In my striving to be conscious of God and to hear His voice and walk with Him, I slowly learned that I do not get the Lord to speak simply by striving to listen. Nor is He always speaking and I hear or get to hear bits and pieces only as I succeed in efforts to “tune in” like a ham operator trying to pick up a frequency. No, the Lord speaks when it pleases Him, and when He speaks, He is fully capable of making Himself heard with or without any help or hindrance from us.
Until we are humbled and repent of our arrogance, we will neither understand nor rest.
Standing atop a mountain peak,
I could not hear a sound.
In vain I strained my ears to hear
But nothing came except a tear
Because I could not hear.
Cold it grew and I withdrew
To lower levels not by choice,
And there I felt more comforted
But silence remained the only voice
And still I could not hear.
“Am I dead?” in pain I asked myself,
“Is there something wrong with me?
I should think that on these wondrous heights
Is where hearing and seeing ought to be.”
And down I came again.
Lower and lower and lower still,
Not even ground level was to be my fill,
But lower and lower and lower ’til
The darkness smothered me out of sight
And my only friends were sorrow and fright.
But I was not alone.
For in the nether of darkness and tether,
Down where I had made my bed,
And where I resigned to live and sleep,
I heard the Voice instead:
“Come up!” It said, “and into the Light.
Rejoice now with new hearing and sight.
I’ll take away your tether and fright
And you’ll be My servant instead.”
Albuquerque, Spring, 1984
Not His ways so much as Him! Yet “theologians” or “studiers of God” presume otherwise. And how ingrained it is in our very carnal natures the thought or belief that somehow we are in control to some extent of our destinies and the destinies of others. How frustrated we get at our failures and at the failures of others when we do not understand that all things, great and small, good and evil, obviously and otherwise are indeed in His hands, that He rules over all. How unforgiving we can be toward others for the evil the Lord has sent our way by them for our good, and toward ourselves for the evil He sent to others by us for their good, not that we can justify ourselves. We seek to do good as we learn. But we must also learn that even our mistakes and evils have served in their place for the time and though these things are to be repented of, they are also to be recognized as purposeful and to be forgotten in the sense of continual regret. And how fretful we are when we find certain circumstances and events are entirely in disagreement to us and beyond our control. But if we know the Lord, and if we know that He is in full control of all and that all He does is for our good, we can indeed forgive, forget and rest. The wisdom of God is unsearchable, His ways past finding out; His thoughts and His actions high above ours, we don’t know what He’s about. Moses He sends to save Israel and Pharaoh’s heart He hardens, And both are found faithful in doing His bidding, both b...
The man of darkness, the carnal man in each one of us, scarcely realizes the implications of his stance and opposition to his Creator. He does not recognize the futility, much less the harm he does himself in what he considers to be his right or privilege to freedom of expression according to his understanding. Least of all does he recognize the Lord coming as a thief to him in order to deliver or judge. The fire rages and Nothing stands in its way... The all consuming fire of God: Who can bear it? A fearful and terrible storm, The wicked are swept away, Having stood and hollered, Eaten and drunk, Laughed and scoffed. Now they are nothing. So great and terrible is that fire That we pity even our enemies, Repentant that they stood against us. But against us they stood, Pushing away their good, Despising their very lives, Pulling seed out of the ground, Poisoning their wells, Burning their houses, Slitting their throats, Hating the urgent help, Vigorously throwing out The butter and milk and all good food, Eagerly saving and eating The eggshells and cardboard cartons, The cellophane wrappers and bones. Would the beggar refuse a banquet? Would a dying man reject a physician? But our enemies have done just so. The fire rages, and Nothing stands in its way; Only a terrible fire Can clear away the refuse And cleanse the contradiction Of the wicked and their ways. Lethbridge, late 80's, early 90's ...
Until the believer is perfected, there remains some atheist in him. He says he believes, but in the final analysis, his fruits tell otherwise, quite. We worry, doubt, or fear because we don’t believe. Examining ourselves in the Light, we discover the truth about ourselves. That Light’s source is the fire that serves to purge us of the atheist within, that fire being an enemy at first, and a friend in the end. How will I know I can stand the fire Unless I am subjected? How do I develop muscle to do heavy work Unless I do heavy work to develop muscle? How do I form calluses on my hands to prevent blisters Unless I do those things That make blisters? I say I have faith to do anything, To suffer all things and smile, even laugh But how do I get that faith Unless I suffer the very things To produce the faith To laugh at the things concerning which I say I have faith? How can I cry and say, “I believe”? But when I believe, I shall not cry When the fires come Because the fires have done their work. Lethbridge, August, 1984