Tag Archives: Trust

Of burdens and birds


image

They shall mount up with wings as eagles (Isaiah 40:31).

There is a fable about the way the birds got their wings at the beginning. They were first made without wings. Then God made the wings and put them down before the wingless birds and said to them, “Come, take up these burdens and bear them.”

The birds had lovely plumage and sweet voices; they could sing, and their feathers gleamed in the sunshine, but they could not soar in the air. They hesitated at first when bidden to take up the burdens that lay at their feet, but soon they obeyed, and taking up the wings in their beaks, laid them on their shoulders to carry them.

For a little while the load seemed heavy and hard to bear, but presently, as they went on carrying the burdens, folding them over their hearts, the wings grew fast to their little bodies, and soon they discovered how to use them, and were lifted by them up into the air — the weights became wings.

It is a parable. We are the wingless birds, and our duties and tasks are the pinions God has made to lift us up and carry us heavenward. We look at our burdens and heavy loads, and shrink from them; but as we lift them and bind them about our hearts, they become wings, and on them we rise and soar toward God.

There is no burden which, if we lift it cheerfully and bear it with love in our hearts, will not become a blessing to us. God means our tasks to be our helpers; to refuse to bend our shoulders to receive a load, is to decline a new opportunity for growth. –J. R. Miller

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

“Thou hast enlarged me when I was in distress” (Ps. 4:1)


IMG_1077.JPG

This is one of the grandest testimonies ever given by man to the moral government of God. It is not a man’s thanksgiving that he has been set free from suffering. It is a thanksgiving that he has been set free through suffering: “Thou hast enlarged me when I was in distress.” He declares the sorrows of life to have been themselves the source of life’s enlargement.

And have not you and I a thousand times felt this to be true? It is written of Joseph in the dungeon that “the iron entered into his soul.” We all feel that what Joseph needed for his soul was just the iron. He had seen only the glitter of the gold. He had been rejoicing in youthful dreams; and dreaming hardens the heart. He who sheds tears over a romance will not be most apt to help reality; real sorrow will be too unpoetic for him. We need the iron to enlarge our nature. The gold is but a vision; the iron is an experience. The chain which unites me to humanity must be an iron chain. That touch of nature which makes the world akin is not joy, but sorrow; gold is partial, but iron is universal.

My soul, if thou wouldst be enlarged into human sympathy, thou must be narrowed into limits of human suffering. Joseph’s dungeon is the road to Joseph’s throne. Thou canst not lift the iron load of thy brother if the iron hath not entered into thee. It is thy limit that is thine enlargement. It is the shadows of thy life that are the real fulfillment of thy dreams of glory. Murmur not at the shadows; they are better revelations than thy dreams. Say not that the shades of the prison-house have fettered thee; thy fetters are wings — wings of flight into the bosom of humanity. The door of thy prison-house is a door into the heart of the universe. God has enlarged thee by the binding of sorrow’s chain.
–George Matheson

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Blessed are they that wait for Him


Isaiah 30:18

IMG_0862.JPG

I longed to walk along an easy road,
And leave behind the dull routine of home,
Thinking in other fields to serve my God;
But Jesus said, “My time has not yet come.”
I longed to sow the seed in other soil,
To be unfettered in the work, and free,
To join with other laborers in their toil;
But Jesus said, “‘Tis not My choice for thee.”
I longed to leave the desert, and be led
To work where souls were sunk in sin and shame,
That I might win them; but the Master said,
“I have not called thee, publish here My name.”
I longed to fight the battles of my King,
Lift high His standards in the thickest strife;
But my great Captain bade me wait and sing
Songs of His conquests in my quiet life.
I longed to leave the uncongenial sphere,
Where all alone I seemed to stand and wait,
To feel I had some human helper near,
But Jesus bade me guard one lonely gate.
I longed to leave the round of daily toil,
Where no one seemed to understand or care;
But Jesus said, “I choose for thee this soil,
That thou might’st raise for Me some blossoms rare.”
And now I have no longing but to do
At home, or else afar, His blessed will,
To work amid the many or the few;
Thus, “choosing not to choose,” my heart is still.
–Selected

And Patience was willing to wait.
–Pilgrim’s Progress

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

God uses the broken pieces


IMG_1062.JPG
And the rest, some on boards, some on broken pieces of the ship. And so it came to pass that they escaped all safe to land (Acts 27:44).

The marvelous story of Paul’s voyage to Rome, with its trials and triumphs, is a fine pattern of the lights and shades of the way of faith all through the story of human life. The remarkable feature of it is the hard and narrow places which we find intermingled with God’s most extraordinary interpositions and providences.

It is the common idea that the pathway of faith is strewn with flowers, and that when God interposes in the life of His people, He does it on a scale so grand that He lifts us quite out of the plane of difficulties. The actual fact, however, is that the real experience is quite contrary. The story of the Bible is one of alternate trial and triumph in the case of everyone of the cloud of witnesses from Abel down to the latest martyr.

Paul, more than anyone else, was an example of how much a child of God can suffer without being crushed or broken in spirit. On account of his testifying in Damascus, he was hunted down by persecutors and obliged to fly for his life. but we behold no heavenly chariot transporting the holy apostle amid thunderbolts of flame from the reach of his foes, but “through a window in a basket,” was he let down over the walls of Damascus and so escaped their hands. In an old clothes basket, like a bundle of laundry, or groceries, the servant of Jesus Christ was dropped from the window and ignominiously fled from the hate of his foes.

Again we find him left for months in the lonely dungeons; we find him telling of his watchings, his fastings, and his desertion by friends, of his brutal and shameful beatings, and here even after God has promised to deliver him, we see him for days left to toss upon a stormy sea, obliged to stand guard over the treacherous seaman, and at last when the deliverance comes, there is no heavenly galley sailing from the skies to take off the noble prisoner; there is no angel form walking along the waters and stilling the raging breakers; there is no supernatural sign of the transcendent miracle that is being wrought; but one is compelled to seize a spar, another a floating plank, another to climb on a fragment of the wreck, another to strike out and swim for his life.

Here is God’s pattern for our own lives. Here is a Gospel of help for people that have to live in this every day world with real and ordinary surroundings, and a thousand practical conditions which have to be met in a thoroughly practical way.

God’s promises and God’s providences do not lift us out of the plane of common sense and commonplace trial, but it is through these very things that faith is perfected, and that God loves to interweave the golden threads of His love along the warp and woof of our every day experience.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Waiting is an art


Waiting75

Waiting is an art that our impatient age has forgotten.

It wants to break open the ripe fruit when it has hardly finished planting the shoot. But all too often the greedy eyes are only deceived; the fruit that seemed so precious is still green on the inside, and disrespectful hands ungratefully toss aside what has so disappointed them. Whoever does not know the austere blessedness of waiting—that is, of hopefully doing without—will never experience the full blessing of fulfillment.

Those who do not know how it feels to struggle anxiously with the deepest questions of life, of their life, and to patiently look forward with anticipation until the truth is revealed, cannot even dream of the splendor of the moment in which clarity is illuminated for them… For the greatest, most profound, tenderest things in the world, we must wait. It happens not here in a storm but according to the divine laws of sprouting, growing, and becoming.

Be brave for my sake, dearest Maria, even if this letter is your only token of my love this Christmas-tide. We shall both experience a few dark hours—why should we disguise that from each other? We shall ponder the incomprehensibility of our lot and be assailed by the question of why, over and above the darkness already enshrouding humanity, we should be subjected to the bitter anguish of a separation whose purpose we fail to understand…. And then, just when everything is bearing down on us to such an extent that we can scarcely withstand it, the Christmas message comes to tell us that all our ideas are wrong, and that what we take to be evil and dark is really good and light because it comes from God. Our eyes are at fault, that is all. God is in the manger, wealth in poverty, light in darkness, succor in abandonment. No evil can befall us; whatever men may do to us, they cannot but serve the God who is secretly revealed as love and rules the world and our lives.”

Letter to fiancée Maria von Wedemeyer from prison, December 13, 1943

Bonhoeffer, Dietrich (2011-03-21). God Is In the Manger (pp. 4-5). Westminster John Knox Press. Kindle Edition.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Closed doors


image

Mrs. Charles E. Cowman
Streams in the Desert

Acts 16:6-6

“They were forbidden of the Holy Ghost to preach the Word in Asia” (Acts 16:6).

It is interesting to study the methods of His guidance as it was extended towards these early heralds of the Cross. It consisted largely in prohibitions, when they attempted to take another course than the right. When they would turn to the left, to Asia, He stayed them. When they sought to turn to the right, to Bithynia, again He stayed them. In after years Paul would do some of the greatest work of his life in that very
region; but just now the door was closed against him by the Holy Spirit. The time was not yet ripe for the attack on these apparently impregnable bastions of the kingdom of Satan. Apollos must come there for pioneer work. Paul and Barnabas are needed yet more urgently elsewhere, and must receive further training before undertaking this responsible task.

Beloved, whenever you are doubtful as to your course, submit your judgment absolutely to the Spirit of God, and ask Him to shut against you every door but the right one. Say,

“Blessed Spirit, I cast on Thee the entire responsibility of closing against my steps any and every course which is not of God. Let me hear Thy voice behind me whenever I turn to the right hand or the left.”

In the meanwhile, continue along the path which you have been already treading. Abide in the calling in which you are called, unless you are clearly told to do something else. The Spirit of Jesus waits to be to you, O pilgrim, what He was to Paul. Only be careful to obey His least prohibition; and where, after believing prayer, there are no apparent hindrances, go forward with enlarged heart. Do not be surprised if the answer comes in closed doors. But when doors are shut right and left, an open road is sure to lead to Troas. There Luke awaits, and visions will point the way, where vast opportunities stand open, and faithful friends are waiting. –Paul, by Meyer

Is there some problem in your life to solve, Some passage seeming full of mystery? God knows, who brings the hidden things to light. He keeps the key.

Is there some door closed by the Father’s hand Which widely opened you had hoped to see? Trust God and wait–for when He shuts the door He keeps the key.

Is there some earnest prayer unanswered yet, Or answered NOT as you had thought ‘twould be? God will make clear His purpose by-and-by. He keeps the key.

Have patience with your God, your patient God, All wise, all knowing, no long tarrier He, And of the door of all thy future life He keeps the key.

Unfailing comfort, sweet and blessed rest, To know of EVERY door He keeps the key. That He at last when just HE sees ’tis best, Will give it THEE. –Anonymous

4 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

A little story about Hope.


Someone asked me the other day ” how do you have hope when things look so bad?” A young woman I know has had a pretty rough time of it lately. Life can be brutal no matter who you are, but she’s had her share of troubles and I told her the only genuine, lasting comfort I have ever known and that is an eternal relationship with Jesus Christ. I have had my share of troubles too and spent a few long months as a young adult in lock down in a Hospital. I also spent a terrifying night and day in a psychiatric ward for drug addicts and the mentally fragile. Not a fun place to be and for many years these and other experiences haunted me. What was later diagnosed as Post traumatic stress disorder wreaked havoc on my jobs, relationships and my ability to function as a normal person for many years of my life.  I had serious panic attacks often that started in my teens and eventually  almost completely shut down before trying to commit suicide. I had gone through a lot of traumatic events at a young age and that combined with years of abuse  took it’s toll on my mental state and I could barely function.  Many years later I heard the Gospel preached and I was saved and my life changed radically. Overnight I had a profound desire to serve the Lord and follow him, and even though that is a process there was a visible change in my life. I was freed from so many of the emotional pains and scars and really healed from the inside out by trusting Jesus with the entirety of my life…and it’s miraculous to say the least how he has changed me. I was a shy, terrified mess…and I am a pretty strong person in Christ now and I am so grateful to God, only He could work such a miracle. I can cry pretty easily thinking about how life used to be, and I  have often wondered why I had to go through so many of these things, but I  trust God and I know he’s in control and that has given me so much peace.

While talking to this young woman I realized that God was using my past to help and encourage her. This  woman was in the same hospital that I was, and she was just as scared and lost and confused.  There were so many similarities in our lives and she told me she would have never believed that about me. That I seemed to “have it all together” and she had a hard time thinking I had ever been that low.  I laughed that she would ever think I “had it together”  and then God blessed me with the amazing opportunity to share the Gospel with her. I got  to tell her that Jesus was the reason I had hope, and the reason I had the strength to overcome my past, that no matter my circumstances I had assurance in Him and  that very faith in Him and learning His word had been the light at the end of my very long, dark tunnel.

I had prayed for a way to talk to this young woman for so long and even though I had no idea how God would do it, I knew he would provide me the perfect opportunity and He did. He used one of the worst experiences of my young life to minister His truth and love to this young woman. No matter the outcome, I know He is active and working in my life and His Gospel was shared with another hurting soul.

I praise His Holy Name…

And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. Romans 8:28


  • “Blessed is he whose help is the God of Jacob, whose hope is in the LORD his God” (PSA 146:5)
  • “the LORD delights in those who fear him, who put their hope in his unfailing love” (PSA 147:11).
  • “but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint” (PSA 40:31).
  • “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit” (ROM 15:13).
  • “Find rest, O my soul, in God alone; my hope comes from him” (PSA 62:5).
  • “May those who fear you rejoice when they see me, for I have put my hope in your word” (PSA 119:74).
  • “Why are you downcast, O my soul? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God (PSA 42:5)
  • “I wait for the LORD, my soul waits, and in his word I put my hope” (PSA 130:5).
  • “O Israel, put your hope in the LORD, for with the LORD is unfailing love and with him is full redemption” (PSA 130:7).
  • “Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life” (PROV 13:12).
  • “There is surely a future hope for you, and your hope will not be cut off” (PROV 23:18).
  • “Return to your fortress, O prisoners of hope; even now I announce that I will restore twice as much to you” (ZECH 9:12).
  • “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future” (JER 29:11).
  • “through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. 3Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; 4perseverance, character; and character, hope” (Rom 5:2-4).
  • “And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us” (ROM 5:5).
  • “in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what he already has? 25But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently” (ROM 8:24-25).
  • “Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer” (ROM 12:12).
  • “For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through endurance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope” (ROM 15:4).
  • “To them God has chosen to make known among the Gentiles the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory” (COL 1:27)
  • “a faith and knowledge resting on the hope of eternal life, which God, who does not lie, promised before the beginning of time” (TIT 1:2)
  • “Because God wanted to make the unchanging nature of his purpose very clear to the heirs of what was promised, he confirmed it with an oath. 18God did this so that, by two unchangeable things in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have fled to take hold of the hope offered to us may be greatly encouraged” (HEB 6:17-18).
  • “We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure. It enters the inner sanctuary behind the curtain, 20where Jesus, who went before us, has entered on our behalf. He has become a high priest forever, in the order of Melchizedek” (Heb 6:17-19-20).
  • “Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful” (HEB 10:23).
  • “Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see” (HEB 11:1).

3 Comments

Filed under Belief, encouragement, Endurance, Faith, Freedom in Christ