old children in a nearby room. She was 30-years old.

Hers was a sad, painful story. Though obviously very talented, she was also obviously a very troubled young lady who had been in mental hospitals, had shock therapy treatments, and had tried before to kill herself. Her one novel, The Bell Jar, was loosely based on her own hard experiences.

Sylvia, in one of her poems, The Moon and the Yew Tree, wrote a line that captures just how lost, how hopeless, she deemed her own situation. “I simply cannot see where there is to get to.”

Ouch! In other words, life is hard enough in and of itself. But to go through all that we go through, to struggle with what we all struggle with, and yet to have no idea where it all will lead to, to have no end goal in mind?

That’s tough, is it not?

What a contrast to the hope that we, as believers in Jesus, have. Sure, our lives can be hard, maybe in some ways as hard as poor Sylvia’s. But by faith, at least we know our destination: “a better, that is, a heavenly country” (Hebrew 11:16), the “new heavens and a new earth” (2 Peter 3:13), as opposed to suffering here and yet never seeing “where there is to get to” when, by the God’s grace, we should all be going thanks to Jesus.

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