Friday, August 22, 2008

A Poem

The Meeting Place

I know You’re there Lord, waiting,waiting,
In our meeting place.
I hear You whisper “come to me,
Let go life’s hurried pace.”

How long, O Lord, since we last met,
Since last our hearts did touch?
The loss is mine, since Martha-like
I worry over much

Of here and now and what’s to be,
And things I’ve left undone.
When all the while I’ve set aside
My precious Holy One.

For since you first took back my heart
I’ve known Your tender grace
To be my greatest peace and strength.
My joy, to seek Your face.

In days gone by, my heart would burst
With news to share with You.
With songs of praise and thankfulness,
And prayers yet to come true.

In those dear times, I heard you speak
Your wisdom without words.
You showed my heart that Holy Writ
My mind had only heard.

How can this be? What caused my heart
To turn to other treasures?
When at your feet, sweet Jesus Lord,
I’ve known unending pleasures.

O won’t You now to me impart
Once more Your healing grace?
Restore my heart to one of flesh,
That I may see Your face?

For even though I’ve turned aside,
Let vanity hold sway,
I still know deep within my soul
You are the only way.

To life and hope and joy and peace.
I love You Lord, ‘tis true.
But please give grace to this poor heart
That I may more love You.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Absent From the Body

I received some sad news today. A member of my last church passed away. His name was Elwood. He was a dear man in his eighties, and had been attending the church, with his wife, for decades. He died during the Breaking of Bread Service, sometimes called the Lord's Supper.

During this service, the men stand and pray, read scripture, or ask for certain hymns to be sung. Elwood had just asked for "How Great Thou Art", when he collapsed. Rescuscitation was attempted, the ambulance came, but he was not revived.

When a Christian dies, it is a bitter sweet event. I mourn for this man's family, and pray that God will support and comfort them in their grief, but I can in no way mourn for Elwood. The scripture says that when we are absent from the body, we are at home with the Lord (2 Cor. 5:6.) This means that the moment a believer dies, he is with Christ. How incredible. What a blessed thought, to imagine Elwood standing before Jesus, being embraced and welcomed into His presence.

I think too of God's lovingkindness in orchestrating the time of his death to be when he was with his brothers and sisters, remembering Jesus, and praising God. He could have been driving, on his way to or from church, and been in an accident, killing or injuring his wife and others. He could have been at home, forcing his elderly, hearing impaired wife to go through the stress and trauma of dealing with his sudden death on her own. But instead he passed away at a perfect time, when there were others around to be with his wife, and to notify family members. What a merciful God. His hand is on each one of us, and truly He ordains all of our days before we are even born.

"Your eyes have seen my unformed substance;
And in Your book were all written
The days that were ordained for me,
When as yet there was not one of them."
(Psalm 139:16)

"How Great Thou Art" was one of Elwood's favourite hymns to ask for. He also would often ask for "What a Friend We Have in Jesus." His faith was simple, his expression of it at times childlike. He always thanked God for the beautiful day, for creation, and he often would comment on his own inadequacy in finding words great enough to praise God with. He was getting on in years, and would sometimes stumble over his words, or lose his train of thought. But always, always, he spoke with humility and a genuine love and trust in God that I know pleased the Father's heart.

Elwood displayed a simple, yet solid, confidence in the faithfulness of his God and Savior. He had faith that is certain of what he hoped for, and sure of what he did not see (Heb. 11:1.) This hope was an anchor to his soul (Heb. 6:19.) He knew where to place his trust, and he was sure of the outcome of his faith, the salvation of his soul (1Peter 1:9.) He had God's word on it, and he persevered to the end, believing it.

Those believers that knew Elwood can rejoice that He has met his Lord, and now has perfect, sweet communion with Him. We can also be encouraged, reminding ourselves that we will see the outcome of our own faith.

"and though you have not seen Him, you love Him, and though you do not see Him now, but believe in Him, you greatly rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory, obtaining as the outcome of your faith the salvation of your souls (1Peter 1:8,9.)

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Encouragement from Spurgeon

I'm cheating today. Couldn't resist posting this morning's "Meditation" from C.H. Spurgeon. He is one of my favourite writers. I hope you are encouraged.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008
This Morning's Meditation
C. H. Spurgeon

"We know that all things work together for good to them that love God."—Romans 8:28.
UPON some points a believer is absolutely sure. He knows, for instance, that God sits in the stern-sheets of the vessel when it rocks most. He believes that an invisible hand is always on the world's tiller, and that wherever providence may drift, Jehovah steers it. That re-assuring knowledge prepares him for everything. He looks over the raging waters and sees the spirit of Jesus treading the billows, and he hears a voice saying, "It is I, be not afraid." He knows too that God is always wise, and, knowing this, he is confident that there can be no accidents, no mistakes; that nothing can occur which ought not to arise. He can say, "If I should lose all I have, it is better that I should lose than have, if God so wills: the worst calamity is the wisest and the kindest thing that could befall to me if God ordains it." "We know that all things work together for good to them that love God." The Christian does not merely hold this as a theory, but he knows it as a matter of fact. Everything has worked for good as yet; the poisonous drugs mixed in fit proportions have worked the cure; the sharp cuts of the lancet have cleansed out the proud flesh and facilitated the healing. Every event as yet has worked out the most divinely blessed results; and so, believing that God rules all, that He governs wisely, that He brings good out of evil, the believer's heart is assured, and he is enabled calmly to meet each trial as it comes. The believer can in the spirit of true resignation pray, "Send me what thou wilt, my God, so long as it comes from Thee; never came there an ill portion from Thy table to any of Thy children."
"Say not my soul, 'From whence can God relieve my care?Remember that Omnipotence has servants everywhere.His method is sublime, His heart profoundly kind,God never is before His time, and never is behind.'"