I am running as fast as I can on the road that goes nowhere.
The Cheshire Cat lied as he smiled at me and said
If I ran long enough I’d get somewhere.
In this land where things are not what they seem to be,
I have forgotten who I am and where I am going.
If I don’t know who I am, then where do I go with all my running.
Who am I? A product of chance and the sod?
A dispensable taxi for disdainful DNA?
Does my life have meaning and purpose?
Or do I live to just pass DNA on?
Dust to dust, sending forth seed and then I am done?
If that’s all I am, then why do I run?
Why do I dream the impossible dream
Or try to reach the unreachable star?
That I am the child of the Most High God,
Named and treasured, loved and cherished,
Nothing random about me at all?
Is it that the impossible dream, the unreachable star
Is found in the place of rest within My Creator’s heart?
Dawn gilds the skies.
On those who sit in the valley of death
The Sun of Righteousness shines.
Healing pours down
The outcast are gathered in
The broken-hearted comforted
The faint receive new strength
Hope breaks forth in seeking hearts
Awake O my soul and sing
Shake off the dust of guilt and shame
Throw off the ball and chain
The Daystar dawns grace
Mercy and truth are met together;
Righteousness and peace have kissed each other.
My cup runs over with
Unstoppable songs of joy
As my spirit finds its Rest.
Behind locked doors
Fears shake and rattle hearts.
What does the future hold
Persecution? Death? Trials?
Peace be unto you!
I, the Lord
Who holds the keys
Of death and hell,
Stand among you and say –
Peace be unto you!
Within locked hearts
Questions seethe and rage
Who am I? Where do I fit in?
What is my calling now?
Peace be unto you!
I called you by name
Before the world was made
To be my witness faithful and true;
As my Father sent me
So send I you.
Within locked minds
The pendulum swings
To trust or not to trust
Where can my mind find rest?
Peace be unto you!
Touch My wounded side and hands
Be at rest in the Truth
Abide in My love
Come alive in My Spirit
Peace be unto you!
Our God is merciful and tender.
He will cause the bright dawn of salvation to rise on us
to shine from heaven on all those who live in the dark shadow of death,
to guide our steps into the path of peace.
I give you peace,
the kind of peace that only I can give.
It isn’t like the peace that this world can give.
So don’t be worried or afraid.
May the Lord himself,
who is our source of peace,
give you peace at all times and in every way.
The Lord be with you all.
2 Thess 3:16
Why do I feel like I want to walk in a garden
Draw in the elusive fragrance of dew soaked earth
Haunting perfumes of fresh open buds
Wisping and weaving intangible rainbows
Blown in on teasing zephyrs
Caressing and lifiting the locks for a careless moment
Light as a butterfly
Then drifting on to invigorate another weary heart.
Today my heart rebels against being in a concrete jungle. True, as I look out of my windows I see more greenery and flowers than most urbanites are privileged to see. True, in my life I have been privileged than many people to visit beautiful gardens. I am trying hard to be satisfied. I am trying hard to be grateful. I am trying hard to be contented.
Whispers of past gardens
Steal out of dusty memory boxes
Stored sunshine and smiles
Teasingly tweak the toes of discontent
And ruffle longings awake.
Eden – perfect, complete, perfect shalom
Flaming swords blocking the path
Nebuchadnezzar’s famed hanging gardens
Pride, pleasure-seeking, luxury
Cloaking bitter oppression and tyranny.
Gethsemane – sleeping friends,
Gnarled olive trees bear mute witness
Drops of blood, a gut-wrenching act of worship
Father, Your will…
The garden of tombs, a stone rolled away
An empty tomb, a weeping woman
A Saviour who pauses and turns
To comfort, for in the heart of a worshipper
He found a garden
To delight and refresh His heart.
One thing I love about Munich is its hidden gardens. When one walks down the streets, it often seems one is walking past continuous blocks of buildings, without even a gap to separate them. Quite dull, regular and boring. Till the summer showers arrive. Then suddenly the air is full of elusive perfumes of flowers and herbs. In the beginning I was really puzzled how that could be since there was not a single flower in sight. Then I discovered that those sternly beautiful facades hid courtyards which housed lawns and gardens. Private. Hidden. For the secret pleasure and delight of the residents. Others are shut out. Till the rain and breezes reveal the hidden gardens beguiling and delighting the passerby.
Sanctified. Set apart. Consecrated. For the Master alone. Yet perfume spills forth to bless others.
My bride, my very own, you are a garden, a fountain closed off to all others.
Let the north wind blow, the south wind too!
Let them spread the aroma of my garden, so the one I love may enter and taste its delicious fruits.
Song of Solomon 4:12, 16
Broken alabaster jar
Perfume wisps and wraps
Blessing One who is to be
Broken and poured forth.
Abandoned water pitcher
Feet run to proclaim
Living Waters that drench
The parched and weary soul
Lifegiving Fount who would soon cry
The Promise Keeper
The Mystery of God revealed
Stands before me
Why indeed should I seek
The Living among the dead?
The Saviour calls my name
Rabboni, Master, King
My heart makes reply
My spirit hears the homeward wooing
And whispers back
‘Lord, I am Yours’
not my will
Yours be done’
A voiceless longing rises
Deep calling to deep
In emptiness and brokenness
My heart stretches out to you
My Creator, Healer, Restorer
Face down I call Your Name
Sweet Balm of Gilead
Humble at heart
You stoop to lift me up
Your gentleness makes me ‘great’
Sun of Righteousness
You wrap me in Your healing warmth
Your very Name is as ointment
Fragrant and soothing
Cascades of love
My parched heart rejoices
Spill forth joy
Bursting with rainbows of grace
My dancing soul in sweet rest
Bows down and cries
‘Father Your will
Not mine be done’
What is worship? Declaring the worth of God? Bowing our knees to honour Him? Rejoicing with singing, dancing and clapping?
What is worship? Mystic union – the moment when gazing into His face, touched afresh by the knowledge of His grace, all flesh is stilled, the soul acknowledges His goodness and His worth by saying – ‘Father, I am yours to command, send me’?
While each of us may have our own understanding of what worship is, one thing we cannot dispute that God our Creator and Saviour is worthy of worship.
People disappoint. Sad truth. No matter how close they are, and how much they love you, they disappoint. No one can truly be sufficient to meet the needs of our hearts, and so there is always a feeling of having been let down at some point or the other in time.
Some years ago, I was struggling with anger and loneliness. It was the strange kind of loneliness, loneliness in a crowd, loneliness in the midst of intense people contact and conversation. It is the loneliness that comes when the interactions seem to be superficial and one-sided, where the person talking to you is not really interested in you except as a forum to talk about themself.
At that time I came across this verse, “You are expecting _____ to help you, but that would be like using a reed as a walking stick—it would break and would jab your hand. That is what the ______ is like when anyone relies on him.” Is 36:6
True isn’t it?
We look to people for comfort, help, strength, support and they invariably break under our weight at some point or the other, because no one is equipped to be there unstintingly for another.
As I prayed about this verse, a picture formed in my mind of me standing under a clean, pure waterfall. A limitless supply of water. Refreshing, cool and clean. Yet, I had a small cup in my hand and was trying to fill my cup from a rusty tap that stood on the banks of this joyous, unceasing waterfall. A few drops fell occasionally from this tap, and I was trying to fill my cup from this tap, and I was getting frustrated because I couldn’t get enough to quench my thirst.
Looking at that picture, I felt rather silly.
Why would I turn to a rusty tap
When I stood under the waterfall of His love and grace?
Why do I seek crumbs from the table
When He anoints my head with oil at His banqueting spread?
Why do I lean on a reed that’s easily broken
When the Rock of Ages holds me by His mighty hand?
I think probably it is the lie that a human being is more tangible, and therefore what we receive from a human is more real.
What a terrible lie.
John, in exile on the island of Patmos encountered the Lord who would stoop to lift him up and reassure him. In his loneliness, he discovered the fullness of the reality of the Risen Lord Jesus Christ in a way that he probably could not have experienced in a prayer meeting.
Paul, left alone in the midst of his trial found that the Lord stood with him and encouraged him. It was in his loneliness that he discovered the fullness of the sufficiency of the Grace of God.
Is satan attacking you with this lie that there is no brother, sister of Christ to come alongside you, listen to your story, speak an encouraging word to you? Rebuke that lie.
God has not forgotten you, and will never abandon you. He is at work in the midst of your circumstances to work all things together for good. He is ALWAYS with you. His Spirit can speak to your heart as no human can.
His love, His grace comes down like a mighty lavish waterfall – richly, joyously – satisfying, refreshing, healing, strengthening, restoring, comforting…
Jesus still invites you to come to the waters and drink freely…
whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again.
The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.