This was written at a time when we lived in a literal desert in Israel and I could feel all the things expressed, within my soul, because we were also in a desert in our spiritual lives, a desert through which all pilgrims on the journey to the city of God must pass.
This writing was also prophetic of events that would shortly come to pass as we spoke the Word of God to Paul, whom the Lord had given us to be our friend. As a matter of coincidental fact, the day of this introductory writing (Oct. 9) is, I believe, the very anniversary almost to the hour, of Paul forsaking his wife in obedience to the Lord, to walk in the Way of Life.
The desert is dry and parched, and I am hot and thirsty;
We two have been matched as partners in this stretch of our history.
The sun’s scorching face is forceful enough; from it I can find no escape,
No shade, no water, no nightfall to comfort my soul in its wearisome journey.
Miles and miles of burning sand, I scarcely know where it began…
It started with greenery, then greenery and sand, and now it is sand upon sand.
Yet after some miles I’ve trodden and feel I can go no farther,
A trickle of water comes out of a rock, destined for that very hour.
With leanness of soul and hungering for life, not a soul for months have I seen,
And all my possessions have slowly been lost, ’til much lighter my journey has been.
It’s strange how the harder the trials, the sweeter the life becomes;
The easier the life filled with comforts, the more ensnared in this wild.
Many storms form on the horizon, threatening I know not what,
And only the odd one materializes to give me the wisdom I’ve sought.
With serpents quite often threatening my life, and insects disturbing my peace,
I travel over jagged and treacherous rocks and long from this desert, release.
Many mirages have promised me life and so fair they are at a distance,
But somehow I’m learning the difference between what appears to be real and what is.
I cannot tell how much longer my wilderness journey will be;
I know only this: that I cannot turn back, not while I have yet to be free.
Methinks I have seen circling above, those wretched birds of prey,
Who hover and wait so endlessly, for their opportune day.
But I believe in the One Who has promised to keep me until that day,
And when it comes, it’ll be by His choosing, and with Him I’ll arrive to stay.
Israel, Sept. 79
Death and parting are never easy between loved ones whether they be righteous or otherwise but with the righteous there is the sure hope of coming together again, the hope of a resurrection. The sunset sometimes promises that hope to be fulfilled and while there is sadness in the departure of the precious, there is also a solemn beauty to temper the sorrow and speak of better things to come. It is only by faith that we perceive that the sun will rise again soon. Coral and lavender, Quiet magnificence; Tender departure, Peaceful farewell. Beauty and Sadness Clasping hands, Warmly embracing, Shedding tears, saying, "It's alright, it's okay!" Gently passing away. Stettler, Alta., Spring, 1987
There was a day when I was filled with the excitement of knowing that God is our sufficiency in all things. My mind then turned to the city and what makes a city. I knew that firstly, His rule applies in all things of life and secondly, that the city was void in all areas of His rule and healing power. Furthermore, it was those who were in authority who were supposed to be teaching, directing, leading, delivering but instead were the ones responsible for the corruption and degeneration of the people. Only outside the city but not far away was the remedy, THE Remedy. Hey, you city dwellers! Do you see that yonder Light? He is the Standard of all standards; He lights the way so you can see…and not stumble. He is the Walkway to lead you in sure directions To take you where you need to go. He is the Grocery Store; He is your Bread and Butter and all good food, Without additives…or subtractives; You’ll find no nourishment elsewhere. Why are you so gaunt, city dweller? He is your Post Office; To Him messages must go And from Him they will come. Mail service is timely and free; Why don’t you pay your postage? He is the local Drug Store But for good and not for hurt. In Him are the leaves For the healing of the nations. See that Jewelry Store around the corner And there you’ll find precious stones To grace the chest of one who wears them. No costume jewelry here. The gold is real, the stones are genuine; He is not here...
Though many who presume to preach the gospel of salvation would deny this, they give people the impression that, upon believing the gospel, all trials and troubles will flee. While it is true that if we walk in truth and righteousness we save ourselves untold evils, it is evil which the Lord uses to break us and mold us after His likeness. And these trials can be far more difficult than those we had previously. Take Paul for example. Was he whipped, stoned and beaten with rods when an unbelieving Jew according to the flesh, sitting amongst friends at the feet of Gamaliel? The evils applied to us for good develop invulnerability and immortality. Resilience, where would I be If not for your helping hand? At one time I was deathly ill, So vulnerable to the slightest afflictions. Scratches would hold sway Like a pestilence And linger in my soul For years. But now like a ball of Indian rubber, I bounce away from a wall of brick Whereas once I was as an egg. The past is a fearful jailor, A formidable tormentor as well. With an iron grip, With shackles and chains, It held me In bitterness and regret, In shame and dismay, In helpless thoughts Of revenge and amends. Not so now. Resilience has come, Riding upon healing, Healing harnessed in pardon, And now I am free. Afflictions still come And pain is there From enemies far greater In power and number With liberties of warfare Given to them And denied to me. But whereas a scratch was o...