Sunday, 20 October 2013

Dear Pilgrim, have you need of a friend?

It is my greatest honour to share with you today this guest post by a very dear and precious friend of mine, Elizabeth DeBarros. May you read and be blessed, dear Pilgrim!

Dear Pilgrim, are you lonely?

Are you bruised? Have all your elders and betters left you? Are you longing for some comfort in your short time here on earth?

Have you need of a friend?

Then pray. Ask of God. If He can arrange the sun, moon, and stars and by the breath of His mouth hold them in place, then surely He can send a raven to feed the hungry. I know this to be true! He has brought me meat and bread when there was none. And how do you suppose?  By coming on the wing of a friend who was at the ready, bringing me a cool drink after the brook had dried up.

O Pilgrim, lift your head. Cry out. Ask of Him. A friend is one of heaven’s good and perfect gifts, and certainly your Father knows how to give such. He knows what you need. Will you trust Him?

Now, may I offer you some friendly counsel?

It is not unusual to long for a companion, someone with whom to walk alongside on this world-weary, dust-laden trail. Heaven knows the birds do not talk back, the winds murmur and return to the hollow, and the feet grow stiff without the earnest and stirring warmth of a faithful companion. But gems are rare, and they are even harder to find. After years of searching, the soul tends to take to itself, and grows forlorn in the desert. How dim the light can be! This is where malaise can set in, a hardening of the heart, a sort of soul-sickness producing a coldness that becomes all too tempting. Don’t allow this. It will be a cancer for which there is no cure. You must keep your heart ever tender, ever yearning, ever believing that God knows what you have need of, and He will take the best of care and in due time.

This moment begs a question: Could it be that, in this lonely time, God might want you all to Himself? Does not your Father have the right to draw you aside, bring you into His chamber, and teach you what it means to lean on the arm of no man save His own? This, too, is a faithful wound, one that yields strength and promise for those dark, wintry nights of the soul. Find in Him this friend, one who sticks closer than brother, and your journey will lighten, the road will open up, the mountains and the hills shall break forth into singing and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands.

O, but to have someone like yourself — yet different — to confide in is among the best of comforts. A friend to lean on in times of trouble, to reveal old scars and fresh wounds to, now this is most assuredly a heavenly gift! It is as though a sunbeam has been appointed to shine downward upon you, like the sending of good news from another country altogether! This, the tall glass of water you’ve been thirsting for, after all the many disappointments and mirages, is the genuine friend who fulfills the order tenfold.

Dear Pilgrim, when He sends a friend to bless, there is no trouble added. This heavenly bond is reserved for His saints, wherein abides a mutual affection found in Christ. Ask Him for this kind of friend and you will be drinking the dew of heaven.

By Elizabeth DeBarros ©

About the Author: ELIZABETH DEBARROS makes her home in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains in northern Virginia with her husband of 24 years, their two sons, and beloved cat, Adagio. She cares deeply for people, words, theology, Darjeeling, and likes taking long walks in any kind of weather. She can be found at Finding the Motherlode sharing her thoughts, observations, poems, and the occasional firebrand.

Saturday, 12 October 2013

Dear Pilgrim, have you clasped the feet of Jesus?

Anointing His Feet by Wayne Forte © (used with permission)

Dear Pilgrim, have you clasped the feet of Jesus in your worship of Him? Do you recall the response of the disciples when the risen, victorious Jesus came to them and said “Greetings!”

Note, they are not scrabbling in the dirt at His feet. They clasped His feet. They gripped, and clung onto, His feet. Pilgrim, have you clasped the feet of Jesus in your worship of Him?

We have a beautiful picture of this in the story of Ruth. Her mother-in-law Naomi, says to her “My daughter, should I not seek rest for you, that it may be well with you?” To find rest and provision, she points Ruth to her Kinsman-Redeemer, and tells her “go and uncover his feet and lie down, and he will tell you what to do.”  Uncover his feet, lie down at his feet. Dear Pilgrim, have you uncovered the feet of Jesus? Have you lain down at His uncovered feet and waited for Him to tell you what to do?

These feet….feet of which we first read in Genesis 3:15…where we find out that His heels will be bruised by Satan. We read in Psalm 22:16 that His feet will be pierced. We read in Revelation 1:15 that the feet of the risen, victorious, ascended Jesus are “like burnished bronze, refined in a furnace”. Does this not remind us of the brazen altar in the tabernacle, with its grate where the fierce fire of the Lord would burn up the sacrifice to enable the worshippers to be put right with God? But was it not bronze which was able to withstand the fiery judgement and wrath of the Lord when the rebels brought their own incense before the Lord (see Num 16:35-39)? Does this not all point to the cross and the way in which He suffered for our iniquities –it is because of our sin that these feet have suffered, it is because of our sin that these feet have been bruised and pierced, it is because of our sin that these feet have been through the fires of the furnace of God’s wrath.

Oh Pilgrim, clasp these precious feet! Clasp these feet and weep, you who would worship Him! Cover them with your tears! Then wipe His feet with your hair. Wipe the tears away. For He was not defeated by the sacrifice He made - look, He is robed in splendour, and strides forward in the greatness of His strength! “It is I, proclaiming victory, mighty to save!”. Replace your tears with kisses: “Kiss the Son!” And then pour out your perfume on His feet and fill the room with its beautiful fragrance – the perfume He has given – the prayers of the Holy Spirit, who intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express – these prayers which rise like incense before Him.

Now that you have uncovered His feet, dear Pilgrim, wait and He will tell you what to do. Listen: “Your sins are forgiven…Your faith has saved you; go in peace.” Allow Him to wash your feet – yes, Him, your Creator! – allow Him close enough to wash your feet that you might not only be forgiven, but cleansed. Allow His Spirit to come into you and raise you to your feet, and you will find that He makes your feet like the feet of a deer, enabling you to stand on the heights. Then allow Him to put sandals on your feet that you might be ready to go forth and proclaim the full gospel truth as He wills. And you will find that the God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet – as He must reign until He has put all His enemies under His feet, when they will become the footstool for these most precious of feet.