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 spectacle…
I’m not at all amused.
‘What is it?’ I ask in an impatient voice.
‘Why do you bother me now?
Can’t you see I’m in trouble enough?
Besides, I’m expecting a welcome guest.'”
“I heard of your trouble” the man replied,
In not too impressive a tone.
“I came if perhaps I could help you out
And I’m glad I found you at home.”
Incredulous, I gasped in utter dismay!
“You?!” I spluttered out.
“What height of presumption and lunacy
Can possibly cause you to speak?!
Just look at you now, as ugly as sin,
Your clothes are ragged and worn;
Your face isn’t beaming – you have no horse;
Don’t you think it was wrong to be born?
I’m looking for someone strong and great!
Who else can get me out of this mess?
If you can possibly help carry water or cut wood,
Go to him that needs it.”
“I admit” the stranger replied, “I’m not a pretty sight
But my credentials are not my looks.
If you really believe that sight is right,
You have no hope at all.”
“I know what I need and I know what I want
And the likes of yourself won’t change that,” I said.
“I’ll thank you to remove yourself from my land
And go back where you came from…
If they’ll have you!”
With that I cursed him to his face
And cursed my circumstances
That instead of a hero to help in great need,
I received a bothersome twit.
Back to his base returned the stranger
And went directly to the stable.
He unsaddled the steed and gave him to eat
The finest oats in the land.
Servants attended, removing his armour,
Preparing him for the King.
He bathed and groomed and dressed himself
In the aftermath of his battle and journey.
“Prince Valiant, Prince Majesty, noble and true,
How did you fare with the man who cried,
With the man who asked help in his trouble?”
“My Lord,” he replied to his honoured King,
“The cry was not from the heart of hearts.
I came with my horse and armour,
In magnificent array as You sent me
But he could not see clearly through his peephole,
Blinded by the deeds of his heart.
He thought he saw a beggar,
A man more wretched than he, and
He refused to grant me entrance,
Commanding I get off his land.”
“Be at peace, My son, It isn’t your fault.
The time is not yet ripe.
But sending you, he’ll one day know
That he was not without help.
And when the time does come
That he’ll be respectful to you,
Then that will end all his troubles for,
He’ll be respectful to Me.”
The incomprehensible frivolity of those who deem it enjoyable and sporting to make a game of killing and suffering! Such acts and attitudes are symptoms of a horridly sick society indeed. To make a sport of the tragedies of mankind is to demonstrate a madness of the vilest kind on earth, worse than that which we find in asylums because those out and about, free to do as they please, are pleased to mimic the worst there is, though they are judged by the rest of society to be sane and responsible. The judges are as ill as the judged, if they find no fault or harm in such behavior. War games? War games? War games! Play, everybody, play! And play the dreaded things that one never plays again When the real appears. In all its horror and confusion, The incredible, the imagined takes its form from nowhere, But not from nothing. Frolicking souls, restless souls, selfish souls, Dull, simple, foolish and ghoulish; Shoot and kill! Play the game without the blood in sight, Though the blood already gushes forth With its life spilled to the ground. While they play and rejoice in mock victories, Storm clouds swiftly creep. Even the rain spatters to warn but none take care And none suspect that the rain is red. Now they say, “Better red than dead” until they say “I wish I were dead.” Now they only pretend, like children, Running and laughing, not watching, Until they fall into the strong hands of a stranger, One of whom they have heard, One of whom they have t...
Inconsistency and contradiction are facts of life which increase in both stature and clarity as we grow in spiritual maturity. Stature because we are subjected according to our own increasing capacity to withstand these foes and clarity because as we increase, we see more of what has always been there. Is it not ironic that the fool Rejects the very thing that would deliver him From the pain and failure he calls bliss? Water does not always find the lowest level. Is it not ironic that those Who stand in need the most Stand strongest against provision? Water does not always find the lowest level. And those who have less need Have it because they have learned The value of the provision To minimize the need. "To him who has Shall more be given, And to him who has not, Even the little he has Shall be taken from him." Jesus Lethbridge, Oct. 1984
I have known fear, perhaps not as some have known it but many know fear one way or another, at one time or another, to such an extent that it cripples, paralyzes the soul. We think we have security in this world until one day we are rudely awakened from our pipe-dream. Security in this world is but an illusion. When our disillusionment comes, its comrade-in-arms is often fear. But that disillusionment needn’t be our enemy. In truth, it can be a friend in disguise. Nor do we need to fear as though there is no such thing as true and sure security, for then we would be prey to a lie, to our own destruction. There IS a sure security for those who will avail themselves of it. My fear rides me like a stern rider Rides his horse. Unless I run his pace, His spurs dig deep my sides. I think blood flows at times…I’m sure of it. I scarcely dare to think, to pause For fear I have a rider Who will not show me mercy Who will not grant me pardon Who will not make a move To relent, to ease my pain. “Run!” he says. I run. “Faster!” says he. I go faster. “Faster isn’t good enough! You’ve had it!” I think that if I drop, I have sweet release. He whips me as I fall. Fear is not afraid to beat a dead horse. He seems to relish it, delight in it. The compassion of fear is tyranny, His patience only scorn. He takes the meat and feeds it to minks, And then I think, “Aha! There is rest in the mouths of minks, Fear has no torment there!” Until I find that my rider Is possess...