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24 November, 2014

Spiritual Maturity Through the Valleys

I decided to share this little poem which I found in the devotional “Springs in the Valley” because back in the days, when I was losing everything that I possessed, Jeremiah 29:11 was one of my favorite verses.

 “'For I know the plans that I have for you,' declares the LORD, 'plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope.

My understanding of the verse was so far from God’s intention. I could not even imagine that the calamity that my life had become was God’s plan for my welfare, to give me a future and a hope.

I also like the fact that, even though the writer has long passed away and was born in the 1800 era, God’s way has never changed. More than a century down the road, her life experience was about dark days, surrender and abiding life. Because this has been my path for so many years now, the poem is encouraging for the reason that, sometimes it is not easy to follow after God. Through my journey with Him, I learned that those verses of the Bible are not there to make my life easier and more comfortable. As I let Him do His work in me, He is able to get rid of my corrupted view and understanding.

At the end of the day, even though it is a hard life that God has put me on, I will cherish it and rejoice in the pain the sufferings and all the lost that I have incurred. Through the hardships and His teaching, I learned the difference between mature Christians vis a vis God and mature Christians vis a vis man. Spiritual maturity is acquired through learning to persevere when the shadows in the deep valleys never end. It is acquired when you truly learn from Him how to live this life with Him alone as your hope and there is nothing else left to hang on to, except the hope of this life in Him. It is also acquired, when we learn to abide there, at His feet, in a life of surrender and oneness. As He infuses your soul with His character, you cannot help but rejoice in the suffering because your soul can see the beauty that is being produced in you. A mature Christian is one that is established, strengthened and settled and it is forged mainly from the valleys of this journey.  

Poem From: -Freda Hanbury Alle
"The love of God a perfect planIs planning now for thee,It holds a "future and a hope,"Which yet thou canst not see. Though for a season, in the dark,He asks thy perfect trust,E'en that thou in surrender "layThy treasure in the dust," Yet He is planning all the while,Unerringly He guidesThe life of him, who holds His willMore dear than all besides. Trust were not trust if thou couldst seeThe ending of the way,Nor couldst thou learn His songs by night,Were life one radiant day. Amid the shadows here He worksThe plan designed above,"A future and a hope" for theeIn His exceeding love. "A future"-- abiding fruit,With loving kindness crowned;"A hope"-- which shall thine own transcend,As Heaven the earth around. Though veiled as yet, one day thine eyesShall see His plan unfold,And clouds that darkened once the pathShall shine with Heaven's gold. Enriched to all eternityThe steadfast soul shall stand,That, "unoffended", trusted HimWho all life's pathway planned. I have an heritage of bliss,Which yet I may not see;The Hand that bled to make it mine,Is keeping it for me." -Freda Hanbury Alle