Saturday, January 28, 2012

Prayer Answered by Crosses

I ask'd the Lord, that I might grow
In faith, and love, and ev'ry grace,
Might more of his salvation know,
And seek more earnestly his face.

'Twas he who taught me thus to pray,
And he, I trust has answer'd pray'r;
But it has been in such a way,
As almost drove me to despair.

I hop'd that in some favour'd hour,
At once he'd answer my request:
And by his love's constraining pow'r,
Subdue my sins, and give me rest.

Instead of this. he made me feel
The hidden evils of my heart;
And let the angry pow'rs of hell
Assault my soul in ev'ry part.

Yea more, with his own hand he seem'd
Intent to aggravate my woe;
Cross'd all the fair designs I schem'd,
Blasted my gourds, and laid me low.

 Lord, why is this, I trembling cry'd,
Wilt thou pursue thy worm to death?
"'Tis in this way," the Lord reply'd,
"I answer pray'r for grace and faith.

 "These inward trials I employ,
"From self and pride to set thee free;
"And break thy schemes of earthly joy,
"That thou mayst seek thy all in me."
 -John Newton

E and I went to a conference this weekend celebrating the Schaeffers. The story of their life is an amazing one, and it got me thinking how it is that God works His goodness and will into us through crosses and coming face to face with ourselves and our own fallen-ness.  We all need grace, the steps to get there are never taken without truth, truth about self, truth about God.

 The "condition of man" is not what modern man thinks it is.  Man is a sinner who needs an overwhelming love.  Jesus has come to save His people from their sins.  This is not to say that He has no interest in these other things now, but we must not get matters reversed- the central thing is central.            -Francis Schaeffer No Little People
I like that smack in the middle is the reference to Matthew 1:21

Call his name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sin.           

My itty bittys learn this as their December verse to celebrate the Advent.  Hearing this truth from two year olds is blessedly beautiful, and their trust, joy and fervor in the telling is ever-humbling.

Isn't it funny that we spend a good deal of our elder years re-learning to have trust, joy and fervor in the central thing that He is our rescuer?

These inward trials I employ, ...
"That thou mayst seek thy all in me"


momto8 said...

the child will lead you..
this is a great way to start a monday morning reflecting on this poem..
I am your newet follower..pls follow back if you can.

Susan said...

I've just spent some time relearning what I knew as a toddler... the kind of trust in God to let loose of the reins myself. We try so hard to maintain control but really, we've only got what control he gives to us. As hard as it is to quit fighting that, it is such a relief when I do. I always end up amazed when i see how he has worked things out without my help and with even better result than I could've imagined.

EJN said...

Maybe it's universal. Trust is hard --so glad we have a God that shows himself strong and worthy of our trust...not only in nature but the very personal details of each our lives -- that is always the mind twisting part for me.
Love to you,

Anonymous said...

Yes it is. Thinking of David when he said "Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation." That's where it begins, ends, and should be in between. Thx for the sweet reminder Jojo. :)

EJN said...

"That's where it begins, ends, and should be in between."
Amen == and well said.