How think ye? if a man have an hundred sheep, and one of them be gone astray, doth he not leave the ninety and nine, and goeth into the mountains, and seeketh that which is gone astray? And if so be that he find it, verily I say unto you, he rejoiceth more of that sheep, than of the ninety and nine which went not astray. Matthew 18:12, 13.
I have read your letter with much interest ….
The Lord wills not that any soul should perish. His mercies are without number, and He will not leave His purchased possession that He has given His own life to ransom to become the sport of Satan’s temptations. All Heaven is given to all those who believe in Jesus Christ as their present personal Saviour, and no soul can dishonor God more than claiming to believe the truth and yet wearing the garments of mourning as though [he were an] orphan….
The Lord does not leave His wounded and bruised sheep to the power of Satan to be torn in pieces. He is ever strengthening His own when they are weak. He delivers the tried and tempted ones from the enemy’s power. The Lord Jesus never forsakes any soul that puts his trust in Him. And those who claim to be sons and daughters of God must trust in Jesus always. To do otherwise is to disown that He loves us, and, by going [about] depressed, covering ourselves with garments of heaviness and mourning, we make a very bad representation of Christ. We virtually say that our Lord is a hard, tyrannical Master. This is lying against the precious Saviour, who gave His own life that He might make it possible for all to believe in Him, and confide in His interest and love for sinful man….
You do great injustice to my Saviour when you walk as though in the shadow of darkness. You are never to walk in the fire and sparks of your own kindling, subject to feelings and emotions.
Jesus said, “He that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.” Now if you are following another leader than Christ, who is Light and Truth and Life, leave that leader and follow Jesus the Light of the world. Is the Lord pleased to have you tossed about as the restless waves of the sea? No! No! I tell you He bids you be strengthened, stablished, rooted and grounded and built up in the most holy faith. Ye are not your own; ye are bought with a price which cannot be estimated. Then your owner is God, the mighty God, and for the price paid look to the cross of Calvary. This fluctuating between hope and fear grieves the heart of Christ, who hath given you unmistakable evidence of His love and hath chosen you.—Letter 41, May 16, 1893, to D. A. Corkham, a member of the Nova Scotia Conference committee.
The Upward Look p. 150
—-Please pray for Carly who has a mass in her brain. M
—-pray for Judith and her entire family. BP
My grandfather, Edwin Harmon, was the most important and well-loved person in my life. As soon as he came home from work until it was time for bed, I followed him everywhere. I watched as he made coin purses out of fine Moroccan leather, watched him clean fish, listened to the stories of his life, watched as he made shadow pictures on the wall, sang to him when he was tired, ate a bedtime snack with him of ketchup and bread, crackers and milk, or strong cheese and crackers. Whatever my grandfather did, it was alright with me.
One evening, my grandfather, who was a talented artist, thought of a new game to entertain me. It was actually a game that he had played when he was a boy, but it was new to me. Giving me a sheet of paper and taking one himself, he explained that we would each draw the head and neck of something or someone and then fold the paper just so a little of the neck was showing. It was important that the other person not see what we drew until the game was over. Then we traded papers and drew the body and arms. Again we traded papers and drew the legs. Only then could we unfold the papers and see the entire picture. One time my grandfather drew the head of a chicken while I drew a girl. When we finished our drawings, we had a chicken with a girl’s body and chicken legs and a girl with a chicken’s body and girl’s legs. Another time my grandfather drew a lamp and another time a fish. Most of the time they were very funny like that. For some reason, I always drew a person, but I never knew what he was going to draw.
Just as I couldn’t see the drawing that my grandfather was doing on that sheet of paper until all was finished, so we are not always able to understand what picture the Great Master Artist is making of our life. Indeed, we cannot see His completed “drawing” until He is finished. Through disappointments, heartaches, and trials, we learn to rely upon His leading, His strength. Through the changes we experience, we learn to appreciate His unchangeableness. Through these circumstances of life, He molds our character into something beautiful. “For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.” Phil 2:13
Yet, how often we fight against this process and make it difficult for Him to work, even so, He patiently picks up the pieces and begins again. Jeremiah was given a vision of this molding process. “The word which came to Jeremiah from the LORD, saying, Arise, and go down to the potter’s house, and there I will cause thee to hear my words. Then I went down to the potter’s house, and, behold, he wrought a work on the wheels. And the vessel that he made of clay was marred in the hand of the potter: so he made it again another vessel, as seemed good to the potter to make it. Then the word of the LORD came to me, saying, . . cannot I do with you as this potter? saith the LORD. Behold, as the clay is in the potter’s hand, so are ye in mine hand.” Jer 18:1-6 Isaiah adds, “O LORD, thou art our father; we are the clay, and thou our potter; and we all are the work of thy hand.” Isa 64:8
Oftentimes, our Heavenly Father chastens us in order to bring about the needful results. Solomon admonishes, “My son, despise not the chastening of the LORD; neither be weary of his correction: For whom the LORD loveth he correcteth; even as a father the son in whom he delighteth.” Prov 3:11,12 Paul explains this more fully, “My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of him: For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth. If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not? But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons. Furthermore we have had fathers of our flesh which corrected us, and we gave them reverence: shall we not much rather be in subjection unto the Father of spirits, and live? For they verily for a few days chastened us after their own pleasure; but he for our profit, that we might be partakers of his holiness. Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby. Wherefore lift up the hands which hang down, and the feeble knees; And make straight paths for your feet, lest that which is lame be turned out of the way; but let it rather be healed. Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord: Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled.” Heb 12:5-15
May we allow the Holy Spirit to work in our life cooperating fully with Him, waiting patiently for the “drawing” to be complete. May we, by “beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, [be] changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.” Ps 119:18; 2 Cor 3:18 May we moment by moment submit ourselves to God’s shaping of our life is my prayer.