Monday, June 04, 2007

openings from the Lord

from the Journal of George Fox

After the Lord had “opened” to him, George Fox regarded less the leaders of the established faith community. He was drawn rather to folks who were dissenters.

Among them he saw those who possessed a tenderness, and many of them came afterwards to be convinced, for they had some openings. But as I had forsaken all the priests, so I left the separate preachers also, and those called the most experienced people; for I saw there was none among them all that could speak to my condition. And when all my hopes in them and in all men were gone, so that I had nothing outwardly to help me, nor could tell what to do, then, Oh then, I heard a voice which said, “There is one, even Christ Jesus, that can speak to thy condition,” and when I heard it my heart did leap for joy….And this I knew experimentally.

Now though I had great openings, yet great trouble and temptations came many times upon me, so that when it was day I wished for night, and when it was night I wished for day; […]

But my troubles continued, and I was often under great temptations; and I fasted much, and walked abroad in solitary places many days, and often took my Bible and went and sat in hollow trees and lonesome places till night came on; and frequently in the night walked mournfully about by myself, for I was a man of sorrows in the times of the first workings of the Lord in me. […]

There are times when we long for somebody be our rescue for whatever trouble we have encountered. Whether sorrow and trouble are from “the openings” that God has initiated or whether they are life events.

There are times when God sends the help through another person. And there are times when God himself is only sufficient and wishes himself to be the answer, erecting in those moments of his working abandonment and abuse by all others. Because of our destitution, self-respect and protest at being abused is does not even rise to defend us, we become like the least of these, whom the world has rejected. Then, only then can the Lord come in to be our defense. Then and then only can the Lord rise and be valiant for us. We will see his power and will rise up refreshed for our healer is with us always. He makes our wounds into mere scratches overnight.

Oh Christian, be careful not to distract those who walk about with long faces under the heavy hand of God. Do not offer to take their burden from them. Do not insist they see the doctor for a condition of the soul. Do not offer to give an answer to all the troubles. Do not pray for the trouble to be lifted and the weary soul to be relieved to quickly. Do not be like Job's friends who offered no support. But Christian, be God’s accompaniment in whatever he does with your brothers and sisters in the Lord. Oh Christian, be aware when the Lord is doing his work in sorrows and in joys.

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