Tuesday, May 19, 2009

“Are We There Yet?” (Part 2)

“He looked for a City which had foundations, whose builder and maker is God.” (Hebrews 11:10).

Clearly you have come too far to turn back now. But not knowing how much farther you have to go leaves you in a quandary. Take heart, pilgrim; it is not much further. The best thing you can do right now is to take stock of what you have.

Look now among your stuff, search carefully and you will find it; find the handwritten invitation from the King Himself, beckoning you to leave your own land and come to dwell with Him. It contains a promise that cannot be broken, a promise of peace in the valley and rest for the weary. A promise of forgiveness, freedom, and fulfillment – made by the great Promise Keeper.

Also, look about you along the way for there are the etchings and markings of earlier travelers – the tracings of those who have already passed this way before you, leaving you notes and signs of encouragement to speed you on your way. It is as if they knew you were coming after them, and that you would need to see, read, and know this or that.

There is Abraham, the first pioneer into this great Friendship, saying, “I was seventy five when I set out on this journey, not knowing where I was going. And though the way was fraught with difficulties all along, God was faithful to His promise. He has blessed me indeed. Therefore, weary wanderer, go on still toward that City whose builder and maker is God. For it is surely there, and you will be most welcomed therein.”

There is Moses who says, “I endured, seeing Him who is invisible. Come along now, for there is a place near Him where you can stand on a rock. He will hide you in the cleft of the rock, and make all his goodness pass before you. Up and at ‘em, friend; hasten to that place – for it will be worth it all when you see Jesus.”

There is David singing softly, “The Lord is my shepherd, and He is yours also. He leads us in the way that is right and brings us into His house, refreshing us at His banquet table. Come, friend; onward. There is a place set here for you, and the family is not complete while you are yet in the woods.”

There is Paul, beset on every side by dangers, toils and snares – the likes of which few of us will ever know – and he says, “None of these things move me; so, don’t let them trouble you at all. There is a crown laid up that bears your name, fashioned by the Lord Himself. And He is even now waiting your arrival to place it on your head. Come along then and enter into your inheritance.”

And there is John, Poet of the Apocalypse, now resting by the river of life, reminding us that “He will wipe away every tear. For there is no more curse, no more night, no more sin or sorrow.”

And there is the Spirit and the Bide who say,

And always there is the Lord, who walks with you in the glen and converses with you along the way. “Rise, let us be going,” Christ beckons.

And so, taking fresh breath, you stand upright and strike out yet again, ever onward in hope of finding a better country. And because your heart is so inclined, God is not ashamed to be called your God.

Perhaps this short poem says it best for all of us,

Light after darkness, gain after loss;
Strength after weakness, crown after cross;
Sweet after bitter, hope after fears;
Home after wandering, praise after tears;
Sheaves after sowing, sun after rain;
Sight after mystery, peace after pain;
Joy after sorrow, calm after blast;
Rest after weariness, sweet rest at last;
Near after distant, gleam after gloom;
Love after loneliness, life after tomb;
After long agony, rapture of bliss;
Right was the pathway, leading to this.
~ Anon

“Are we there yet?” No, not quite; but we are closer than you can imagine!

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