Saturday, December 6, 2014

when the path is hard

O Lord, I know that the way of man is not in himself: it is not in man that walketh to direct his steps… 
Jeremiah 10:23

Many people want to direct God, instead of resigning themselves to be directed by Him; to show Him a way, instead of passively following where He leads.
~Madame Guyon

Thou has showed Thy people hard things
Psalm 60:3

I have always been glad that the Psalmist said to God that some things were hard. There is no mistake about it, there are hard things in life.
Some beautiful pink flowers were given to me this summer, and as I took them I said, "What are they?" And the answer came, "They are rock flowers; they grow and bloom only on rocks where you can see no soil."
Then I thought of God's flowers growing in hard places; and I feel, somehow, that He may have a peculiar tenderness for His "rock flowers" that He may not have for His lilies and roses.

~Margaret Bottome

I said: "Let me walk in the field";
God said: 'Nay, walk in the town";
I said: "There are no flowers there";
He said: "No flowers, but a crown."

I said: "But the sky is black,
There is nothing but noise and din";
But He wept as He sent me back,
"There is more," He said, "there is sin
I said: "But the air is thick,
And fogs are veiling the sun";
He answered: "Yet souls are sick,
And souls in the dark undone."
I said: "I shall miss the light,
And friends will miss me, they say";
He answered me, "Choose tonight,
If I am to miss you, or they."
I pleaded for time to be given;

He said: "Is it hard to decide?
It will not seem hard in Heaven
To have  followed the steps of your Guide."

I cast one look at the fields,
Then set my face to the town;
He said: "My child, do you yield?
Will you leave the flowers for the crown?"
Then into His hand went mine,
And into my heart came He;
And I walk in a light Divine,
The path I had feared to see.

~George MacDonald

Lead me in a plain path 
Ps. 27:11
I love these beautiful words, and they were just the reminder that I needed during this whirlwind of a month...

 It will not seem hard in Heaven...

Tired and weary heart, can you remember this? Can you remember these words when you don't think you can take another step? Can you remember them when you don't understand the way He's taking you?
it will not seem hard in Heaven
it will not seem hard in Heaven
it will not seem hard in Heaven
it will not seem hard in Heaven, to have followed the steps of your Guide.

These words are ringing in my ears tonight and resonating deep in my heart. They are strengthening my soul, and I'm praying they do the same for you, dear friends. Blessings of rest and renewed strength for each of you as you journey on the paths the Lord has chosen for you and your families. We are so thankful for you and the many ways you have supported, encouraged, and prayed for our family.

What is faith? It is the confident assurance that what we hope for is going to happen. It is evidence of things we cannot yet see.

Hebrews 11:1

…they saw it all from a distance and welcomed the promises of God. They agreed that they were no more than foreigners and nomads here on earth. And obviously people who talk like that are looking forward to a country they can call their own. If they had meant the country they came from, they would have found a way to go back. 

But they were looking for a better place, a heavenly homeland. That is why God is not ashamed to be called their God, for He has prepared a heavenly city for them.
Hebrews 11:13-16

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily hinders our progress. 

And let us run with endurance the race that God has set before us.
Hebrews 12:1

We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus,
on whom our faith depends from start to finish.
Hebrews 12:2

So take a new grip with your tired hands and stand firm on your shaky legs. 

Mark out a straight path for your feet. 

Then those who follow you, 
though they are weak and lame
will not stumble and fall but will become strong.

Hebrews 12:12-13

The tests of life are to make, not break us. Trouble may demolish a man's business but build up his character. The blow at the outwards man may be the greatest blessing to the inner man. 

If God, then, puts or permits anything hard in our lives, be sure that the real peril, the real trouble, is what we shall lose if we flinch or rebel.

~Maltbie D. Badcock

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