Several years ago as I was meditating and reading the Bible in Philippians 3 - I read the passage in verse 10 that says "That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death. Just a few verses before Paul , in verse 8 said, " Yea, doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ."
I started thinking and meditating on these scripture and thinking about those that had given their lives for the sake of the gospel. If you have ever read Foxes Book of Martyr's you will read of some who were willing to suffer and give their lives for the cause of Christ.
I went to prayer with my Bible as I like to do and as I prayed God's Presense was very near.
I remember praying, "Lord, I really do want to know You and the power of Your ressurection and the fellowship of Your suffering. I want to be made more like You." I don't think we will ever know what Jesus went through for us. Not even in our wildest imagination can we really know what He suffered for us. Nor what those that went before us suffered to preserve the "Old Paths" that we might have a heritage. I thank God for a Godly heritage!
Neither did I know what I was praying. God sometimes takes you at your word. It was not long until things began to happen in our life that I did not understand. We lost my husbands' father, six months later we lost my Dad, then six weeks later we lost my Husband's Mother. Seem all the Godly influence in our life was be taken one by one. I felt void! Other things happened that I wont go into - but we felt we were in the fire. This went on for several years. Then God began to deal with us about leaving the denomination we were in. It took awhile, for that was all we had ever known. But finally, circumstances came about that we knew we had to take a stand.
We did, and lost all our friends of 40 years. Friends we had as teenagers no longer wanted anything to do with us. I won't go into all that happened, but I can say the way got mighty dark.
In my distress I penned these words and called it My Prayer.
Lord, I need strength -- I feel all strength is gone.
I cannot feel your nearness and I am so alone.
So many things have come to seemingly pierce my heart,
But Love above, You promised that You would never depart.
I need sunshine, also. It seems there's so many clouds.
My life has been darkened by what comes near to doubt.
It seems I'm in the shadows and it is almost night.
But, Father Dear, I know You will eventually make the darkness light.
Another thing I need, Dear Lord, is just a restful peace.
A healing balm for all the pain would give me such relief.
All around the storms beat high with such a fierceful blow.
But I'm confident when the storm is o'er - perfect peace I'll know.
So, Father, do what you must do--Whatever You see best,
To help me reach that Home above where there is perfect rest.
For I know You'll not send me more than I can bear.
With each storm You'll guide me through, for You are always there.
So lead me, Lord, from day to day as feelings come and go.
Please hear my prayer and help me face each storm as you deem so. (Amen)
I was reading through some of my writings and came across this poem and what lead up to it.
It blessed my heart to know that He will never lead us without His eye being right on us. He knew what we were going through. As in so many of your lives I'm sure you can testify that in the darkness hours of your life is when you drew closer to Him. My husband and I found in those hours, also, that we were drawn closer to each other.
No, I don't like the test and trials that come but I know I am not alone. God has blessed us tremendously and can I say that He has given us brand new friends and a church family that cares. He has blessed us beyond measure. I thank Him for that.
I still cannot say that I know what the Lord went through for us, but I do know that I still want to be more like Him. The little chorus goes:
I want more of Jesus - more and more and more.
I want more of Jesus , more than I had before,
I want more of Jesus so rich, so full, so free.
I want more of Jesus - so I'll give me more of me."