Fields or the Town

some people want to live within the sound of chapel bells“Some people want to live within the sound of chapel bells,

But I want to run a mission a yard from the gates of hell.”

C.T. Studd wrote those words, and he lived them too.

He was a young man who pretty much had his life cut out for him in a great way. He had reached fame and yes, fortune as well, as a cricket player, but instead chose to pursue a life of passion and devotion to God, and became a missionary.

When given the option, I’m sure many of us would tend to choose the sound of bells over any sort of a proximity to hell.

But it is that that choice that develops strength of character … it is a willingness to carry the cross that has been chosen, even when it is not the life that we would prefer to choose.

I said: “Let me walk in the fields.”
He said: “No, walk in the town.”
I said: “There are no flowers there.”
He said: “No flowers, but a crown.”

I said: “But the skies are black;
There is nothing but noise and din.”
And He wept as He sent me back –
“There is more,” He said; “there is sin.”

I said: “But the air is thick,
And fogs are veiling the sun.”
He answered: “Yet souls are sick,
And souls in the dark undone!”

I said: “I shall miss the light,
And friends will miss me, they say.”
He answered: “Choose tonight
If I am to miss you or they.”

I pleaded for time to be given.
He said: “Is it hard to decide?
It will not seem so hard in heaven
To have followed the steps of your Guide.”

I cast one look at the fields,
Then set my face to the town;
He said, “My child, do you yield?
Will you leave the flowers for the crown?”

Then into His hand went mine;
And into my heart came He;
And I walk in a light divine,
The path I had feared to see.

“Obedience” by George MacDonald

There is a place of service God has for you. It might be the fields, or it might be the town.

It might be a place of beauty and fulfillment. Or it might be a place of testing and circumstances that stretch your faith to the limit

It might be a combination of the two, some times of peace and plenty, and other times of trial and sacrifice.

But wherever He calls you, don’t be afraid to follow.

For there is no place where you will find greater joy than being led by the hand of God Himself, and held up with the promise that He is with you, wherever you go.

Never fear to follow the pathway that He leads you upon. For it is there you will discover your destiny. Your calling and purpose.

It is within that calling that you will find who you are, and who you are meant to be.

A life of purpose.

A life of love.

Guided by the God of love, who holds your life safely within His hands and has promised never to let it go.

Wishing you love, joy, guidance and peace in this New Year.

Advertisements

Is Love Enough to Change the World?

Damini - death of a treasureA woman died yesterday … in India. In a nation of over one billion people, where over 15,000 people die each day and over 70,000 are born, why has one death provoked a worldwide response? Because of the reason this woman died. After being tortured and gang raped by six men while in a moving vehicle for hours, she had been fighting for life since the savage attack on the 16th of December.

Protests across India brought attention worldwide, and in New Delhi they invoked a response from lathi-wielding police men armed with tear gas and water cannons as the young woman fought for life in a hospital. She was only 23 years old. Her life was in many ways only just beginning. And yesterday, she drew her last breath.

Her fight for life drew attention across the nation. I only pray her death will bring attention throughout the world.

This is a tragedy that is repeated worldwide every day. Perhaps not with such grave consequences, or in such a horrific manner, but every day, in every country across the world, people who can’t defend themselves are subject to unspeakable treatment.

I recently picked up a book from the library. The title was A Crime So Monstrous.

It follows the journey of a man who spent five years traveling to nations researching the topic of slavery, and in many cases, sex slavery – rape. His book tells that researchers state there are more slaves in the world today than any time throughout history. Many of them are women, and many are young … very young. And very accessible.

While reading it, my heart grieved for the young and helpless ones subjected to mistreatment and brutal acts on a daily basis. Even more to think of those who perpetrate such vile deeds and consider it normal – people who buy and sell humans as if they’re inanimate objects, and treat them even worse than they would treat an object. I just can’t understand how those who do such things can do something so obviously wrong and treat it as normal and no big deal.

~

There are many today who promote the idea of an awakening occurring across the world. An idea that we only need to awaken to the love and oneness within ourselves, and the world will enter a stage of lasting peace and renewal.

How I wish that were true – that the love of a few could awaken the love that rests dormant within the hearts of many, and through it, love and peace would take over and recreate the world.

But it’s not going to happen.

Yes, our hearts are capable of great love and wonderfully heroic deeds. Yet they are also capable of vile hate, and horrific acts.

And looking at the world today and the increasing deeds of evil and hate – shootings, violence, depression, fear – it is clear that our world is not on the brink of some great awakening. But, more than ever, we are in need of love and peace.

Is love enough?

Yes, it is.

But not my love. Not yours either.

For to look within, although there is much good, is not enough good. Not enough to change the world today.

Now, as always, there is need for more.

Christmas has just passed. A time when, though the world seems to be forgetting it more and more each year, the God of Love entered this world to fulfill a promise from the beginning of time, to die for the collective sins of mankind, and bring us back into fellowship with the Creator.

Why is the fellowship still broken?

Because, although it is easier to close our eyes to the evil in the world, which lurks in dark places, it still exists. It exists because there is a battle, a war that is fought over the hearts and souls of men every day. And this battle is unseen, but it is real. More real, in fact, than what we see around us. We catch traces of it in the world around us. In the sorrow. The hate. The depression. The despair.

There is a battle between good and evil, between God and Satan, between angels and demons. And humanity is their prime focus. Sometimes it’s easy to ignore; other times, it’s almost impossible to do so, when we strongly feel the battle, both seen and unseen.

Sometimes it seems so hard to do the right things, to make choice of love, forgiveness, acceptance, grace, patience, and kindness.

As great as it is to say, “Love is all we need,” the truth is that we need God to give us that love. We don’t have it in ourselves.

We need Him.

We need the love that comes from Him, the love that was so evident when He walked this earth and showed love to the broken, the lonely, the old, the suffering.

We need the forgiveness that He showed when He stretched on the cross, dying for the wrongs of this world, and still spoke words of forgiveness to the very ones who perpetrated His suffering.

We need His grace, His peace, and the freedom that only comes from knowing Him.

Only the love of Jesus will bring about the change that is truly needed in the world – through the life and love He brings to each heart.

Hearts that are in such great need of love. I know mine is.