The terrible battle to be fought by the seeker of God is against unbelief. One moment, we can be so full of belief, of joy and excitement, assurance and boldness. Then, as little as it takes to slam a door, so quickly and surely have saints of God known the onslaught of unbelief in all its terrible power.
Our fight is the fight of faith. Our faith is the victory. Nor is it a faith concocted, a matter of will power. It is rather, a surrender to God, an acceptance of things as they are, an acknowledgment of things as they are and entrusting them entirely out of our control to His. Thus we come out of our valleys, our clouds of darkness and into the light.
Wave after wave,
Billow after billow,
No rest, no peace, except for a time,
A short time, a breather so to speak,
From the unrelenting pressures which increase.
Darkness all around us,
Blind alleys at every turn,
Clouds obscure the light of day
And leave us damp and cold.
When will we be free?
When will the storm cease?
Has it no end? Has it no bounds?
Can we go on with our hopes
Dashed to pieces at every turn,
Like cardboard huts in a hurricane?
Is it sin in our lives that causes this state?
Is the wrath of God kindled against us?
Have we no hope, no reason to expect
An end to intermittent turmoil?
“There is no peace to the wicked,” the Scriptures say,
Yet we have searched and searched ourselves again.
And though we know that in our flesh dwells no good thing,
We still find ourselves without an answer.
The sky is as brass, His voice we don’t hear,
Our steps we seek counsel for, to no avail.
When will He come and show Himself?
When will we be clean to receive our King?
When can we have our hopes fulfilled?
Why does He hide His face from us?
How is it that curses seem to haunt us still?
Is our faith so small
That we do not enter in
To that which He has in store for us?
Or is this nothing more and nothing less
Than a process of refinement,
A must like the seasonal pruning of trees
To bear more fruit?
But where is the fruit?
I have my seasons of sorrow and humiliation,
But where are my seasons of harvest?
I despair from knowing the answer.
I thought I had it;
I do not.
I hoped I would receive it;
Will I ever?
Have I confessed my unbelief
In asking if I’ll have an answer
When I ought to ask for it
Believing I have received it?
Lord, help my unbelief!
I am like one up to my nose in quicksand;
My perishing seems so sure.
I surely cannot help myself,
Nor can any man
or number of men
In anything they can do.
My only hope is that my God
Will come and lift me from the quagmire
In which I have fallen and sunk so deep.
I thought I was out, never to return.
Many times I thought I was out,
Only to find myself enveloped again.
How can these things be?
Do the Scriptures not tell us
Of a life of victory and of power?
Are only a chosen few
Given to be as Stephen and Samuel?
Or have they too had such lives
Of trial and loss and failure
Before the dawning of their day
To shine as lights much brighter than the day?
Am I to believe
That this is a preparation,
That all goes according to plan?
Or must I fear
That all is almost lost,
That I have failed,
That there is no base for hope any more
That God will not deliver
A sinner such as I?
Yet a faint glimmer of hope lives on
Even as I enquire.
I know my God is able;
I know I want His will
At any cost there is.
And so I wait
That He will save
And manifest Himself
Once more forever more,
Never to leave again,
His presence ever there
For me to enjoy.
Hear me, Lord, and hear my cry,
I have no one but You.
If all this cloud and quiet
Is for our very best
Then can I accept it, assured
That You will come and be to us
What You have promised
In Your appointed time.
Must I also be in the dark
About this as well?
How much harder it is to live
With uncertainty upon uncertainty!
But if You are faithful
And if You choose,
You are able
To cleanse me and deliver me
To be with You
And You with Me.
Come Lord, please come.
Lethbridge, Sept. 1984
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...
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
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,...