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.
We weep at the loss of our holdings,
Our ambitions and savings destroyed,
But to bring us to greater horizons
Has God these events employed.
Do we thank God and live or curse Him and die
As Job’s wife suggested to him?
Do we climb up that mountain receiving more light
Or do we sit in our valley so dim?
Job lost all his possessions;
Even children and health were not spared,
But when brought to loftier places,
He realized how poorly he’d fared.
The circumstances besetting us all
Are not the issue at stake,
But how we respond to the Lord our God,
This will make or break.
Dauphin, MB; 1978-79
We met Alan Gilbert, a young man who had been in a terrible car accident which left terrible consequences on body and mind. While he would put on a brave face, we knew it was a put-on. This song came to confront him with reality and to encourage him to repent and believe. He went away apparently as hardened as ever. The mystery of iniquity is something at which to marvel.
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.
The interesting thing about this song was that at the time it came to me, I had no thoughts, feelings, identification, circumstances, reason, or remembrance of the past to inspire the words; I just woke up and wrote them – no music, just words, if I recall correctly. I just laid the words aside, thinking no more of them until 2016, almost 6 years later. The words were a puzzle to me; I didn't know what to think of or do with them. They didn't express at all how I felt when I received them or when I returned to them years later – those days were long gone. But after I just happened to listen to a song or two by the late Amy Winehouse (not my usual custom by far), who impressed me with her unabashedness, freedom from self-consciousness or effort to sing creatively, I considered those words given me and put them to music. The spirit of the music seemed to be inspired by Amy, a troubled lady who was also crying for help but wasn't blessed to find it in this life. I wished I could have helped her. I then suddenly realized the song expressed exactly how I had felt in 1972 before I was converted. The song was a prequel to the time of newfound joy and freedom in Jesus Christ. Wow! I was thrilled at the realization. But for what purpose the song? I knew the song expressed how many, if not all, feel just before they meet the Lord. They're searching, troubled, lost, confounded, disoriented, not knowing up from down, sorrowful, without direction or purpose. It's a painful time -...