At a time of discouragement I received these words from the Lord in song and at this very moment as I write this introduction years later in 1996 ( the song was written in 1987), I feel down after having spoken to people who do not believe what I say or that the Lord has sent me to them. Yet I have nowhere but onward to go and am persuaded that these words hold true and someday will be fulfilled.
The work of God can be so full of pain and sorrow,
You wonder why you get involved.
Sometimes it gets so hard, you fear to see tomorrow
But all your problems are resolved.
Though blood and tears are shed for those who seem unworthy,
Everlasting strength will make the way
And when you feel your work will only make you dirty,
That’s when you take the time to pray.
For all the good you do, most times you’re only hated.
You need remember it’s okay.
You work both night and day and often get frustrated.
The time will come you’ll get your pay.
Some day they’ll come from miles around to bless and thank you,
Dandling young ones on their knees.
They’ll be doing and speaking right because they want to,
Their holy ways the Lord to please.
Helena, MT; August 17, 1987
There exists the notion that victory speaks only of joy, peace, love, rest in their counterfeit forms, the wishy-washy, mushy-gushy kind that has no place in reality. This song expresses the reality. There is war before victory. With war comes bloodshed, hard times, threatenings, loss and destruction, but the victory is there in real terms, earned and established by the Lord.
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.
This song came for Caren Lampitoc, whom Paul met in Philadelphia. How different we discovered the Christian walk to be in comparison to what we had expected or were led to believe it would be! It was lonely, painful of soul, friendless, fraught with enemies on all sides and the greatest enemy was on the inside. How we had to do battle with unbelief, with our carnal desires, ambitions, hopes, dreams, with the lusts of the flesh...lusting mostly for social security, belonging, importance, usefulness. All must be surrendered or lost; there really is no choice in the matter when the call of God is upon one. He that keeps his life loses it and if he loses it for the Lord's sake, it is still lost, if only for a time, even if replaced with more and better somewhere down the road. The main thing is that one must trust God in it all and let it happen. One must learn and accept that God is in charge of all things, working all for good.