Wednesday, February 29, 2012
Learning His Longsuffering
I recently came down with a coughing cold. Yesterday I left for work around 2:30pm. It is always a blessing to work with Rod and Charles, but I must confess I was glad to see the clock reach the stopping time. Didn't get home till after 4am this morning. Showered and laid my head on the pillow just before 5am.
A few hours later, I rose and went to the local abortion mill. This is something the Lord has put on my heart to do twice a week Wednesdays and Saturdays, speaking for life and witnessing for Christ. This morning I felt miserable, and could very well have stayed home, being sick and exhausted. But I chose to go, because those women need to hear a witness and know that their child's life should be defended, not destroyed (Proverbs 31:8).
I stood alone on the sidewalk, pleading with mothers on behalf of their unborn children. How hard it is to see them refuse to listen, and hear their hard speeches! I spoke the truth in love and offered help and information, but was rejected and despised. But, Lord, even when I am despised, I will not forget Thy precepts (Psalm 119:141). I remember that Jesus my Redeemer has been there before me (Isaiah 53:3).
It must be a horrible thing for a mother to steel herself to do, so that, once decided, they were adamant to cling to their decision. Some of them were brought by boyfriends, friends, and at least one girl of about 16 was there with her mom. When hands join in hands, there is often false confidence. These desperate ladies and their companions were repeatedly making excuses for their actions, cursed at me, and even threatened that I would be beaten up or even killed just for being there.
I think that I have been given a very finite glimpse of a slice of what my Lord describes:
"I have spread out my hands all the day unto a rebellious people, which walketh in a way that was not good, after their own thoughts;" (Isaiah 65:2).
"But to Israel he saith, All day long I have stretched forth my hands unto a disobedient and gainsaying people." (Romans 10:21).
"For thus saith the Lord GOD, the Holy One of Israel; In returning and rest shall ye be saved; in quietness and in confidence shall be your strength: and ye would not." (Isaiah 30:15).
"Because they have not hearkened to my words, saith the LORD, which I sent unto them by my servants the prophets, rising up early and sending them; but ye would not hear, saith the LORD." (Jeremiah 29:19).
"O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not!" (Matthew 23:37).
How great my awe to know that the almighty God of the Bible so loved the world that He would come to give his own lifeblood (Ephesians 1:7) and seek to save that which was lost (Luke 19:10), while we were yet sinners (Romans 5:8).
Makes me think of the hymn, which says:
"Wounded and bleeding,
for sinners pleading,
blind and unheeding,
dying for me."
The Saviour of the world was rejected, but gave His life a ransom for all. Think of it--He died to redeem Adam's rebellious race! And all who turn to Him in faith can be saved from all their sin. How can I give up serving in a hard ministry, when He did so much more for me when I was still His enemy? Only but for His grace, I would still be a hell-bound sinner myself. Praise the Lord for His mercy and His long suffering.
Therefore, I shall not only continue to stand for truth, and speak for life, and preach the Gospel, but I will also invite and encourage other believers to be faithful and obedient to the word of our God and Saviour. No matter the heartbreak and rejection, the truth is worth being shared, and you never know when someone will hear and turn to do right. God will not let his words fall to the ground (II Kings 10:10) or return void (Isaiah 55:11).
I pray that the Lord will use my words today to continue to work in the hearts of these needy souls, and draw them to Himself. Fruit from this type of ministry is not always seen by the worker, but God gives the increase. And occasionally we see it. For instance, last Saturday, a couple at the same place decide to leave and save their child's life, thanks to the pleading of a sidewalk counselor.
"He that goeth forth and weepeth, bearing precious seed, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him." (Psalm 126:6).
There is still time to win a battle before the sun goes down.