PART FOUR– Bernalillo to Moon River (cont.)
Particle – Words Come to Pass
In talking to Ric and Sharon later, they told me that after they bought the trailer, they discovered an unexpected cost of necessary insulation in their attic, and Sharon fell on her open dishwasher door, having nothing to grab to break the fall. I thought of the words in the poem, “You will fall, make no mistake, and there’ll be none to catch you.”
These words, while fulfilled in a minor way with Sharon, will be fulfilled in a major way with the harlot church that deceives and abuses the entire earth.
A bit of back-tracking: We fled Winnipeg in a trailer in 1981 and were on the road for perhaps 3½ months, not knowing where we were going, ending up in Westlock. We left Westlock in 1982 and were on the road in our Casa Rolla for about 4 months, again not knowing where we were going, until we found a home in Lethbridge.
Then moving into our Holiday trailer near the end of August 1983, we fled Lethbridge, heading to the U.S., not knowing where we were going, until we reached Bernalillo, New Mexico in October. We didn’t know what to do or where to go from there. Finally, nearly six months later, the Lord spoke, returning us to Lethbridge in April. We continued to live in the trailer until September 20, a total of another 13 months, when we moved into 104 Bluefox.
In all that time of trailering, we were often anxious, asking God and ourselves where we were headed and what we should be doing. Having no idea, we lived in some turmoil, but we would one day come to realize we had nothing to fear but fear itself, as Theodore Roosevelt put it.
With hindsight, I realize we could have taken all these things in stride and enjoyed ourselves. We had campfires, freedom from responsibilities of the occupational sort, people to meet and visit with, new and good experiences, and sights to see; it was generally a leisurely lifestyle.
Nothing hurt us, nothing, that is, but our fears and doubts – our unbelief. Our unbelief robbed us of peace of mind, yet we were fully kept, protected, and provided for. There was a perfect timetable and agenda arranged for us beyond our knowledge. All we had to do was trust the Most Caring, Trustworthy, and Capable One. It was that simple.
It is that simple now and at any time for those who believe. Fear of anything other than God for the true believer is totally unnecessary; indeed, it is a travesty and an insult to God. I have been the most insulting of persons to God. I have spent my life in worry, fretting and stewing – all for nothing.
The terrible battle to be fought by the seeker of God is against unbelief. One moment, we can be so full of faith, 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. And this is not a faith concocted, a matter of will power. It is, rather, surrender to God, an acknowledgment and acceptance 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 of knowing the answer.
I thought I had it;
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 his nose in quicksand;
My perishing seems so sure.
I surely can’t help myself,
Nor can any man
or number of men
In anything they 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 power?
Are only a chosen few
Given to be as Stephen and Samuel?
Or have they, too, had lives
Of trial and loss and failure
Before the dawning of their day
To shine as lights much brighter than the sun?
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 basis for hope anymore,
That God will not deliver
A sinner such as I?
Yet a faint glimmer of hope lives on,
Even as I inquire.
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 forevermore,
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 I can 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.
On September 11, 1984, I considered the situation with Bob Gregson and gave some thought to the meaning of friendship. The world’s concept of friendship is so very different from the Lord’s. There’s only contrast, and no comparison.
Friendship in the world means to receive, to have those with you who are an advantage. It’s a self-centered thing: “I have a lot of friends.” And those friends are there to receive, too.
True friendship lays down the life in wisdom and understanding. It is founded on truth, justice, and righteousness (right doing and being). It is more interested in giving than receiving. More, I say, because there needs to be both.
The only good friend is a dead one, dead unto self and unto the world, but alive unto God, our One True Friend.
Friend, where will you be when I fall?
Can you tell what you have?
Do you know who I am?
Take your hand and reach down deep within yourself,
As deep as you can go.
See what you come up with.
Do you know why I’m here?
Have you known the price?
Have you known there is a price?
Have you known that the price quite consumes the goods?
There’s no time to muse and play;
Death and life are as night and day.
Choose to live and you cannot die
But choose to die and you will live;
There is no life but in death.
There is no friend but one who knows
The price of life.
Can I introduce you to the Friend?
Are you able to come to where He is?
Which do you choose, to stay or come?
We are ready to receive;
Are you ready to be received?
When the fire falls next week,
Where will you be?
The lines are drawn in everything,
In simple things, leading to the greater.
Where does the line fall with you?
It cannot fall on you;
It must be on the one side or the other.
There is no time to muse and play;
Death and life are as night and day.
Choose to live and you must die
To be a friend indeed.
One day I was rather downcast about all the people that would come, hear, disagree with, and reject what I had to say, and then leave. The Lord said to me, “Don’t be concerned about those who don’t believe. They are as pebbles compared to mountains. Would you complain of not having a few pebbles if you owned the Rocky Mountains? Those who don’t believe are as pebbles. I have given you the mountains.”
In September 1984, the Lord gave me a number of poems, some linked here, and some given in completion.
(All of creation points to and teaches us of God, His requirements of us, and of our relationships to Him.
Life in Christ must be as spontaneous and natural as the branches to their tree trunk. And am I presumptuous in pointing out that as branches cannot live without the trunk, so the trunk has no life without branches? Can it be that Almighty God is so committed to us, His creation?)
(So very much of our conversation belies our true nature and convictions. We say we love God; we speak of thanking and praising Him when we are “in church” or in a religious setting trying to impress others, but let the guard down and listen to the words of our mouths and our hearts.
Now these hearts are supposed to be the new ones we received in our “new birth.” With one set of words we proclaim we are new creatures, thankful to God in all things. With another set, we let others know where we really stand. Often, the arm raised in praise has a clenched fist, and the lips of thanksgiving conceal gnashing teeth.
Because conditions are never perfect, the spirit of complaint can never be stilled or appeased. Our ceasing to complain cannot hinge therefore on a change in conditions, but must come solely by change in spirit and attitude. The source or cause of complaint is never the circumstances, but always the subject in same.
At any given time our lives can view either of two perspectives, like the two sides of a coin. Each side truly exists and we are right either way, but we become what we behold. Therefore we must decide what to behold.)
(We walk by faith. Faith overcomes the world. We live by faith. Faith is the work of God. By faith are we saved. This we know.
There is much ado made about love, joy, peace, and works. But it is striking that with faith, in the trial of the saints, none of those is mentioned, only patience. “Here is the patience and faith of the saints” – Revelation 13:10. Less is said about patience, but this patience is a virtue of virtues, coupled with faith. The Lord teaches us to wait.)
(If we believe God is over all, it must follow that He’s the engineer of our needs. We will often think of Him as the Provider, but seldom as the One Who created the need to show Himself as Provider.
We must grasp the truth that our needs are not dangers or risks, but rather introductions to Him and to His faithfulness. This turns us from fear and uncertainty to excitement and joyful anticipation.
And why all this? To teach us about Him and His ways, to reveal Himself in us, to set our feet on solid rock, to demonstrate His faithfulness, power, and love to all by us.)
(Though men have many idols, which they worship consciously or otherwise, they don’t serve these gods so much as themselves. Idolatry’s purpose is to serve one’s self, to preserve one’s self in the flesh, to protect from the cross.
If an idol fails to serve the worshipper in the way he desires, he’ll remove that idol from its pedestal soon enough and find another, unless he’s determined to wait patiently for that idol to produce its desired effects, one way or another.
Idolatry is inconsistent, contradictory, and unprofitable in every way. Money is only a medium of getting. Getting is the medium for serving self. Serving self is all there is until God is worshipped in spirit and truth.)