I first posted this entry in June. I have had a very busy day and my children are home with me on fall break. But some things bear repeating. This is one of those.
Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another--and all the more as you see the Day approaching. Hebrews 10:25 (NIV)
God has blessed me tremendously in the area of friendship. I have friends whom I call soul sisters. They are the ones I can be completely transparent with, who know the real me and love me in spite of that knowledge. They have seen the good, the bad, and the ugly and have decided to stick around.
But I also have friends that I have never talked to that lived over a century ago. In my darkest days, they have offered me their wisdom and tremendous encouragement in this journey called life. Some of these friends are Amy Carmichael, Charles Spurgeon, Oswald Chambers, Hudson Taylor, Thomas a Kempis, and many of the martyrs of Jesus Christ. I hear them call to me to continue traveling this crucified life. They are among the cloud of witnesses talked about in Hebrews 12. My newest friend is Mrs. L.B. Cowman whose devotional book, Streams in the Desert, has brought me continual reminders that the road of suffering is nothing new or unusual. I read this poem in her book to my sister the day I left her this last weekend. It is found in her December 19 entry:
If you have gone a little way ahead of me, call back--
It will cheer my heart and help my feet along the stony track;
And, if perhaps, Faith’s light is dim, because the oil is low,
Your call will guide my lagging course as wearily I go.
Call back, and tell me that He went with you into the storm;
Call back, and say He kept you when the forest’s roots were torn;
That, when the heavens thunder and the earthquake shook
He bore you up and held you where the lofty air was still.
O friend, call back, and tell me for I cannot see your face;
They say it glows with triumph, and your feet sprint in the race;
But there are mists between us and my spirit eyes are dim,
And I cannot see the glory, though I long for word of Him.
But if you’ll say He heard you when your prayer was but a cry,
And if you’ll say He saw you through the night’s
If you have gone a little way ahead, O friend, call back--
It will cheer my heart and help my feet along the stony track.
Jesus, who can we call back encouragement to today?