Friday, March 7, 2014

"How Much?"

(For Eunice, her family, and of course, her mother Pearl)

"How Much?"

     One of our dearest Orange Moon friends recently allowed me to read a collection of poems handwritten by her mother many years ago.  Her words transport me to another era and way of life, as does the yellowed paper and fading script.  Moreover, they call my heart to come higher and go further in the gift of freely given and loving relationship with God through the Lord Jesus Christ.  "Walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given Himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweetsmelling savor" (Ephesian 5:2)

     The opening stanza of one particularly beautiful composition expresses the heart of this poetess:

"How much do I love Jesus?"
comes ringing through my ears.
It makes me almost shudder
and brings me near to tears.

    It would be nigh impossible to pen such a sentiment apart from a heart that did not in fact love the Lord Jesus Christ.  Moreover, the question elicits my own wondering, as perhaps it does yours.  How much do I love the Lord Jesus?

    The author proceeds to ponder the holy inquiry in poignant and powerful stanzas that speak of personally relating to her Beloved:

Do I love Him enough in the morning
to thank Him for His care?
And ask Him for His guidance
as I His blessings share?

Do I love Him in the noontide,
in the middle of a busy day?
Do I love Him enough to stop
and steal away and pray?

Do I love Him in the evening
when the sun has gone away,
when darkness hovers o'er us,
and we look for another day?

    She then expresses the truth that genuine love for God results in devotion to others:

When someone is sad and discouraged,
can I take them the living Word?
And help them find my Savior
as their Savior and Lord?

    Finally, this blessed sister concludes with the desire for love's continuance and sincerity:

Dear Lord, I've said "I love You,"
may I say it again today.
And help me show to others
that I really mean what I say.

    I don't suppose in this life we can ever really know how much we love the Lord.  I suspect, however, that our saintly sister's example provides much illumination concerning this most vital question.  Namely, does it matter to us so much that we consistently ask the question, whether prayerfully or poetically?  If so, we can have at least some confidence that we do in fact love Him.  It mattered so much to the poetess that lines and verse spilled forth from her devoted heart.  As she sublimely expressed, the inquiry meant so much that it caused her to shudder and brought her to tears.  Yes, yellowed pages and fading ink of words penned long ago nevertheless shine brightly with an example that beckons us in our day to know the love of Christ, and to love in holy response.

"Wherefore I desire that ye faint not at my tribulations for you, which is your glory. For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might by His Spirit in the inner man; that Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; and to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God."
(Ephesians 3:13-19)

Weekly Memory Verse
    When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon thee (Isaiah 43:2). 







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