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Further Along My Passage

February 2016
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Red-Bellied Woodpecker (winter birds ). Photo by WeatherWise

“Write while the heat is in you.  When the farmer burns a hole in his yoke, he carries the host iron quickly from the fire to the wood, for every moment it is less effectual to penetrate (pierce) it.  It must be used instantly, or it is useless.  The writer who postpones the recording of his thoughts uses an iron which has cooled to burn a hole with.  He cannot inflame the minds of his audience.”  Henry David Thoreau in his autobiographical journal I to Myself, Feb 10, 1852.

Snow Princess (snow birds ). Photo by RevMac


“O man greatly beloved, fear not: peace be unto thee, be strong, yea, be strong.  And when he had spoken unto me, I was strengthened....”   Daniel 10:19


Golden Crowned Kinglet (winter birds ). Photo by IndianHead 

February is the month when the western world celebrates the theme of Love, a many splendored thing. Perhaps in all literature, the soaring grandeur of discovering divine love to the human soul is unmatched by an angel’s message to the Old Testament prophet Daniel at a time of crisis in the life of his people, noted in the text above.  This scrap of autobiography of one who lived and recorded his prophecies six centuries before Christ can be a catalyst for Christian believers today as they examine their prayer life and surrender their insecurities, fears and yearnings to the Holy Spirit.  While he is yet praying, Daniel is interrupted by a messenger of the Lord telling him that from the moment he set his heart to understand and to chasten himself before God, his words were heard.  “I am come for thy words”, the messenger said.  Here in Holy Script we have Daniel’s encounter with Christ (per Matthew Henry’s commentary), an answer to his prayer while earnestly seeking God with his whole heart.  Dare we believe that God will do or has done that for us also?  Notice Daniel’s prayer posture at this moment: ‘then was I in a deep sleep on my face, and my face toward the ground’ when the angel spoke.  James S. Stewart suggests moments such as this with Daniel are common to all when God is speaking to us: 

 

“If ever you have been moved, in some great hour of the fulfilment of heart’s desire; if ever, when some hope of years lay ruined, there spoke a still small voice; ...if ever a word in a hymn, or prayer, or sermon has been to you the opening of a window towards Jerusalem; if ever a memory of home, or someone’s trust and affection, or the eyes of a little child, or some strange thoughts of a green hill far away and a cross against the skyline, have held honor securely upon the throne of your life in a day when honor is threatened;....if ever there has fallen across your path some gleam of light that was never on sea or land – then I beg you, give that experience its due name....Call it the revelation of God, and you will be gloriously right!” 

 

(James S. Stewart in The Gates of New Life.) 

 

With Daniel, it was a matter of being sensitive to the presence of God in the manifest ways He has to awaken us to His presence and caring love. .

Approver's Choice

Unusual colored sunset (sunrise+sunset winter sky trees ). Photo by Hamptonite



The highest science, the loftiest speculation, the mightiest philosophy, which can ever engage the attention of a child of God, is the name, the nature, the person, the work, the doings, and the existence of the great God whom he calls his Father. There is something exceedingly improving to the mind in a contemplation of the Divinity. It is a subject so vast, that all our thoughts are lost in its immensity; so deep that our pride is drowned in its infinity. Other subjects we can compass and grapple with; in them we feel a kind of self-content, and go our way with the thought, "Behold I am wise." But when we come to this master-science, finding that our plumb-line cannot sound its depth, and that our eagle eye cannot see its height, we turn away with the thought, that vain man would be wise, but he is like a wild ass's colt; and with the solemn exclamation, "I am but of yesterday, and know nothing." Charles Hadden Spurgeon


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