Archive for January, 2011

“There is a Way which seemeth right unto a Man, but the End thereof are the Ways of Death”

January 19, 2011

In recent weeks I have spent much of my time wandering through certain hospital corridors – hardly an enjoyable experience; yet the Lord has assisted me to use the occasion to reach others with the gospel at this testing time in my life. In a sense all of life passes through this hospital. I have seen joyful faces carrying flowers towards the maternity unit where new life has just begun; worried and distraught faces sitting in ‘accident and emergency;’ boredom on the faces of visitors who regard visiting their relatives as something of a chore to be endured. And then there are the pale grief-stricken faces…

One night I also saw a young man whom I suspected had a drug problem, being flanked by two young policewomen.

On another day I took a walk into the “Quiet Room” for the first time. “A Place for Everyone” was the caption at the entrance, but on entering I felt immediately at odds with the atmosphere. I wanted to pray but somehow felt that this was not the place. In fact I felt more like praying in my car in the car park or in a quiet corner of the canteen than in that place on that particular day.

At the entrance to this “place for everyone” are signs for many religious beliefs: Hindu, Muslim, Jewish, Christian, Baha’i… I’m not entirely sure what all the signs meant but as I looked at them I reflected on what people refer to as ‘our increasingly pluralist society.’

God’s Word tells me that “there is a way which seemeth right unto a Man, but the end thereof are the ways of death” (Proverbs 14v12)

And Jesus said: “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. (John 14v6)

Yes, there is only one way. In the midst of all the meandering beliefs and the vast twisting maze of men’s philosophies, there is only one shining path that leads to the city which has “no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine in it: for the glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb is the light thereof. And the nations of them which are saved shall walk in the light of it: and the kings of the earth do bring their glory and honour into it.  And the gates of it shall not be shut at all by day: for there shall be no night there. And they shall bring the glory and honour of the nations into it. And there shall in no wise enter into it any thing that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie: but they which are written in the Lamb’s book of life.” (Revelation 21v23-27)

Above all, it is God’s will that every man, woman, boy and girl presently alive in this world of many contrasting beliefs would hear His knock at the door of their hearts and open them to let Him in.

As for those of us who name His Name, let us seek to reach others, even in the troublesome times in our own lives. If the last few weeks have taught me anything, they have taught me that life is incredibly short; too short to waste on anything other than serving my Lord and Saviour.

Oh that we would possess His great love for the unloved, the troubled, the sick, the weary, the bereaved, the lost…. Then prayerfully, we can point them to that Highway, the “way of holiness” (Isaiah 35v8) “without which no man shall know the Lord.” (Hebrews 12v14)

And then one glorious day we can put the dark scenes of this life behind us for the Prophet Isaiah promises that “the ransomed of the Lord shall return, and come to Zion with songs and everlasting joy upon their heads: they shall obtain joy and gladness, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away.” (Isaiah 35v10) Praise God!

“When thou passeth through the waters, I will be with thee…” (Isaiah 43v2)

January 11, 2011

I have experienced a few troubled waters in my lifetime – but none so deep as those which presently threaten to overwhelm me. In recent weeks one minor problem after another trickled in to irritate my normally very happy existence and then the ultimate tsunami came crashing in when a loved one became seriously ill and was taken to hospital. Sometimes the events in our lives are so painful that we have no desire to convey how we feel to others. We feel numb, sick at heart, filled with grief…

One bleak night I sat alone, praying and the Lord gave me these words… “When thou passeth through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon thee.” (Isaiah 43v2)

My faith is in the Holy One of Israel – and I rest in the knowledge that He will take care of it all. These days prayer is my constant companion. Under the present circumstances, when people say “Happy New Year” to me, I just nod uncomprehendingly.

What will this year hold for any of us? I only know that Jesus is my Saviour – and that He will take care of every concern and heavy burden that I lay at His feet. Is He your Saviour today? If not, please trust Him; life is difficult for me at present but I know that it would be twice as difficult if I had no access to the peace which passes all understanding. This is a simple little verse (written many years ago now) which sums up my attitude to every New Year…

I cannot know the future,

No more than change the past,

But on Jesus Christ my Saviour –

My every care I’ll cast.

Sometimes trauma and suffering in a Christian’s life can ultimately give birth to words which will touch the lives of others long after he has gone to be with the Saviour. I love the hymn “O Love that wilt not let me go” by George Matheson. The author was visually impaired but knew other suffering in his life. This hymn, the fruit of George Matheson’s suffering, lives on to inspire and comfort, for it expresses the Christian’s glorious hope in the resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ and in His Victory on our behalf, over sin and death and hell. Praise God for His great love and compassion for all of us! If you still do not know Him as Friend, why not repent and take His hand today?  If you do, these final two verses of the hymn will have meaning in your life, when the waters deepen…

“O Joy that seekest me through pain,

I cannot close my heart to Thee;

I trace the rainbow through the rain,

And feel the promise is not vain

That morn shall tearless be.

O Cross that liftest up my head,

I dare not ask to fly from Thee,

I lay in dust life’s glory dead,

And from the ground there blossoms red

Life that shall endless be.”  http://www.cyberhymnal.org/htm/o/l/oltwnlmg.htm

Links to this hymn: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=puWksKkI3Lc