"So surely as the stars are fashioned by His hands, and their orbits fixed by Him, so surely are our trials allotted to us: He has ordained their season and their place, their intensity and the effect they shall have upon us."
Charles Haddon Spurgeon
"'That fearful sound of "fire" and "fire,"/Let no man know is my Desire.'" Her richly spoken words are numbing reality. How well I remember first hearing those poetic phrases penned by Anne Bradstreet, initially learning them in a college classroom. I sat amazed as a non-traditional student who was in ignorance at the depth, honesty, intensity, and persuasion of a Puritan poet, whose out of abundance language brought life to page and truth to the journey of Christian living.
God is immutable. He doesn't change. His promises, his passions, his pleas for us are the same yesterday, today, and forever. Thus, Anne's words remain. Their urgency and appeal still move us. They are timeless. They speak truth. They know love. They give hope.
I have read those last lines so many times, yet I never imagined they would have their own particular part in my life.
Just as the explosive BOOM travelled beyond our home to surrounding neighbors, bringing sudden jolt and concern to all of us, I have been symbolically exploded from normal, day-to-day living into a sudden, compulsory journey of soul-moving praise and soul-searching surrender!
We have had some losses. I count them now as nothing. They are replacable. Just things made out of elements of this unholy earth that God will one day fold like a garment.
What is a carport, a porch, stuff in an attic, insulation, smoke-damaged sofas and chairs and curtains and linens, and water-damaged wood? What are sooty-smelling clothes, quilts, books, lampshades, and carpet? Really, what are they?
From the perspective of limited loss (things could be much, much, worse), it feels pretty good to be inadequate, and though I'm living in the neighborhood of faith versus reason, my spirit is striving to soar with the uncomplicated truth that not understanding my entire life is absolutely OK. What freedom there is in that one Biblical truth!
Please hear my heart. God loves you. And, he is at work to prove what is good and holy and acceptable in your relationship with him. Jesus reigns!!! Not just in heaven. No, Christ reigns in your heart and life! Within you is his kingdom!
And he hears your heart today. He Who formed your heart knows the depths of it. He Who formed your life knows the purpose of it. The Lord, our omniscient Creator, knows your way. And if that way is too narrow, or steep, or rocky, or unstable, or dark, or whatever, our God will deliver you and set your free! Beloved, may God bless you and reveal to you now and forever his everlasting love for you.
Below are images of God's divine intervention from last Sunday.