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
Not all who come are precious guests. There are both bad fish and good caught in the Kingdom’s net and the bad must necessarily be thrown away. There are those who enter in to feast with the saints who do not have on a wedding garment. These too must be thrown out. The precious guest, not known by appearance, is the one whom the Lord has brought into our midst to become one with us in Him. That guest may not be treated as a guest in worldly terms of hospitality and politeness. He may indeed be reproved and rebuked, told the truth, unpleasant to him as it may seem but by the grace of God, he will believe, respond and discover he is indeed a precious guest, beloved among the brethren. You have come not only because You have chosen to do so But you have been brought here To rest and to be comforted, To hear a word in due season, A good word, Whether it soothes or hurts, Whether it heals or cuts, But the truth will make you free Nevertheless. You have here a shelter from the storm, A haven of sweet rest, If you receive it as such. Bring in your peace with you If you wish it to be returned, And forsake everything unclean. Take off your shoes And rest awhile. May you be blessed and nourished, Strengthened and healed, Prepared to continue your journey In an alien world, In an hostile environment Because you are His. We hope you’ll be washed of this world’s dust, Bathed in the Word of God; We hope you’ll take on A fresh change of clothes And armour for...
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
Called on a ten day fast from all things dietary (but water) and social, the Lord was drawing me aside to spend time with Him and His saints and to prepare me for the future. The Lord has given me instruction To wait and fast and pray, To submit to this preparation, To accept all, come what may. Come, My darling, come away To a land where there is only day; Loving hearts await you there Where you will rest, free from all care. Come, My friend, why hesitate? I know, you're thinking of your mate. She'll be okay, I promise you, I have yet more for her to do. The time will come to meet again, Not in a bog but pleasant glen, Where you will meet with warm embrace, With joy and gladness, face to face. Your son, Jonathan, I gave to you; I'll make sure his heart is true And when their time is finally through I'll restore them both to you. Moon River Estates, Jan. 29, 1998