Archive for the ‘Parables’ category

My Handful of Quietness

September 4, 2010
Give a big hand to.....

Image by Andrew Pescod via Flickr

Better is a handful of quietness than two hands full of toil and a striving after wind. (Ecclesiastes 4:6)

It is striving after wind to attempt to write a post, and it never comes alive for you, the words are only vacuous and tired sounding.  It is striving after wind to write when your little daughter comes in and glares at you, and snorts something to the effect of,  “on that keyboard again…?  hmmmph!”  It is striving after wind,  to write something flattering about your husband online, and have him break your heart saying something like, “well, how about some of that in real time?”   It is striving to continue,  because then the outward life becomes as hollow as the inward one.   Your words become just more empty wind whistling down the  internet byways.

It is striving to continue to try to write when your main computer becomes infected with pernicious malware that makes it a botnet of the nastiest possible kind.  And the next computer opens up to a hopeless black, and you peer into the  void of  hardware failure.  It seems worse than striving,  it seems like fighting against God, when you attempt to type on an ancient wheezing model, and  its gape-mouthed keyless typepad swallows your words as you write them.

So I ceased striving and submitted to the discipline the Lord gave me this summer.  I chafed at first.   My blog was getting its highest traffic ever, and some helpful links, but it was a vanity of vanities. As Carl Trueman writes here,

We mediocrities struggle at a different level, hoping that our own petty contributions, irrelevant and ephemeral as they are, will be puffed and acknowledged by others; and, in a sense, there is nothing we can do about that. I am a man divided against myself; I want to be the centre of attention because I am a fallen human being; I want others to know that I am the special one; and as long as the new me and the old me are bound together in a single, somatic unity, I will forever be at war with myself.  What I can do, however, is have the decency to be ashamed of my drive to self-promotion and my craving for attention and for flattery and not indulge it as if it were actually a virtue or a true guide to my real merit.  I am not humble, so I should not pretend to be so but rather confess it in private, seeking forgiveness and sanctification.

So I saw God’s wisdom in His chastening of me and ceased striving.  I accepted my portion of quietness, and sought His kindness for true and lasting repentence.  So after a summer filled with camping trips, and getaways to inland rivers and vacations to Aunties houses, and very little virtual reality,  and a lot of real-time laughter and conflict and thorn-pricks from wild blackberry vines as buckets become brimful–and love-cups even better filled.  So now I am back home.

The fog seems cosy now around my little bungalow.   I do not need to escape the record cold temperatures here anymore, as our Indian Summer promises heat.  The last remaining computer I can actually type with was healed of it’s seeming hardware malfunction with a judicious piece of duct-tape, placed where a missing screw left things jiggling and threatening to short the whole shebang.  I am content with the lines that have fallen to me, yes even with the collapse of the lines on the graph of  my blog’s stats.  I am not puffing myself anymore.  I am back only to tell the stories of His faithfulness to me.   For the Lord has done great things for me and

I have told the glad news of deliverance
in the great congregation;
behold, I have not restrained my lips,

as you know, O Lord.

I have not hidden your deliverance within my heart;
I have spoken of your faithfulness and your salvation;

I have not concealed your steadfast love and your faithfulness
from the great congregation.   (Psalm 40)

There was a time for silence but now it seems good for me to speak again.  I still have more stories to tell.

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Hudson Taylor: On “Holding His Faithfulness”

May 1, 2010
Broken Glass-2

Image by akeg via Flickr

I was dusting my dresser, and was heedless to some shards of glass. They lay there as a snare, not just to my fingertips, but to my heart–a framed scripture was shattered, and it had been one of my dearest possessions. A friend had carefully laid oak leaves around the words she had inscribed:

“All your children shall be taught by the Lord,
and great shall be the peace of your children.
In righteousness you shall be established”, Isaiah 54:13,14)

Those words bleakly speaking through the broken pieces of glass seemed a fitting symbol of the struggles of my heart to trust and believe, despite what my eyes see, and to have faith that God is still at work in my life to restore what has been destroyed by the enemy. I have been exhausted, and unbelief has crept in again.

How faithful God is however to restore and revive. From unexpected places–at a bible study for some homeless people, in the Gospel of John, and Christ’s words to the doubting Thomas–how gracious He is to us in our unbelief, and how readily He hears our cry to Him, to help us with it!

I also reread some letters from Hudson Taylor to his sister and others, and a bit from his biography, that have always encouraged me. If you are struggling with a lack of faith, may they encourage you as well. Taylor writes:

“I feel as though the first glimmer of the dawn of a glorious day had arisen upon me. I hail it with trembling, yet with trust- as to work, mine was never so plentiful, so responsible, or so difficult; but the weight and strain are all gone. The last month has been perhaps the happiest of my life; and I long to tell you a little of what the Lord has done for my soul- Perhaps I shall make myself more clear if I go back a little- My mind has been greatly exercised for six or eight months past, feeling the need, personally, and for the mission, of more holiness, life, power, in our souls. But personal need stood first and was the greatest. I felt the ingratitude, the danger, the sin of not living near to God. I prayed, agonized, strove, fasted, made resolutions, read the Word of God more diligently, sought more time for meditation and prayer – but all was with effect. Every day, almost every hour, the consciousness of sin oppressed me- each day brought its register of sin and failure, of lack of power- then came the question Is there no rescue? Must it be thus to the end – constant conflict and instead of victory too often defeat? How, too, could I preach with sincerity that to those who receive Jesus, to them gave He that power to become the sons of God (i.e. God-like) when it was not so on my own experience?-

I hated myself. I hated my sin; and yet, I gained no strength against it. I felt I was a child of God: His Spirit in my heart would cry: ‘Abba Father’; but to rise to my privileges as a child, I was utterly powerless.”

“All the time I felt assured there was in Christ all I needed, but the practical question was how was I to get it out?- I knew full well that there was in the Root abundant fatness; but how to get it into my puny little branch was the question. As the light, gradually dawned on me, I saw that faith was the only prerequisite, was the hand to lay hold on His fullness and make it my own. But I had not this faith! I strove for it but it would not come; tried to exercise it, but in vain. Seeing more and more the wondrous supply laid up in Jesus, the fullness of our precious Savior-my helplessness and guilt seemed to increase. Sins committed seemed but as trifles compared with the sin of unbelief, which was their cause, which could not, or would not, take God at His Word, but rather made Him a liar. Unbelief was, I felt, the damning sin of the world-yet, I indulged in it.

” ‘But how to get faith strengthened? Not by striving after faith, but by resting on the Faithful One.’ As I read I saw it all, ‘If we believe not, He abideth faithful’ (2Tim 2:13). I looked to Jesus and saw (and when I saw, oh, how joy flowed!) that He had said: ‘I will never leave you.’ (Heb 13:5) Ah, there is rest, I thought! I have striven in vain to rest in Him. I’ll strive no more. For has He not promised to abide with me?

“But this was not all He showed me, nor one-half. As I thought of the vine and branches, what light the blessed Spirit poured direct into my soul- I saw not only that Jesus would never leave me, but that I was a member of His body, of His flesh, and of His bones. The Vine, now I see, is not the root merely, but all- root, stem, branches, twigs, leaves, flowers, fruit; and Jesus is not only that: He is soil and sunshine, air and shower, and ten thousand times more than we have every dreamed, wished for, or needed. Oh, the joy of seeing this truth! I do pray that the eyes of your understanding may be enlightened, that you may know and enjoy the riches freely given us in Christ.”

A biographer writes of Taylor, that as he was reading the Gospel of Mark in Greek, he was struck with the words, “Ekete pistin Theou.” How strangely new they seemed! “Have (or hold) the faithfulness of God“: surely it was a passage he had never seen before? Turning to the corresponding words in English he read (Mark 2:22): “Have faith in God.” Ah, that was familiar enough; and something within him whispered, ’the old difficulty!’ How gladly would he have and increase in faith in God, if only he knew how! But this seemed entirely different. It laid the emphasis on another side of the matter in a way he found surprisingly helpful. It was not “have” in your own heart and mind, however you can get it, “faith in God” but simply “hold fast, count upon, His faithfulness”; and different indeed he saw the one to be from the other. As to the correctness of this modified translation, Mr. Taylor noted for the rendering ‘God’s faithfulness,’ see Rom. 3: 3, where ‘the faith of God’ evidently, means His faithfulness. The verb translated ‘hold,’ is thus rendered in Matt. 21: 26, ‘all hold John as a prophet.’ In the corresponding passage in Mark 11:32, it is rendered ‘ count’; and in that in Luke 20: 6, a different Greek verb is used, which well illustrates the meaning, ‘They be persuaded that John was a prophet.’ Let us see that in theory we hold that God is faithful; that in daily life we count upon it ; and that at all times and under all circumstances we are fully persuaded of this blessed truth.”. Not my faith but God’s faithfulness-what a rest it was.

He wrote “Want of trust is at the root of almost all our sins and all our weaknesses; and how shall we escape it but by looking to Him and observing His faithfulness? … The man who holds God’s faithfulness will not be foolhardy or reckless, but he will be ready for every emergency. The man who holds God’s faithfulness will dare to obey Him, however impolitic it may appear. Abraham held God’s faithfulness and offered up Isaac, “accounting that God was able to raise him from the dead.” Moses held God’s faithfulness and led the millions of Israel into the waste, howling wilderness. Joshua knew Israel well, and was ignorant neither of the fortifications of the Canaanites nor of their martial prowess, but he held God’s faithfulness and led Israel across the Jordan. . . . The Apostles held God’s faithfulness, and were not daunted by the hatred of the Jews or the hostility of the heathen…. ” And what shall I more say? for the time would fail me to tell “of those who, holding God’s faithfulness, had faith, and by it “subdued kingdoms, wrought righteousness, obtained. promises … out of weakness were made strong, waxed valiant in fight, turned to flight the armies of the aliens?”

“Satan, too, has his creed: Doubt God’s Faithfulness. “Hath God said? Are you not mistaken as to His commands? He could not really mean just that. You take an extreme view, give too literal a meaning to the words:” . . . How constantly, and, alas, how successfully are such arguments used to prevent whole-hearted trust in God, whole-hearted consecration to God! … How many estimate difficulties in the, light of their own resources, and thus attempt little and often fail in the little they attempt! All God’s giants have been weak men, who did great things for God because they reckoned on His being with them….

“Oh! beloved friends, if there is a living God, faithful and true, let us hold His faithfulness. . . . Holding His faithfulness, we may go into every province of China. Holding His faithfulness, we may face with calm and sober but confident assurance of victory every difficulty and danger; we may count on grace for the work, on pecuniary aid, on needful facilities, and on ultimate success. Let us not give Him a partial trust, but daily, hourly serve Him, counting on His faithfulness.”

No weapon that is fashioned against you shall succeed,
and you shall confute every tongue that rises against you in judgment.
This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord
and their vindication from me, declares the Lord. (Is. 54:17)

No weapon, not even the sharpest edge of broken glass, can prosper against a servant of the Lord, who looks continually to the One who is faithful, and holds only to His faithfulness.

Will The Dust Praise You?

December 5, 2009
IF IT'S DEAD BURY IT IF IT'S DEAD BURY IT IF I...

Weeping may tarry for the night,
but joy comes with the morning.
As for me, I said in my prosperity,
“I shall never be moved.”
By your favor, O Lord,
you made my mountain stand strong;
you hid your face;
I was dismayed.
To you, O Lord, I cry,
and to the Lord I plead for mercy:
“What profit is there in my death,
if I go down to the pit?
Will the dust praise you?
Will it tell of your faithfulness?
Hear, O Lord, and be merciful to me!
O Lord, be my helper!”
You have turned for me my mourning into dancing;
you have loosed my sackcloth
and clothed me with gladness,
that my glory may sing your praise and not be silent.
O Lord my God, I will give thanks to you forever!
(Psalm 30:5-12)

There is a Reason for a Cage, and there are also reasons for a burial, I am thinking more and more. I still have a tiny body of a bird in the chest freezer downstairs, and it comes more and more to mind.  Why am I hanging on to poor Atticus for so long? That poor little bird died four years ago.  His poor little stiff self is no longer even whole anymore; when a child fetched some parbaked Parkerhouse rolls for our Thanksgiving dinner, the frail corpse fell down, and his head fell off. Clearly it is time for him to return to the ashes, to the dust, but why have I been so reluctant to bury him?

I used to joke that I’m going to clone him when the costs of that procedure are within our means; like paternity tests, they’ll have kits for sale over the internet–‘Do it Yourself Pet Cloning — As Seen on TV!’

Yes, that must be it.

Or maybe it is my latent marthastewartism that haunts me, I want to stage the most perfect pet funeral, suited to the most perfect pet. Violins, a moving eulogy, all the guests assembled for lovely reception following.
Yes, that must be it.

But the unfortunate child whose foot ended Atticus’ life has recently confided to me that seeing the frozen bird in its basket sarcophagus every time he retrieves a loaf of bread reminds him of that terrible moment. It is unloving of me to continue this cyronics experiment.  So Atticus’s stasis must be interrupted by his inevitable decay.

Thus I am prodded into action, but as is my nature, I want to know, why, why did I really delay four years? The question has haunted me.

I think Atticus represented something I wanted very badly for my life. I wanted a sweet singing in the halls of our home; ‘Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring’ permeating every room, and a quality of life represented in the Classical Model of Home Education, and the Five Foot Shelf of Books.  But the reality of my life is very different from that ideal. Very often, thumping bass reverberates among our rafters when a certain prodigal returns home to eat some fatted calf. To surrender  this ideal–ah tell the truth, Karen!–it is an idol!

Giving it up is hard, but so much better  is the simple joy of welcoming unreservedly those tear-stained faces turned to mine.  It is so much better than demanding plastic faces to be pasted onto Christmas letters.  All those unreal mountains of prosperity that are never moved.

Oh, I have to be honest here –it is so hard to tell the truth still — I’m still trying to get a perfect pose at Thanksgiving dinner!   But at least now I know when to quit, so the dinner doesn’t degenerate into another Grumblegiving — our name for a Notorious Feast of Complaining. Progress, not perfection is the goal, I keep reminding myself.

I will bury that bird at last.

I cannot relate to airbrushed stories anymore. I want to hear from those who still praise Him, though it seems that He has hidden His face.  I have been loosed from  sackcloth, and I long to hear from others coming out of their graveclothes too. Because ‘Happily Ever After’ is indeed for after the grave, but how I hunger for  ‘intimations of that immortality’, of that wonderful morning of unending joy! How thrilling that thought is, how it gives  me the strength to go on in this darkness of night, as I wait for the dawn, and all the birdsong, that wakes it then. I will wait patiently for Him; I will add my hymn, and not be silent as I wait.

And you, Martha — Martha! Be still! The dust can praise Him too.

The Single Eye

September 12, 2009

acute conjunctivitis Day 3

All happenings great and small are parables whereby God speaks. The art of life is to get the message.” –G.K. Chesterton

I don’t think it was just the pain that made me cry so much. As I bent to pitch some laundry down the chute, the dowel handle of the feather duster slammed into my glasses, with enough force to knock a lens out and send them flying into the dim broom closet. My eyeball was cut and so the pain was considerable, and I had every reason to be a baby about it. But my hurt wasn’t purely physical– there was some self pity seeping in. I admit this with some shamefacedness. I was getting tired of suffering, and I voiced my complaint! Yet I was also afraid, until I could brave trying to open it, that I had lost my eye. All those tears were hot and tasted like blood.

The eye is miraculously quick to repair itself, so the severe pain was gone by the next day, but my face looked as if I’d had a beating. And I had to deal with the bruise to my soul.

Even that was beginning to heal. My spiritual eyes were soothed in the salve of the grace of God. I was humbled by God’s kindness: the nurse at the hospital marveling at my broken glasses, and saying “Someone was looking out for you!” ( oh, that I had directed him to Jesus, Lord of All!) I was humbled by the marvelous sovereignty of our loving Father– because of conjunctivitis in my left eye, I was wearing those shielding glasses which absorbed most of the impact of that blow.

But chiefly I was humbled as I sought Him about a single eye. He has taught me with a potent object lesson this parable once before, so an invasion serves as a warning to be vigilant. Once, I was worshiping at church when my eye suddenly clouded with such goo I could not see clearly, and I went to rinse my contact lens in a sink. There the Lord spoke clearly to me, “Let your eye be single”, and I was convicted as I remembered the rest of the scripture, “and thy whole body shall be full of light. But if thine eye be evil, thy whole body shall be full of darkness. Therefore, if the light that is in thee be darkness, how great is that darkness!” (Matthew 6:22, 23).

I knew the Spirit was rebuking me for great slothfulness during a time when vigilance was needful; this was a past season of great spiritual conflict. A foolish distraction kept me up all night and made me short-tempered in the morning, and the Father sought to show me how costly that unwatchfulness could be.

Now, when I am being pressed, I try to separate myself from anything that draws strength away from the battle. Yet in this stressful season, instead of watching and praying with patience, I let my guard down, and at the worst possible time I spoke callously and hurt deeply a dear one. I was oblivious to that soul’s sense of betrayal as I half-heartedly apologized later. My heart was hard, and I felt justified; and so my eye, like my soul, crusted over with its infection; and it stayed half shut until I bowed down, stopped grumbling and submitted to the discipline of the Lord.

I am so thankful for that spanking of conjunctivitis. It protected me when the enemy, the one who is a destroyer of everything, desired to put out my eye. The hand of the Lord deflected the blow. What a contrast between the enemy’s designs and the Father’s discipline! The devil seeks to dishearten, discourage and shift our attention so we forget that our God is good. Our Father, in His loving correction, seeks only that we would fall back into His arms again, back into the blessing of His tender care.

I have fallen back into the Father, He has restored my soul; I have my gaze back onto my Lord.

And how excellent it is to see Him clearly again.

Pressed Close, Pressed Down

August 18, 2009
Mercury column to measure pressure, scale in m...

Image via Wikipedia

I am contending for the life of another, and the pressure is almost unendurable.  Hudson Taylor said, “It doesn’t matter, really, how great the pressure is; it only matters where the pressure lies. See that it never comes between you and the Lord–then the greater the pressure, the more it presses you to His breast.”  The pressure lies in a good place, I am close to His heart now, and that is what enables me to endure.   I am being pressed into the cross for another; pressed into its life, and then laid close to that one, to come between them and the enemy’s assignment of death.  It is body to body, I am  like Elijah laying on the lifeless  boy he helped to birth, waiting on God to bring  breath back into him. Elijah was just flesh like me, and I can endure it  if he  did.   I  wait, get up, pace around and pray, go back and lay on the body again.  Oh how great the pressure is, I feel the sentence of death so deeply sometimes, and how gladly I would  suffer its penalty fully for my dear one!

This must be that mystery, the  fellowship of the Cross, the fellowship of His afflictions.  This intimacy with Jesus is most sweet.   I would not trade it for peace and plenty.   (Okay, sometimes, when the pain is awful, and I quake in fear and failing.  I am but flesh, and this lump of dust tends to seek its own).

But I would not trade this suffering when it produces this kind of life in me:  when I finished my prayers the other night, I said to the Lord something,  in a way I have never said before, “I love you so much!”  I didn’t say it worshipfully, but in the affectionate and comfortable way I murmur in my little girls ears when I tuck them into bed.   I, worm that I am,  was shockingly familiar with the Most High God!  Yet there was deep reality behind those words so carelessly spoken.

Two children with hops basket

And this is the most amazing thing: I felt as though the Spirit drew in His breath with a gasp of delight.   I sensed His deep pleasure, and I was cosy in that glow as I drifted off to sleep, so safe in His love.  I can go on such soul’s nourishment for many more days.  I smile even now as I think of it.  It was a good measure of  His love, given back in return,  pressed down, shaken together spilling out all  over, and out it  will go into the laps of the ones to whom He has drawn me close.

To Number Our Days

July 25, 2009

So teach us to number our days
that we may get a heart of wisdom.
Return, O Lord! How long?
Have pity on your servants!
Satisfy us in the morning with your steadfast love,
that we may rejoice and be glad all our days.
Make us glad for as many days as you have afflicted us,
and for as many years as we have seen evil.
Let your work be shown to your servants,
and your glorious power to their children.
Let the beauty of the Lord our God be upon us,
and establish the work of our hands upon us;
yes, establish the work of our hands!
     ( Psalm 90:12-17)

I was surprised at a milestone birthday of late.  It was not the unexpected gathering of happy family and friends who greeted me with the joyful cry “Surprise”, that did it, no,  it was my unexpected reaction to turning fifty that was so surprising to me.  I was surprised that it affected me so deeply, that I mourned my passing days so painfully.  Perhaps a confluence of events–Phil Busbee’s sudden death, fractured friendships, disillusionments,  the graduations of some I have watched grow up–these were  tributaries to the flooding of a river of memories.  I was surprised by all the grief I felt, and that this river overflowed its banks.

But blessed are those who mourn.  For it is a good thing to number our days and grieve before the LORD our losses .  It is a good thing to clearly see the time fleeing, and  the futility of our efforts apart from Him.  It is a good thing to return to Him in reverential fear.  It is very good to hear His voice above the flood of regret, saying “I am your portion, and your exceeding great reward.”   Faith answers, ” You maintain my lot, the lines have fallen to me in pleasant places; Yes, I have a good inheritance.”

I have been studying the life of Abraham lately.   I am captured again by the One who sees the things that don’t exist as if they did, and identifying deeply with the one who believed the Promise unwaveringly, yet faltered in following consistently.  (Did he just say, “Tell them you are my sister”–again? And did I just fall myself into the fell snare of the fear of man–yet again?  Why was I so intimidated by mere man who has only breath,  and did not tremble before  You, oh Lord? ) 

I have been so encouraged to observe how the ominipotent God of the universe condescended to shape the faith of this humble man, patiently bore with his inconsistencies, and led him inexorably to the Test of all Tests.  And though Abraham stumbled Abimelech’s household by his half-truths which were wholly lies, yet he edified  the Father’s household of faith forever with  his fearsome obedience of death to self.  In this prophetic act,  God’s work of redemption was shown to His servant Abraham, and His glorious power to that man’s child.   Isaac’s faith, though shaken in that terrible moment of  trusting  immolation, was established by that ram caught in the thicket. So it was written in God’s book forever, an example for us all to follow.  “We must make our own way to the region of obedience, and scale our own Golgotha.  And the children walk with us”.*  What will they see us do on the mountain that rises in the distance?

Though my Lord has made the way as difficult as possible, and I am excellent at evading the challenges, I have numbered my days, and I cry out to Him yet again, “How long?”  But I will set my face like flint, as my brother and Savior have done.  I will make myself again a living sacrifice, giving Him everyday everything that gets in the way of obedience.

 Then You, only You,  will establish the work of my hands, oh Lord.  For the glory of your Name! 

 

*I have done this study of Abraham with the book of Romans and the help of Alistair Begg’s wonderful series “Venturing in Faith, A Study in the Life of Abraham.”  I have a haunting feeling rereading this that this might be Beggs’ own wonderful phrase here.  You can download his beautiful sermon for free, and let me know if I stole it from him, at http://www.truthforlife.org/site/News2?abbr=lst&page=NewsArticle&id=9212&news_iv_ctrl=1102 .   

I highly recommend this ministry.  Mr. Begg has a wonderful storytelling gift, a passionate desire for Jesus and clarity into His truth; and a lilting Scottish brogue that helps it all go down easily. He is the only radio preacher  my prodigal #1 can stand to listen to.  She’ll even remind me when he’s on, and helpfully tune him in.  For all  that,  I am a loyal listener, and supporter of the ministry.

A Window of Hope

June 12, 2009

That is my own kitchen window, pictured above in the blog’s header.   The photo says it all.  The Cross made by the sashes of my neighbor’s window is so pure and clean, oh how it shines in the darkness. It reminds me of the hope I hold, everyday.  I want to know nothing else among you, except that Cross, and the One crucified upon it.  One writer says of it,  “The Cross of Christ is the glorious reflection of God’s love to the world, but it is more than that only; it focusses the infinite love and throws it burning and transforming upon the heart that bows beneath it.  It is ours and all our own.  The love that endured disgrace and poverty and pain could only be for such as we are.  Now it is ours to ask this question with a boldness triumphant as [Paul’s] of old, “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ?”*

  The ledge of my window has held more than just vases of flowers and votives.  At one particularly desperate time, there was a verse scrawled on a scrap of paper resting there, and it brought such comfort.  With that comfort, I hope to comfort other troubled pilgrims.  We cannot face the darkness ahead  without the bulwark of our position, that of being hidden in Christ from the foundation of the world, strengthening our hearts.  It is a truly immovable place,  as there we rest in that shining Cross, and in  a Word that speaks from all eternity:

“Let the beloved of the LORD rest secure in him,
for he shields him all day long,
and the one the LORD loves rests
between his shoulders.” (Deut. 33:12)

  Israel  spoke these words to encourage his son Benjamin, who would become a tribe that would fall into grave sin, and become  a remnant. But Jesus bore Benjamin’s sins into the Most Holy Place. And like all who have fallen,  even the Apostle who denied Him thrice, Jesus has prayed for us!  As we rest in His finished work, we who have been cleansed by His blood, and continue to be cleansed by His Word, can we really fall away? Oh to Him who is able to keep His beloved children, be all the glory, both now and forever!   Oh, beloved of the Lord, do not cast away your confidence, it has great reward!  Only hold the faithfulness of God. (Mark 2:22)

 

 

 

*God’s Cure For Worry, by Mark Guy Pearce (David Wilkerson Publications 2005).  One of my favorite books, first published a century ago, forgotten by the world, but recovered for the saints for such a time as this. It was  found in a thrift shop and reprinted by  David Wilkerson.  This book I return to again and again, in these worrisome days, to remind myself  with  Pearce’s most edifying words, of the pagan nature of worry. Pearce considers the lilies, and the birds, and draws beautiful word pictures of the  Father’s tender care for all of His Creation, but most especially His Children.