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 possessor of minks as well.
He rides the minks
And feeds them me.
Fear holds all in Hell,
And when he skins the little ones
And sells their hides for gain,
Scarcely do the buyers know
They’re clothed with fear and pain.
Lethbridge, August, 1984
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 ...
To his dying day, my father refused to believe me and could not and would not understand that what had been done in me by God made an irreconcilable difference between him and me not only in terms of thought and way of life but very nature. He lingered for the old Victor he was once the father of, not willing to accept that I had died. He went to his grave lingering at mine. If only he had desired not the grave for the two of us but the resurrection. What man in his right mind would trade the skies and birds for the underground and worms? So, in all sadness, I turned my back on him, but do not regret it, no, not for a moment. You linger at my grave, longing for your son; I’ve left the darkness for the light and what is done is done. The change in me is not perceived by frail human sight And so you think that I am wrong and you are surely right. Reason fails to comprehend the things in my new life; Explanations will not do, they only lead to strife. People, habits, memories call but I’ve traded old for new; I’ve traded all that’s bad and false for all that’s good and true. I’m a stranger in this world whom you have never met; I’ve only kept this outer shell on which your hearts are set. My life is hid in Jesus Christ; believe me you will not; Your hearts are very hard and cold, for truth you have not sought. I’d rather walk on foreign soil than to this evil world be loyal, And trade the rags of dirt and toil for robes magnificent and roya...
Little did I know when the Lord told me He would show me His people through His eyes that I was one of those people, that I would be shown not only by seeing as an observer but as partaker as well. And He too is a partaker of the sufferings of His people. “I am hurting, I am hurting!” He said to me. I know too well the pain, the death and hell we must all face, the iniquity we must be shown in ourselves and be purged of by fires. I have identified and do identify with His people. I just did not think, though I surely believed I was His, that I was, by nature, a partaker of all the sins and vanities of His people and therefore a partaker of the fruits of them as well. When the Lord shows one something, He shows him not by mere observation but subjection. Only then do we know and understand and relate. One day while praying quite dignified, I was forced to be relieved, And in an old cabin the Lord signified what in me He had conceived. I will show you My people by My eyes, their suffering and sorrow you’ll see; They live in weeping and gnashing and cries but proclaim that they are free. In their stoves burns no fire to give them heat, the wind blows through the walls; From broken glasses and plates they eat, and off its hinges the front door falls. Their power is void while idols abound; vain professions are on their tongue; No floor ‘neath their feet covers the ground, their possessions are no more than dung. These are His people the Lord lets me see,...