What a week! God is so very presentâ€¦He is speaking so clearly through the scriptures mainly, but He is also using the works of some of the great old saints, and the encouraging words of friends.
Look at just a few of the words that God pointed out to us this week:
Psalm 37:5 (KJV)
Commit thy way unto the Lord; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass.
Psalm 81:10 (KJV)
I am the Lord thy God, which brought thee out of the land of Egypt: open thy mouth wide, and I will fill it.
I was reading from John Bunyanâ€™s Pilgrimâ€™s Progress this week and discovered this comment that God used to encourage Sheilah and me with our vision for a retreat center for discouraged servants:
(The Lions were chained, but he saw not the chains.) Then he was afraid, and thought also himself to go back after them, for he thought nothing but death was before him: But the Porter at the lodge, whose name is Watchful, perceiving that Christian made a halt as if he would go back, cried unto him, saying, Is thy strength so small? Fear not the Lions, for they are chained, and are placed there for trial of faith where it is, and for discovery of those that have none. Keep in the midst of the Path, and no hurt shall come unto thee.
Difficulty is behind, Fear is before,
Though he’s got on the Hill, the Lions roar;
A Christian man is never long at ease,
When one fright’s gone, another doth him seize.
Then I saw that he went on, trembling for fear of the Lions, but taking good heed to the directions of the Porter; he heard them roar, but they did him no harm. Then he clapt his hands, and went on till he came and stood before the Gate where the Porter was. Then said Christian to the Porter, Sir, what house is this? and may I lodge here to-night? The Porter answered, This house was built by the Lord of the Hill, and he built it for the relief and security of Pilgrims.
Even in the dark times, God has been speaking. Last Monday, I preached the funeral message of a dear friend, Gail Dorman. She fought cancer for over two years. God gave her the ultimate healing by taking her home to Himself.
As we were thinking of life and death this past week, our son, Jeremiah, pointed out something he had just finished reading in the last book of the Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis. In the story, the children die and travel to the new Narnia with the Unicorn. When they come to the edge of the new Narnia, the Unicorn sums up what everyone is feeling and what believers will one day understand when we see what God has prepared for us:
â€œI have come home at last! This is my real country! I belong here. This is the land I have been looking for all my life, though I never knew it till now. The reason we loved the old Narnia is that it sometimes looked a little like this.â€
In that last book of the Chronicles, Aslan the Lion told the children that they had died in a train wreck. He said:
â€œâ€¦you are all dead. The term is over; the holidays have begun. The dream is ended; this is the morning.â€ (Wow, what a way to look at death!)
And then C.S. Lewis writes from the perspective of the children who had died, as they go into the new Narnia:
â€¦the things that began to happen after that were so great and beautiful that I cannot write them. And for us this is the end of all the stories, and we can most truly say that they all lived happily ever after. But for them it was only the beginning of the real story. All their life in this world and all their adventures in Narnia had only been the cover and the title page: now at last they were beginning Chapter One of the Great Story which no one on earth has read; which goes on for ever; in which every chapter is better than the one before.
To Gail and those that have gone on before us, I simply say, â€œEnjoy the new adventure!â€
Live today so that the world knows that you can trust God!