We walk by faith. Faith overcomes the world. We live by faith. Faith is the work of God. By faith are we saved. This we know.
Now there is much ado made about love, joy, peace and works. But the thing that is striking is that with faith in the trial of the saints is mentioned none of those but patience. “Here is the patience and faith of the saints” (Rev. 13:10). Less is said about patience but this patience is the virtue of all virtues coupled with faith. The Lord teaches us to wait.
I once saw a man
Sitting in a chair on his veranda.
His feet were raised up and resting on a rail,
His eyes pegged on the road ahead.
He seemed to be waiting
With longing and hope.
He was alone and didn’t like it much,
And waited for someone to come.
Time passed on…and on…and on.
I looked again and saw
The prairie without life, as before,
The house, the veranda, and chair;
I saw the feet on the rail,
The figure was still there
But no flesh was left, only dust and bones
And cloth and cobwebs and hair.
Lord, why must we wait so long
For promises to be fulfilled?
Soon I begin to think and feel
That these promises were only imagined
Or that I have failed somehow.
I begin to think of that man
Who waited with hope in vain.
Will this be my lot? Am I that man?
My heart sick with hope deferred?
Will I turn to dust as that lonely soul,
Feeding on empty dreams?
But no, this is the patience and faith of the saints
Who are called to trust and to hope.
So we wait and accept the delay.
The man had no promise,
His hopes were in vain,
And he perished, not knowing the truth.
But we know the truth.
We know what we know because we have heard
And believe the One Who is true.
Lethbridge, Sept. 30, 1984
Often and for long periods of time does God hide Himself from His called one, even as He did with all the saints and prophets of old and to the present. We desire so much to walk by sight, as in this world, but must learn to walk by faith, by the little given knowledge of the unknown, the Unknown, that we may know Him. And though He hides Himself to try us, He is always there...there is nowhere one can go from His presence. Yet one can choose to do so, and the one choosing so is not called. Emptiness is not a bad sign in itself as one might suppose. I am ill with sorrow and grief, Vexation and loneliness; My soul is filled with groanings and longings; I look in all directions; I reach out; My hand returns empty; Tears fill my soul; I cry and cry and cry; There is no one to comfort, to console, to ease my pain. Day after day, year after year, Decade after decade, I wait, I long, I cry, I heave and sigh. There is none to understand. I wait for morning; I wait for evening; I am desolate. I eat, I sleep, I cry... Is it sin I say I don't have That causes me to be this way - Desperate, sad, lonely, unfulfilled, Useless, despised, unwanted? This is not the abundant life; Though I have my carnal needs met And freedom to come and go, Yet I have nowhere to come and nowhere to go. All is quiet, uneventful, drab and grey. Do I complain Or do I merely state the way things are For those appointed to such by Divine order, Not for sin But for...
The scalpel, cod liver oil and discipline are examples of the many things in life undesirable and hard to take but which are there usually for our good. It will not suffice to judge good and bad by our own understanding which is "understanding." We can tell nothing by appearance. So our selfishness is removed by trials and tribulations, fires that purge us of pride, self-sufficiency and arrogance in which we think we know what is best for us. There come times when we are troubled And in that trouble we have nowhere to turn it seems. At such a time of desperation we cry out for help. Somehow, having asked for help before, We receive no reply. But our cry must be loud enough and earnest enough to be heard. "Prince Valiant, Prince Majesty, come to my aid; Only you can save me now. I've waited too long and now I must turn To such as yourself for deliverance. Oh! But I need a miracle! I need a shining light, The sound of thunder and a shaking of earth; No less will do for me now! A chariot of God; to take me up Leaving my enemies far below. Who is this man I wait for? A man in shining armour, Fitted from head to toe; With perfect knowledge, power and wisdom, Compassion with overflow; A flaming sword in his hand, Magnificent shield in arm; There is no standing up to him... Invincible is his name. Who is it I hear knocking at the door? Another enemy? Is it more trouble?" I view through the peephole an unpleasant specta...
English - Spanish If youth were so important, would we not have been given the wherewith to embrace and enjoy it? But trials and tribulations come as a flood to deliver us, to teach us, to age us. Aged wine, how good! Green fruit, how unsatisfactory! Yet this green fruit doesn't know. It covets its youth, its strength, its firmness, its expectation of longevity and does not care to be consumed. Yes, it much prefers rather to do the consuming. Youth must be told it is there to be consumed and not to consume, that it must wait for that which to it would seem so repulsive as if waiting for something so desirable. Resisting reality, the young one is consumed and loses himself. Embracing reality, time unveils the beauty of maturity and the once young finds new youth imperishable. Immaturity says: My will, not Thine, be done. I want it, I want it my way, I want it all, I want it now. Immaturity says: I'm old enough, I can do it, I deserve it, It's coming to me. Immaturity is indignant at correction, at instruction and discipline. Immaturity harbors resentment, seeks revenge, a settling of scores much in its favor. It takes only the good, despising the bad, not discerning the difference between the two. Immaturity presumes to know, to know better, to know all, despising knowledge and the paths thereto leading. Wisdom is an alien despised, abhorred; folly is embraced as one's dear life. Yet immaturity ends, whether by maturity or destruct...