Sunday, August 29, 2010

The Father and The Child

This is a poem someone very dear sent to me during a struggle in my life. It will always be special to me.

The Father and The Child

by Cynthia Heald

The Father spoke:
Are you ready, My child?
Yes but I have nothing to bring except myself.
You are all I need.
Surely I must bring something; I do not feel prepared to travel.
Do Not concern yourself with preparations. Your journey has already begun.
But I am fearful.
There is no need to fear; I will always be with you.
Will You give me what I need?
I will provide for you.
What will You provide?
All that is essential for your journey.
And what is essential?
I will show you along the way. For now, you have what is necessary: the desire to draw close to My heart.

The Child spoke:
Father; the journey is harder than I thought it would be. I am weary.
When My Son traveld here, He became weary also.
Why is it so?
Because My kingdom is not yet established.
Am I nearing the destination?
You have come far, but there are still many roads to travel.
Will those roads be any easier?
The closer you come to My heart, the more intensely you will experience My love and understand My ways. You will become more concerned about what is eternal and less concerned about the difficulty of the journey.
Sorrow still walks with me.
She travels with you by My design. She is a carefully chosen tool in My hand to accomplish My will for you.
Sorrow has become more of a friend. I no longer fear her presence. But Joy never leaves me! She has settled deep within me. Will she always accompany me?
She will never leave you as long as you keep your hand in Mine and let Me lead you to My heart.
Then she will be with me forever--for I have no other desire than to know Your heart.

The Father spoke:
And what do you know of My heart?
I know that Your heart is the only worthy destination.
How have you learned this truth?
By walking daily with You.
How are your companions, Joy and Sorrow?
Now that I have a better understanding of Your heart, I realize that Sorrow keeps me dependent upon You and Joy enables me to stay on the journey.
You have learned well, My child. So you wish to continue the journey?
Oh, Father; I only pray that I remain faithful and obedient. I want no other journey--I seek no other Joy.
You will find Joy in loving and serving others.
It is hard for me to love and serve. How can I do it with Joy?
By taking My yoke and learning of Me.
As long as I am yoked to You, Father; I know I can do anything.
Hold My hand tightly, My child. For this part of the journey, you must receive My rest and learn to live for all that is eternal.
Why must I hold Your hand tightly?
Because I am ready to place you as a laborer in My harverst, and I do not want you to be so busy in your service that you loosen your grip or let go.
And how do I labor in Your havest?
By bringing Me glory.

The Child spoke:
I'm nearning the end of my jorney, aren't I Father?
Yes, My child, but there are still a few more roads to travel.
It has been a good journey. Thank You for holding my hand.
Have you lacked for anything?
No, nothing. I must confess I was skeptical that all I needed to take on the journey was a willing heart. I didn't realize then when You have my heart, You are all I ever need or want.
What have you learned from your travels?
I've learned that being a woman who pleases You has nothing to do with my family, my friends, or my circumstances, but everything to do with how much I love You and how deeply I abide in You.
How would you describe your journey?
As a journey that frees me to become all You created me to be--as a journey of great inner Joy.
What have you learned about Joy?
Joy has always been deep in my heart, but she is quiet. I've learned that I must be still to hear her; otherwise, I listen to louder voices that silence hers.
How has Joy served you?
She has faithfully been with me in all of my journey--my trials, my suffering, my obedience, and my serving. I understand now that she always accompanies Sorrow--but her most precious gift to me is her tears as I experience Your presence.
How has Sorrow helped you?
Father, I know I said in the beginning that I didn't want Sorrow to go with me but she has taught me much. Without her, I would never have wept over my sin. Whenver I was deeply hurt or grieving, she took me straight to Your heart. Without her, I would not have known how others felt. I would not have known how to love or serve them. And as You said, it has been Sorrow that taught me the meaning of true Joy.
And what is true Joy?
True Joy is knowing and experiencing Your heart.
In the past, I know I would have had a list, Father. But now, I want only one thing--and that is to bring You glory.

Once more, the child stretched out her hand. The father knowing the great love His child had for Him, took her hand and they continued on their journey.

Monday, August 23, 2010

His Way is Wisdom

“My son, if you accept my words and store up my commands within you, turning your ear to wisdom and applying your heart to understanding, and if you call out for insight and cry aloud for understanding, and if you look for it as for silver and search for it as for hidden treasure, then you will understand the fear of the Lord and find the knowledge of God. For the Lord gives wisdom, and from His mouth come knowledge and understanding.” – Proverbs 2:1-6

Recently, I’ve been facing lots of decision. One in particular that has been constantly on my mind is: what college will I transfer to next year? I’ve been fasting and praying about all these questions that I've been asking God about and it comes down to: “How will I know? How will it be crystal clear to me that this is Your will?” He keeps answering, “Get wisdom.” So, I then posed the question, “How do we ‘get wisdom’”? and “What is wisdom anyway”?

What is wisdom anyway?
Wisdom has been defined as “understanding the fear of the Lord and finding the knowledge of God, knowing God and doing as He commands, and living a disciplined and prudent life in the fear of the Lord.” (Kevin DeYoung, Just Do Something)
The Proverbs 2 verse above tells us not only to pursue wisdom but also how to pursue it – “look for it as for silver and search for it as for hidden treasure.” We are to search for it with earnest longing because it should be as precious to us as silver and gold.
Why is wisdom so precious? Well, think about the alternative! The opposite of wisdom is folly; therefore, in getting wisdom, we are avoiding foolishness.

How do we “get wisdom”?
There seems to be a three step process laid out for us in these verses.
1. Accept my words
2. Turn your ear towards wisdom
3. Call out for insight

1. Accepting God’s Words – how do we do that? Well, we first have to know what ‘His Words’ are! Spending time in His Word will help us with this step. Read, read, read. One of the key ways that God speaks to us is through His Word. But when you read, remember, you are searching for treasure, “as for silver and gold” the Proverb says! Keep your eyes and heart open!

2. Turn your ear towards wisdom. One particular way that God speaks to us is through the wise counsel of other believers. One way that God can give me insight, personally, is through the wise counsel of my parents. Proverbs 19:20 tells us: “Listen to advice and accept instruction, that you may gain wisdom in the future.” I cannot tell you how often God has spoken to me, cautioned me, prepared me, and blessed me through the counsel of my parents. They’re usually right, too.

3. Call out for insight – this is prayer. We fast and pray. This is how we speak to God. Even Jesus lived a life of constant prayer to God. Ask what you will (Matt 7:7). He wants us to come to Him. He waits anxiously to hear our voices crying out to Him in prayer.

So seek wisdom. Walk in it. Study the Bible, listen to the wise counsel of other believers, and continually live in prayer. This should be our way of life.

“The way of wisdom is a way of life. And that makes you freer than you realize.” – Kevin DeYoung