Tell me that it’s easy, To rise up each morning at the break of dawn To set your knees in that spot in the mat With the perfect grooves made from wear; A testament to the consistency with which they carry The weight of your desperation and dreams.
Tell me how you’ve gotten used to the familiar aches – The pain of the strain of holding a position That under different circumstances would be called corporal punishment; Hands clasped underneath chin, Elbows scraping the edge of the bed… But none of these compare to the aches That rampage in places the eye cannot see; None of these compare to the screams that no ear hears – None, except One.
There’s a song furnished in my heart this dawn; It is a song of pain and tragedy; It is a song of unfailing and faithful love; It is a song both marred and perfected In my lack of complete understanding and full appreciation. It is an old song, but seems new every morning; It carries the weight of hope and is full of promises and possibilities. It promises such great things and calls for me to be bold and courageous; It calls for me to step out in faith and complete trust.
Father, You have searched me, and You know me – even better than I know myself. You know my sitting down and my rising up. You perceive my thoughts long before they are formed within me. You search out my path, even to where I lay my head to rest; there is no part of my life’s journey that is obscured from You. No word has reached my tongue that You didn’t already know about. You hem me in behind and before; and You have laid Your hand on me. You give me knowledge of things beyond me, lofty things that I cannot attain.
Is there a place that Your Spirit cannot reach? Is it possible for me to escape Your presence? If I were to ascend to heaven, that is Your throne and You would be there; but even if I were to make my bed in the depths of Sheol, I would not be beyond Your piercing gaze. If I take the wings of the dawn, and settle in the uttermost parts of the sea, even there Your hand will lead me, and Your right hand will hold me.
About 365 days since I last sat to write a “New Year’s Message,” And I can’t help but loosely echo the words of the Psalmist… In the 65th psalm, he says, “Praise waits for You, God, in Zion. Vows shall be performed to You. You who hear prayer, unto You shall all men come. Our sins did not overwhelm us, because You atoned for our transgressions. How blessed we are that You have chosen us and caused us to come near to You. How privileged we are to be able to live in Your courts. You have positioned us in Your secret place, And filled us with the goodness of Your treasuries. By awesome deeds of righteousness, You answered us and brought us salvation. You have shown Yourself to be the hope of all the earth, of those far and near. By Your power and strength You have brought great things into being, Stilled the roaring of the seas, its waves, and the turmoil of nations. Even those in the farthest reaches of the earth Have come to know and fear Your wonders. You have set songs of joy into our dawns and dusks. You have blessed the works of our hands and brought us increase; Indeed, You crown our year with Your bounty, And cause our storehouses to overflow with abundance. Everything in sight declares Your praise with joy.”
Find me on my knees, Kneeling on my doubts and distresses; Hands clasped, holding tight my faith; Eyes closed firmly, that I may not be moved by sight; My words are incoherent, rightly depicting the state of my mind; My mouth seems too slow, not fast enough to articulate the flow – The gushing of thoughts and emotions from my mind backed up behind my throat, My tongue feels tired, but there’s a will That seeks to push until something happens… Giving no rest to self or God;- The mystery that keeps mighty men on their feet in battle, And keeps the sword of the warrior stuck to his hands Even when his arms are wearied beyond remedy; And keeps him facing a thousand as they descend on him Breathing destruction and slaughter…. A small portion of the mystery, that brought a Man To the carrying of the burdens of the whole world.
The Scriptures are littered with God’s promises to His people, and they are also littered with the consequences of disobedience and sin. But it would seem upon observation that the consequences of disobedience are more pronounced and are executed more speedily than the promises and blessings are manifested. That would suggest that ‘The Accuser’ and his team take their tasks more seriously than most Christians do.
It is true that God rules, He sets the rules and He reigns; but most of the time, we seem to forget that the devil is not a very obedient entity, and obviously not a ‘law-abiding citizen’; if he was, he would not have rebelled in the first place, and there wouldn’t be such disorder in creation. He may be a defeated foe, but he is not powerless, and he has not suddenly become obedient. The fact that God has said, “Touch not my anointed, and do my prophets no harm,” does not mean the devil will obediently leave you alone if you don’t know enough to stand upon that knowledge, and God knows this too; and that is why He has given us the provision of His Word, and the ability and tool of prayer, to contend against the devil and his team of experts.
I’m unqualified to write about fatherhood,
I have enough trouble just being a son;
Yet the thought is one that weighs heavily on the mind…
I realise I’m caught in a cycle where sons become fathers:
How would it feel to have a son today,
Who treats me like I treated my father yesterday,
And treats his son tomorrow like I treat him today – blessing or curse? Continue reading →
Take me to the Place where the saints gather,
To the convention of the just made perfect;
Where the clouds of glory settle and tongues of fire dance;
To the atmosphere so pure that I come undone to be refined.
It is where David dances and Solomon sits to be taught;
A place whose gates Sampson’s strength does not qualify him to guard. Continue reading →
When the past, long thought dead, suddenly becomes the present…
Of course, it’s usually the unwanted past that creeps up – go figure…
So sly, playing possum, waiting for that atmosphere – the crack in the psyche.
For it knows, that with the pressures of life come cracks and fractures;
And oftentimes the more rigid the structures, the deeper the damage,
The louder the snaps, and the more forceful the bursts. Continue reading →