In our study of Ephesians during the Precept Boot Camps, we investigated the several passages speaking of the Stone, the Living Stone, the Chief Cornerstone–the Christ! The primary passages for these are found in Psalm 118:22, Isaiah 8:13-15, Isaiah 28:16, Matthew 21:42-44, and Romans 9:30-33. Reading these, I composed this verse…
O Christ, our Chief Stone
both tested and precious–
Be Thou our standard
of Life and of Love!
Break us to pieces–
then, Spirit, come seal us:
Make us Your Dwelling-place,
ne’er to remove!
If you will allow me, I’ll share also a piece of my journal with you all. I pray it is not too personal! This is my journal entry from June 11, a Sunday morning in which long prayer led me to this heartfelt plea before the Lord:
In Your sanctuary sitting–
What, Lord, has my heart here brought?
Dread when joy is more befitting?
Fear when peace was dearly bought?
Might this poem become a hymn? Lord, in my spirit the words are true–You Who see my heart, know my attitude: I am relishing my discontent, I am longing to run away to search for You elsewhere, to find You in faces, eyes, hearts now unknown. Where would I go? Lord, You are everywhere! I would go, I am ever going to You. I would not, for Your Life, stand still for the sake of ease. May I run, Lord, and find You where I run?
Lord, the greatest passion I have ever felt in the Spirit rose within me when I was ministering to the believers both elderly and young in India–teaching from the Word. Now, Lord, I ask You–shall I always be looking back to those days and never pursue that passion more? I know that I am far fro ma perfect teacher, minister, or man…but, Jesus, I long like Spurgeon that You would light me on fire for the preaching and teaching of the Gospel! Burn me for it, even when I doubt! Mark me, seal me, release me…
And so I reach a boundary–for I cannot perceive how all You have given me in talents, passions, gifts or loves shall be fulfilled, employed, exercised and stretched-to-breaking in this place, this church. Imagination rings like a church-bell bellowing in a locked room, needing all the walls blasted away to ring loud in spacious places–and I fear that while the door remains locked and the walls stout, then I shall only see a piece of You as through a window, and in my life You shall be boxed, contained, having walls when You ought to explode in boundless glory! I want to know You boundless; I want to run and never find Your end! May I, Lord, run and find You unending and almighty, wherever my feet may go?
I feel tense like a dart fitted to the bow-string, awaiting release…but as I wait, these two things I will do: I will be devoted to You in obedience through prayer and reading the Word, that I might be near You, and I will reject comforts, deny myself ease and comfort while I live here, that I would know clearly that I do not remain for the sake of ease (for I know my casual temperament is tempted by such). These seem fitting resolutions–may it please You, Lord, to honour these by pointing where I will run!
This journal entry from June 11, the Lord is answering in ways strange but solid. Many praises to the living God…be eager, O my soul, and hunger and thirst for Him.