I am a very selfish person.
I smirk, when I should serve.
I gather when I should scatter.
I hold on to things when I should let go.
I beg when I should offer.
I consume when I should produce.
I pollute when I should come clean.
I get the best of things when I should help things get better.
Let me not clatter meaning like a gong, but speak with simple courage.
Let me not be proud of my knowledge but use it conscientiously.
Let me not give merely of my time, nor my things, nor offer my body without offering my heart.
I long to be kind to both kin and kings and commoners and cursors of men.
Lord, let me love you and let me love my neighbor,
But do, Lord, simply let me love.
Torn between right and wrong,
I find myself dancing a wayward song
I find myself weak, though once strong.
Torn down, abandoned and forsaken by myself
and all my friends, my foes, yet not God Himself.
I take His dusty book off of the shelf.
I find my way has wandered far
I wanted to be among the stars
I wanted to claim a noble heart.
Instead, I find I’ve forgotten joy.
I have forsaken truth for petty toys.
I have ignored His Word and heeded noise.
God, leave me not alone.
Hear my aches and pains and groans.
Shine upon my heart and strengthen weary bones.
Lord, lift me up upon Your cross
Let me rise with you and count this life as loss.
Let not my sleep disappear amid the storms that toss.
If that is you, I dare to ask,
Call me forward in a simple task.
Let me drink deep the Supper’s fruity flask.
Let love again hold up my soul.
Let truth again make me pure and whole.
Let your Spirit reach each part and make me full.
Tears wash away my vanity.
Tears waste away my veil of sanity.
Tars soil my claim to chastity.
A deep stain exposes the wretchedness of my eyes.
A deep pain reveals the confusion of my cries.
A deeply planted grain grows out of the depths of mind.
Faith that the Word of God remains true.
Hope that the resurrection of Jesus applies to me and you.
Love that changes my life and impatient, cruel view.
I scan the home and farm;
I scan my bank account and investments.
I see my wife and children dressed in finest fashions;
I see my workers smiling when they greet me at the door.
I smell the company dinners;
I smell the wine in private company.
I greet my neighbors in their also pleasant homes;
I greet my enemies from the security of my iron gate.
I think how God has blessed me;
I think how much more blessing I desire.
My heart yearns not faintly with longing;
My soul longs for more years to enjoy this world.
Till all is stripped away through heart attack;
Till my economy collapses beneath the wait of my greed.
My protection is breached!
My borders are unprotected!!
A heavy heart toils to find God among the ruins of disaster;
A heavy burdened back labors to lift my eyes beyond the horizon.
My children, home, lands and pleasant company are gone;
My wife wishes that I were gone as well.
How can a life so right
become so wronged?
I wrestle with the dirt,
as though digging my own grave.
I wrestle with my friends,
as though wrestling with my God.
I wrestle with the devil,
and find myself wrestling with myself.
Where has my love gone?
The simple love of children laughing;
The simple joys of cattle calving.
Where has my hope gone?
The simple hope of heaven yet to come;
The simple security of forgiveness won.
Where has my faith gone?
The simple faith in the Lord unmoved;
The simple humility of trusting Truth.
The Lord reveals Himself amid the storm;
He shows me that all that I thought was norm
Was merely what I’d seen
Yet hidden beyond my wildest dreams
I had not known the Maker of the stars;
I had not known the Designer of all my million parts.
“Lord, let me simply walk with you,
and though my path is marked with thorns
Let me speak in simple truths
and behold you sitting on Your Throne!”
I lift my eyes to see my friends gather round,
I lift my ears to hear with joy the sound of laughter once again.
The Lord has settled me alive in this broken world;
and though the swirls of life seem unsettled …
A broken heart proves plenty an offering in the plate that passes by.
Now I can taste once more His Presence at the table with my enemies.
My story & my song. – Mert Hershberger, remembering Job, in honor of all my loved ones.
February 17, 2017.
For love, I take a Book off of the shelf
to read about what lasts. My tiny life,
a mere reflection of Eternity
beyond the great beyond. Where Heaven kisses
earth, what’s needed to fulfill God’s Word:
a second, from above–a brand new birth.
A love for God requires life divine,
“Lord Jesus, I am Yours, and You are mine.
I give You all I have, its what You’re worth!”
This seed-like faith emerged from what I heard
about His love and truth. His grace and wisdom
speaks unto my heart and sets me free
from fear. I now can laugh at cruel knife
or fist aimed at my former love: my self.
I offer you my pain
and trust you for healing.
I offer you my tears
and trust you for comfort.
I offer you my darkness
and trust you for light.
I offer you my loneliness
and trust you for companionship.
I offer you my despair
and trust you for eternal hope.
I offer you my death
and trust you for new life.
I offer you all that I have in this world
and trust you for a new heaven and new earth.
I offer you nothing
and trust you for all.
It’s too much, too, too much.
I long to fly to the desert and escape,
to hide in a cave, far, far away.
I dream of healing a heart that is broken, my own.
of hearing a Voice that touches my deepest wounds.
Broken legs, walk again.
Broken hands, serve again.
Broken mind, think again.
Broken heart, love again.
Chained tongue, speak, be free!
Chained ears, hear, listen!
Shackled mind, explore, discover!
Shackled heart, expand, express!
Closed eyes, see, gaze into glory!
Closed mind, ask, seek!
Closed fist, knock, open wide!
Closed door, open, let the King of Glory enter in!!
Do you see that crown of life?
It shall rest upon your head.
Do you see the Lamb upon the throne?
He is all and enough for you, risen from the dead!
Do you see the book of citizens who live?
The Lord will redeem you just as He said!!
If God is able to save the worst,
then He can save me.
If Jesus can love the least,
then He wlll also love you.
If the Lord can heal to the last,
then He defines eternity!
If the Father is calling,
then He will also listen to you.
Come & rest awhile in His arms.
There is a whole category of people who are called to Christ and have a passion for the nations & for the weak & marginal and have sought to go with a variety of service groups and who are repeatedly told no, don’t go, be quiet, just settle down young man.
The reality is that if I were to go to my field of focus, I would probably die in short order because I would of my zeal or I would be disregarded as a lunatic because I would lose all my sleep because the medicines that help me relax & sleep sometimes would be unavailable.
Instead I pray.
I dare say that often my prayer lacks impact that I am aware of. I tend to pick certain countries & prayer goals and remember them as reminded, so I make lists.
Is this unfocussed? No, usually the only times I have observed the impact are when I stop praying and problems happen.
In retrospect, I have however seen the Lord start movements in various peoples that I prayed for and the timing was impossibly too neat to correlate due to chance. God uses our prayers for movements. Over and over, I find that God works far more in my absence than in my presence. He is a big God, and he wants us to pray Big, foundation laying prayers.
If the leaves of the tree in the Revelation of Jesus given to John are for the healing of the nations, then we must plead for that salve to be applied for the salvation of the souls of societies.
Praying requires a whole different category of action, it elevates us to the heavenlies, for we read the divine counsel in the Word and render judgments according to Psalms 2:8: the Son will have the inheritance that is His! HE shall possess the earth. HE is waiting for us to ask. He knows exactly what He plans to do and He is always on the right side of history.
Politicians will fail us.
Disasters are unpredictable.
The devil is dangerous.
The nations are too large for us to reach them in our own power.
But every time we kneel in prayer and cry out for help, God hears and acts. Every time we stand on His promises, the Lord proves His faithfulness. Every time we sit in His presence and ask for the nations, the Lord God sends forth His angel armies to intervene. Every time we fall flat on our faces and humble ourselves before the King of the Universe, the Lord God Almighty rejoices over us with singing and stands in the gaps that we cannot fill.
We cannot fill the gaps for we are sinners,
I am the worst
But He is perfect
We fail. He is faultless.
The Lord will succeed in every intervention He begins.
Our actions, our giving, our prayers, our sacrifices all must flow from our lives guided by the Word of God for them to be effective.
This is why years in prayer are often needed to accomplish what may take a season of actual service.
Then, when the doors close behind us after our work is finished, then the Lord Spirit goes to work most earnestly, with greater freedom than we could ever have.
This is the story of China.
This is the story of Iran.
This is the story of all who are bathed in prayer,
This is the story of all who are bathed in the Spirit.
This is why statistics lie about the future.
Statistics are based on what man sees.
Faith is about what God has promised.
Hope is the certainty that God will keep His promises.
Love is behaving according to this confidence that God is love.
I would encourage you to join in prayer for ISIS members. That they, like Saul turned to Paul, would bear the fruit of the Spirit and would be reached in every place of the world where they are operating.