I think that one of the greatest battles I have ever had has been to forsake family and more particularly my parents, and perhaps most particularly, my father. His draw on my heart was so powerful, so very powerful. In his last years, his state was so pitiable that it was very hard for me to refuse him any wishes. It was agonizing indeed. But he died and was buried on my birthday, April 1, 1985.
His death was the morning after I received a vision of the Lord standing up to put a stop to the enemies who were tormenting me. I did not know anything of my father’s death until the following morning, or that his death and the vision were related. In his death, I felt loosened, with new freedom and power.
A dead man beckons me from his dismal grave,
One which he had dug for himself,
And begs that I come and join him there
Where I was once myself.
I struggle at the familiar voice,
A tear drops from my eye;
It’s almost as though I have no choice,
For if I go back, I die.
Impossible it has been for me
To convince him of the risen life;
My words fall on a dead man’s ears
And the result is only strife.
My life is in deepest turmoil,
The bloodiest struggle I bear;
To Jesus alone I’ll be loyal
For He alone does care.
I must go on to greater things,
More noble, holy and pure;
Whatever the mysterious future brings,
In Christ my steps are sure.
For me to live is Christ my King
And He is my Father new;
He wants me to live and to reign with Him
And He alone is true.
Dauphin, MB; 1978-79
We encountered an incident wherein religious people, friendly and all, counseled us to reconsider an undertaking we knew was the Lord's leading. We were learning that Satan's servants are ever there, with Bible under arm, God's praises on their lips, prepared to do battle "with love." The strange thing is that while I recall the Lord giving me what to say to these people, I do not recall what those words were, so occupied I was with learning another lesson.
Twice in my life has the Lord enlightened me on this person in particular, once by revelation without the experience and the second time by a taste of what Job suffered, taking me back to my mother's womb, my earthly origins. It is not our righteousness.
In our losses we bore as we forsook all to follow the Lord, we were discovering that "a man's life does not consist in the abundance of that which he possesses." We were also learning about the sovereignty of God, how He is over all and engineers all things according to His will.