My recent slow and meditative reading of Psalms has been particularly rich as the Lord tenderly helps me with my personal struggles, discouragements, and frustrations. This exchange of thoughts with my Heavenly Father was especially helpful one lonely morning.
Is not my weeping sanctified unto you Lord? You put my tears in your bottle (Psalm 56:8) They are, every one of them, remembered, written in your book, and precious to you. When this lonely sparrow falls to the ground, you, my Father, see and know. (Psalm 102:7/Matthew 10:29)
He that goeth forth and weepeth . . . (Psalm 126:6)
Tears come, yes, but I take joy in knowing that they are watering the seeds of the gospel going forth by Stephen’s beautiful feet in Sierra Leone. My tears of loneliness aren’t tears of self pity. It is weeping for longing to be in the harvest field with Stephen, gathering the fruitful ears to our Lord’s garner. But one day we will raise the song of harvest home! One day your harvest house will be full and on that morning will our tears, mine and Stephen’s, be turned to joy.
. . . bearing precious seed . . .
I am continually aware of the thought that my tears could be stayed now. The tempter repeatedly reminds me that I could call back the beloved laborer from the field. And Stephen would come if I but ask him. But what then? Do I count my temporary heartache of greater value than that of eternal souls who are lost in shades of night? Do we cease to publish glad tidings of life and light and love in Jesus Christ to this predominantly Muslim land? There is no other gospel witness in the vast Eastern, Northern, and parts of the Southern provinces, the areas of Stephen’s broadening circuit. The harvest truly is great, but the labourers are few. (Luke 10:2) Do I deny these lost ones a chance to hear the gospel for the sake of my own comfort? I cannot. I will not.
. . . shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him.
My darling Stephen, my heart goes forth with yours as much as if I were there with you. I see the dusty villages; I know the fearful hearts longing to be released from spiritual bondage; I see the light in the eyes of those upon whom understanding is breaking forth. One day, Father, my heart will cease from its weeping and rejoice when we, together with them, are raised to your glorious harvest home. The time is short.
But this I say, brethren, the time is short: it remaineth, that both they that have wives be as though they had none; and they that weep, as though they wept not . . . (I Corinthians 7:29-30)
Post Script: Two days prior to these thoughts being recorded in my journal, while home alone as always on Sunday morning, our assistant pastor, Brother David Brown, preached a message which was of such help to me in my personal challenges that I am including the link for it here with the hope it might also be an encouragement to you. It is entitled “What Kept Jesus on the Cross” (click on this link) and is well worth your time. I am most thankful for LiveStream being available so I get to almost be in church! I’m also very thankful for the many gifted men the Lord has blessed us with at Bible Baptist Church and their ability to feed the flock.