"But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the thing which God hath prepared for them that love him" (1 Corinthians 2:9)
THRESHOLD OF HEAVEN
Do not ask me not to speak
About this journey I shall take,
"Tis but a step and then my eyes
Shall open to the great surprise
He has prepared. Do you recall?
At Christmastime when we were small,
Our rapture and our eagerness,
And how we always tried to guess
What gifts our mother's hands had made?
Dear memories that will not fade!
Don't you remember, half our fun
Was in anticipation!
And then at last the open door,
A breathless pause, a rush, and there
Beneath the tree our gifts were laid,
The gifts our mother's hands had made!
So at His threshold now I pause,
And ask you not to grieve because
I go into his other room.
Surely He would have me come
With eager wonder in my eyes
To see at last what rich surprise
The loving hands of our dear Lord
Made for His own. Ear has not heard,
Eye has not seen, nor can the mind
Obscurely guess what we shall find
Beyond that opened door. And so,
I pray that you will let me go,
Will loose love's last restraining bands,
A hush... a light... and lo, His hands
Have unveiled glory in a breath!
O gifts undreamed of --- brought by death!
"As the bridegroom rejoiceth over the bride, so shall thy God rejoice over thee." (Isaiah 62.5)
THE FACE OF CHRIST
My beauty-loving eyes grow tired
Of walls, and through long days and nights
I often dream how it would seem
Could I behold earth's fairest sights.
My pale hands never held a star,
I never climbed a mountain height,
Nor sailed in tropic seas, nor saw
Auora Borealis light
The northern sky, I never glimpsed
The beauty of the Tej Mahal,
Nor watched a fading sunset paint
The Alps with afterglow. Yet all
The loveliness of earth, if given me,
Would not suffice. Some day these eyes will see
The face of Christ as He beholds His Bride,
And seeing, be forever satisfied!
One by one He took them from me,
All the things I valued most,
Until I was empty-handed;
Every glittering toy was lost.
And I walked earth's highways, grieving.
In my rags and poverty.
Till I heard His voice inviting,
"Lift your empty hands to Me!"
So I held my hands toward heaven,
And He filled them with a store
Of His own transcendent riches,
Till they could contain no more.
And at last I comprehended
with my stupid mind and dull,
That God COULD not pour His riches
Into hands already full!
When I stand at the judgment seat of Christ
And He shows me His plan for me,
The Plan of my life as it might have been
Had He had His way, and I see
How I blocked Him here, and I checked Him there,
And I would not yield my will --
Will there be grief in my Savior's eyes,
Grief, though He loves me still?
He would have me rich, and I stand there poor,
Stripped of all but His grace,
While memory runs like a hunted thing
Down the paths I cannot retrace.
Then my desolate heart will well-nigh break
With the tears that I cannot shed;
I shall cover my face with my empty hands,
I shall bow my uncrowned head..
Lord of the years that are left to me,
I give them to Thy hand;
Take me and break me, mould me to
The pattern Thou hast planned!
IF CHRIST SHOULD COME TONIGHT
Is my house set in order
if Christ should come today?
What tasks would be unfinished
if I were called away?
Suppose an angel told me
at early morning light,
"Your Lord will come this evening,
You shall go home tonight,"
Would ecstasy be clouded
by thought of work undone,
The seed I might have scattered,
The crown I might have won?
The soul I meant to speak to,
the purse I meant to share,
And oh the wasted moments
I meant to spend in prayer!
The weight of unsaved millions
would press upon my heart.
In their death am I certain
that I had not a part?
And such a few short moments
In which to set things right!
How feverishly I'd labor
Until the waning light!
O slothful soul and careless heart,
O eyes which have no sight, -
Work, lest you reap but vain regrets!
Your Lord "may" come home tonight!
THE VOICE OF ONE WHO WEPT
Today I heard the voice of one who wept
In far off lands
Because of sin and misery,
And begged with outstretched hands
For one small lamp to light his dark.
Now fain I would have slept,
So stopped my ears, but in my heart
That sobbing voice still wept.
And then I heard the voice of one who
Counted not the cost,
But left His ivory palaces to seek and
Save the lost.
He said, "The sound of one who weeps
Is coming up to Me.
Dost thou forget that last command
Which I gave unto Thee,
To preach my Word to all the world?"
O, bitter be our shame!
Still hopeless millions walk the earth
Who never heard His Name,
And still the world spends lavishly
In every crowded mart,
And still the voice of Him who wept
Is sobbing in my heart!
Because He is God He can touch the throne,
Because He is man He can understand;
Because He is God He can succour me,
Because He is Man He can hold my hand.
Because He took the form of flesh,
He knoweth my frame that I am weak;
Because He is God He can give to me,
Abundantly more than I ask or think.
Pain knocked upon my door and said
That she had come to stay;
And though I would not welcome her
But bade her go away,
She entered in. Like my own shade
She followed after me,
And from her stabbing, stinging sword
No moment was I free
And then one day another knocked
Most gently at my door.
I cried, "No, Pain is living here,
There is no room for more".
And then I heard His tender voice,
" 'Tis I, be not afraid".
And from the day He entered in --
The difference it made!
For though He did not bid her leave,
(My strange, unwelcome guest,)
He taught me how to live with her.
Oh, I had never guessed
That we could dwell so sweetly here,
My Lord and Pain and I,
Within this fragile house of clay
While years slip slowly by!
Pain comes, uninvited. We have no choice. But the healing Spirit of God can only enter if we are willing to let God in. God make us willing to open the door, for if we do not share our suffering with God, there is not good in it.
Dear Lord, as this new year is born
I give it to Thy hand,
Content to walk by faith what paths
I cannot understand.
Whatever coming days may bring
Of bitter loss, or gain,
Or every crown of happiness;
Should sorrow come, or pain,
Or, Lord, if all unknown to me
Thine angel hovers near
To bear me to that farther shore
Before another year,
It matters not my hand in Thine,
Thy light upon my face,
Thy boundless strength when I am week,
Thy love and saving grace!
I only ask, loose not my hand,
Grip fast my soul, and be
My guiding light upon the path
Till, blind no more, I see!
Sometimes I do not even pray in words,
I take my heart in my two hands
And hold it up before the Lord,
I'm so glad He understands.
Sometimes I do not even pray in words,
My spirit bows before His feet,
And with His hand upon my head
We just hold communion, silent, sweet.
Sometimes I do not pray in words,
For I am tired and long for rest,
And my heart finds all it needs
Just resting on the Savior's gentle breast.
Does your bitter load of grief, tears and pain,
Seem too great for you to bear?
Don't complain. You are only being made fit to reign;
Fit to reign, with Christ our Lord.
Surely we are all unfit, all untaught;
And if wise and lively lore, knowing naught,
All the gold of Uphoe could not have bought,
Private lessons from a King.
Precious pain to teach His child, used of God,
Taught by very God Himself, and we complain.
If any man could save himself,
Then why did Jesus die?
The Son of God nailed to a cross,
Against a darkened sky!
Two things alone could take Him there,
And love which chose this only way,
Of saving you and me!
I stood with God on the edge of the world,
and my hand was in His hand.
I looked down the road of the past,
as it stretched away in the dim distance,
till it was shrouded in the mists of time.
And I knew it had no beginning,
and a little chill wind of fear blew about my head.
God asked, "Are you afraid?"
And I said, "Yes, because I cannot understand how there
can be no beginning."
So God said, "Let us turn and face the other way."
And I looked into glory,
and my heart rejoiced with joy unspeakable.
And then my mind went ahead, a billion, billion years,
and I knew there would be no end,
and again that little chill wind of fear began to blow.
And God asked me again, "Are you afraid?"
And I answered, "A little, because I cannot
understand how there can be no end."
So God asked me tenderly,
"Are you afraid now, today, with your hand in Mine?"
And I looked up at Him and smiled and replied,
"O my Father, No!"
And God said,
"Every day in eternity will be today."
"For as the heaven is high above the earth, so great is his mercy toward them that fear him. As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us" (Psalms 103:11-12)
THE FORGETFULNESS OF GOD
How many, many things He will forget!
My every sin, both great and small, and yet
He will remember and He will reward
The smallest service done for our dear Lord!
Divine forgetfulness, unfathomed grace,
And love which knows no bounds of time nor space!