The Hill of Difficulty
Christian, Formalist and Hypocrisy reached a hill called Difficulty where there was a spring at the bottom. Formalist and Hypocrisy saw that the hill was steep and high, and went on two other ways, namely on the road of Danger and Destruction. However, Christian sought to climb the steep hill and halfway up, he rested at an arbour. He fell into a slumber but was awakened after. Timorous and Mistrust met him at the top of the hill and they were on their way back down. They found the danger of lions too daunting, but Christian pressed on. He wanted to pull out the roll he received from the Shining Ones to comfort himself but he could not find it. Christian realized he lost it when he fell asleep and was distressed. He went back to look for the roll and repented of his foolish decision to sleep. At last, he found the roll and was overjoyed.
There was a palace called Beautiful where Christian wanted to lodge. The Porter introduced him to Prudence, Piety and Charity who inquired Christian of his journey so far. They strengthened him with God’s word and showed him some of the rarities of the palace, including the armour of God and many other excellent things. When Christian was fully armed, he asked the porter if there were any other pilgrims. The porter said there was one called Faithful, which Christian recognized as a neighbour from the same place he came from. So Christian continued on his way.
1. What is the significance of the hill called Difficulty? What kind of hills have you experienced that have challenged you as a Christian?
2. What does Christian’s slumber represent? How does this sort of spiritual “sleep” affect a person’s sense of assurance?
3. Why is it important for believers to share their stories with one another?
4. Christian was asked to answer many questions about his journey. After learning about Christian’s failures and shortcomings, how did the people of the house treat him? What can we learn from this, and how can we apply it to our own churches?
(Image credit: Redeemed Reader)