He was, as are all us, acquainted with grief. He was given strength from the Lord and before he died he wrote:
“Circumstances may appear to wreck our lives and God’s plans, but God is not helpless among the ruins.”
I personally have lived for a few decades in the heap of ruins, sort of like Job’s ash heap. Bible verses and thoughts from men like Eric Liddell have been like a cold drink of water in a waste desert. That’s one reason when I write I use such quotes because they encourage me and hopefully will do the same for you.
The fact that in times of emergency or long time troubles that appear as though they will never go away, we can and should take heart that while sit in the ruins, God is walking near us in the same ruins. And He cares. You must always keep in mind that even if you die among the ruins, there is a place of abundance and peace prepared and when you catch a glimpse of Him passing by, often shooting a compassionate glance your way, you know way down deep that you shall join in the song of the redeemed and sing with all your heart, “Now on a higher plane I dwell, and with my soul all tis well.”
Many of my close friends are near devoid of feeling, being satisfied with doctrinal truth. I too, lean on the truth of scripture for comfort, but I am compelled to say that when doctrinal truth sinks down 18 inches from the head to the heart a mighty explosion of feeling floods my soul and I am certain I am cleansed from inner despair by the washing of the water of the Word.
Dave Brown, Volunteer Coordinator of Answers in Genesis, listened to a series called Mancode by Dennis Swanberg. In one of the lessons Dennis told of a friend who was going through trouble. After a while Dennis felt guilty for having failed to visit the friend. At the meeting Dennis talked with him and assured him that he had in fact prayed for him. The man accepted the prayer, but said, “Dennis I appreciate your prayers, but you never stood on my porch.” Within the next few days Dave was on his way to stand on a friend’s porch that lives 12 hours away. Standing on a hurting person’s porch is a Southern colloquialism for “walking in the ruins with them.”
We nice Christians often forget that the Incarnation, which we celebrate with such enthusiasm during the Christmas Season is really about Christ, God The Son, leaving the Ivory Palaces and walking the dusty roads with Adams ruined seed, the human race that He can identify with our pain, our loneliness and the myriad of fears we face nearly every day of journeying along the sometimes tormenting road of life.
There is a song titled The Dark Hills. I have never heard the song, but some of lyrics state:
“Searching for the truth through stained glass windows covered up in shame things that only I know.
Strike a match and light another candle, raise my hands and sing a pretty song.
If anybody knew this ugliness inside me would they throw a stone would they crucify me?
How Heavy was the crown of thorns? I wonder if I'm too far gone?
They say Jesus walked the dark hills He broke bread with beggars and thieves
If I cry out in this darkness, if I fall down on my knees
If He walks the dark hills, will He come for me? Will He come save me?”
The experienced answer to a few questions in the lyrics is yes, they would throw stones at you, and they would crucify you.
On the other hand, Jesus knows about you and the pile of ruin on which you sit, and yes, He does walk the dark hills, looking for men and women who are clothed only in shame for reasons only they and Jesus know. Yes, He is walking the dark hills, searching among the ruination of people originally created in the image of God. While you are sitting there, if you listen intently for His voice, He will speak to you and pause in His walk along the dark hills and whisper to your heart, “It’s OK, I see and know what you’re going through and I just thought I would stand on your porch for a spell.”
Paul said kind words in the Spirit of Jesus to a man who had sinned grievously in 2 Corinthians 2:7, “So that contrariwise ye ought rather to forgive him, and comfort him, lest perhaps such a one should be swallowed up with overmuch sorrow.” Jesus even walks the dark hills through spirit filled people finding men and women among the ruins, for God is not helpless among the ruins. PTL!
Copyright © 2014 Larry Lilly
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