Two Hours

Two Hours

I never got to know your names
I never got to celebrate your birthdays
I never got to join you at the dinner table
to give thanks for good and perfect gifts from above

But I felt your loving arms around me,
I felt tender voices surround me
I heard your quickened heartbeats as you drew me close to you
You would have kept me but I was only passing through
And though I only had two hours on this earth
I lived a lifetime of love with you

Loving faces greeted me from the moment of my birth
Gentle arms passed me ’round in my two hours on this earth
Though there was nothing you could do,
you fought with me through every breath,
and you held me to my very end,
loving me from birth to death

Though you were very sad to see me go
I hope somehow you will always know
That I could not have been more wanted or loved
From the day my heart started beating
to the day I slipped away

There were tears, there were smiles,
there were curious looks to see
who it is I take after in the family
And though there was no way that I could say it
I felt your love all over me
It was the best two hours on earth
to be part of this loving family

And now I will wait patiently for you here,
in a better place than earth,
in the everlasting loving arms,
of God Who loved me first

Lord of my death

Lord of my death
Lord of my weeping
Lord of my loss
Lord of my wounds
Lord of my illness
Lord of my unbearable pain
Lord of my heavy, light suffering
Lord of my unending, momentary affliction
Lord of my weakness
Lord of my fear
Lord of my despair
Lord of my uncertainty
Lord of all
Scoop me up into arms that hold to the ages
Out of time and out of dying life
Take me into wonder that I have slightly tasted
Into Your death and unending Life
Spread out Your Lordship over all of my being
Precious Lord Jesus
Lord first and last
God’s final Word forever
Have the last say!

“He has said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Most gladly therefore I will rather glory in my weaknesses, that the power of Christ may rest on me. Therefore I take pleasure in weaknesses, in injuries, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak, then am I strong.”
–2 Corinthians 12:9,10

“Therefore we don’t faint, but though our outward man is decaying, yet our inward man is renewed day by day. For our light affliction, which is for the moment, works for us more and more exceedingly an eternal weight of glory; while we don’t look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal.”
–2 Corinthians 4:16-18

Hope for grieving hearts

There is this Man Who was a Man of sorrows
of His fame we have heard
For upon His broken heart He bore the sin of all the world
in Love, in redeeming us, that He might bring us to God
But He was brutally killed by powers of sin and rebellion and darkness
And they laid Him in a grave to bring the story to its everlasting end
However… from deep, deep, deep within the heart of the Rock of ages
came an anguish so great and so overpowering:
The beloved Son of God had been taken away!
And in a moment an everlasting resolve rose up
from untold depths in Almighty Power in Indestructible Life
declaring that this will not stand, this will not be the last word
For there is One Who will say the last thing in all of heaven and the world
And no power — in heaven or on earth or in the universe —
will be allowed to withdraw the good and perfect Gift of the Father of Lights
No power or thing will be permitted to separate
the Love of God from His Beloved
Not will be taken away The Son of God
Not will be shut up The Way of Life
Not will be put out The Light
Not will be withdrawn The Love of God
Not will be aborted The Adoption of sons and daughters
And came an unalterable unchangeable Speaking…
Indestructible Life reanimated, the Son of God stood and departed from His grave
death, that ancient foe, was overpowered and conquered
with his wretched companions suffering and sorrow
Father God — Who is greater than all —
gathered His Beloved Son into everlasting arms

into heavenly places

and drew Him into the safety of His bosom
never to see corruption
highly exalting Him with The Name above every name
Where, in His Presence, there will be pleasures forever more
The Firstborn among many brothers,
The Resurrection and the Life,
The First and Last
The Alpha and Omega
The Almighty
The Ark of Refuge for all who have taken His Life as their own
believing into Him and subsumed into His Indestructible Life
who have been changed into glorious new creatures,
who will never die but will be awakened from sleep
and lifted up from the dust of the earth
into unending joy unspeakable and full of glory,
the Life of God’s Anointed One now their anointed life
And so — in hallowed Nearness to God —
we will be with the Lord forever
Never doubt it
O my sorrowful and contemplative brother or sister
who find yourself and your loved ones,
and all you have known here on earth,
passing so quickly out of time and into eternity,
I exhort you to take up the eyes of eternity
and endure your sorrow now with the joy set before you
with the Hope of Glory, which is God’s Anointed One in you:
He Who was, He Who is, and He Who is to come, the Almighty!

Our Precious Lord Jesus,
Savior of the world,
Son of the True and Living God:
We call You to come!
Come quickly Lord Jesus!

Psalm 61:

Hear my cry, O God, and attend to my prayer.
From the end of the earth I call to You when my heart faints;
Oh lead me to the Rock that is higher than I.
For You have been my shelter, a strong tower before the enemy.
I will dwell in Your tabernacle forever;
I will trust in the shelter of Your wings. Selah.
For You, O God, have heard my vows;
You appointed the inheritance of those who fear Your Name.
You will add days to the days of the King;
His years will be as generations to generations.
He shall abide forever before God;
appoint mercy and truth to preserve Him.
So I will sing praise to Your Name forever,
so that I may pay my vows day by day.
(To the chief musician. On stringed instruments. Of David.)

Psalm 71.3:

“Be a Rock of strength for me, to which I may always go”

Psalm 73.23-26:

“Yet I was continually with You; You have taken hold of my right hand. You shall guide me by Your counsel; and afterward You will take me to glory. Whom have I in Heaven? And I have no desire on earth besides You. My flesh and my heart waste away; God is the Rock of my heart and my Portion forever.”

Revelation 21.1-7:

“And I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth passed away, and the sea no longer is. And I, John, saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of Heaven from God, having been prepared as a bride, having been adorned for her Husband. And I heard a great voice out of Heaven, saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God with men! And He will tabernacle with them, and they will be His people, and God Himself will be with them as their God. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes. And death shall be no longer, nor mourning, nor outcry, nor will there be pain any more; for the first things passed away. And the One sitting on the throne said, Behold! I make all things new. And He says to me, Write, because these Words are faithful and true. And He said to me, It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the Ending. To the one thirsting, I will freely give of the fountain of the Water of Life. The one overcoming will inherit all things, and I will be God to him, and he will be the son to Me.”

2 Corinthians 5.1-8:

“For we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle is taken down, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in Heaven. For also in this we groan, greatly desiring to be clothed with our dwelling place out of Heaven, if indeed in being clothed, we shall not be found naked. For indeed, being in the tabernacle, we groan, having been weighted down, inasmuch as we do not wish to be unclothed, but to be clothed, so that the mortal may be swallowed up by the life. And the One having worked in us for this same thing is God, who also is giving us the earnest of the Spirit. Then always being fully assured, and knowing that being at home in the body we are away from home from The Lord (for we walk by faith, not by sight), even we are fully assured, and think it good rather to go away from home out of the body, and to come home to the Lord.”

Do Not Expect What Has Been Before

I am the God Who made you small
I am the God Who is all in all
I have kept you through the years
And if you look, I am still here

These are days like you’ve not known
Come reverently, come you alone
Do not expect what’s been before
These are the days of The Lord

The glory that was in past days
Now seems emptiness always
Hold up your heart of poverty
Not to the past, but to Me

These are days like you’ve not known
Come reverently, come you alone
Do not expect what’s been before
In these days look to The Lord

Disappointed and betrayed
Things you hoped for slipped away
Look around at all the change
And you’ll see that I am the same

These are days like you’ve not known
Come reverently, come you alone
Do not expect what’s been before
God has not less to come, but more

Sitting lonely and alone
Far away from love you’ve known
Never doubt that I am there
With you, every tear to share

These are days like you’ve not known
Come reverently, come you alone
Do not expect what’s been before
These are the days of The Lord

“Do not say, ‘Why were the old days better than these?’ For it is not wise to ask such questions.”
—Ecclesiastes 7.10

“I press on toward the goal for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.”
—Philippians 3:14

Leave God to order all your ways…

“Leave God to order all your ways,
And hope in Him, whatever betide;
Thou’lt find Him in the evil days,
Your all-sufficient Strength and Guide;
Who trusts in God’s unchanging love,
Builds on the rock that nothing can move.

“What can these anxious cares avail,
These never-ceasing moans and sighs?
What can it help us to bewail
Each painful moment as it flies?
Our cross and trials do but press
The heavier for our bitterness.

“Only your restless heart keep still,
And wait in cheerful hope; content
To take whatever His gracious will,
His all-discerning love has sent.
Doubt not our inmost wants are known
To Him who chose us for His own.

“He knows when joyful hours are best,
He sends them as He sees it meet;
When you have borne the fiery test,
And are made free from all deceit,
He comes to you all unaware,
And makes you own His loving care.

“Sing, pray, and swerve not from His ways,
But do your own part faithfully,
Trust His rich promises of grace,
So shall they be fulfilled in you;
God never yet forsook at need
The soul that trusted Him indeed.”
(Georg Neumark/Newmarch, 1653)

From “The Precious Things of God” by Octavius Winslow, Chapter on the Preciousness of Faith