Hear my cry, O God; Attend to my prayer. From the end of the earth I will cry to You, When my heart is overwhelmed; Lead me to the rock that is higher than I. For You have been a shelter for me, A strong tower from the enemy. I will abide in Your tabernacle forever; I will trust in the shelter of Your wings.
I know this journey has become very difficult for you, but I want you to know that you have not failed me, but in truth it is a passage way, a deep and narrow step off the beaten path. Yet, it is the way. I am the way, remember that. You are in me, and I in you, WE are in the Father. My Spirit has compelled you to come hither, and you have answered that call, but it has brought you to this place, that feels like a hollowed canyon, where an endless stream has cut through a path for you, and still the waters flow … This the way of the deep, calling.
This road I’ve brought you on to travel has (increasingly) proven to be more narrow, and more difficult, as time moves on; still, I am with you. Did I not say, “Lo, I am with you always?” It should comfort you to know there is no other way for you to go, for you are walled in with me, so deep, so narrow, and so high there can be no wrong turn from here. For we have converged upon THE MOUNTAIN now, there is no where else for you to go, remember those days your heart would swell with joy when you stood from it so far? From a distance cool rains and sunsets washed a glory mist upon it, and you wept for the beauty of it? Knowing, someday, someday … Well beloved SOMEDAY has come, for my people are converging upon the mountain of The Lord, and it will test and try you but know this for certain, there was a time when you had many ways that you could choose to go, but you have chosen THE WAY, and have embarked upon HIS path, did I not say straight is the gate and narrow the path that leads to life and few their be who find it?
Now follow me, nothing that you have done wrong has put you here, but it is that ford, that bridge, that is taking you to the other-side, representing those crossings beyond your own ability, that takes you into mine. See my hand extended to comfort you? Though not far from you, have I not always reminded you I am near? Know that your cries are heard by me as much as your silence, you cannot be left alone- your walls are continually before me, as my walls surround you, I am the rock cut from the mountain of The Lord, fashioned without hands, you are anchored in the cornerstone of the promises of the Father, who is not a man that he should lie, or the son of man that he could be mistaken, your journey is one of purpose, at the crossing of man’s ability and into the endless possibilities that are mine. The mountain of The Lord increases, my Kingdom is come. We will make our début, as the church triumphant! They will know those whom overcome as the pillars of the temple, bearers of the weightiness of the glory of the Father, in the place His presence abides!
Isaiah 28:16 Therefore thus says the Lord GOD, “Behold, I am laying in Zion a stone, a tested stone, A costly cornerstone for the foundation, firmly placed. He who believes in it will not be disturbed. “I will make justice the measuring line And righteousness the level; Then hail will sweep away the refuge of lies And the waters will overflow the secret place.
Solomon’s Song 2:14
“O my dove, in the clefts of the rock, In the secret place of the steep pathway, Let me see your form, Let me hear your voice; For your voice is sweet, And your form is lovely…
Let Me Hear Your Voice
I saw my self walking a path at the bottom of what appeared to be an extremely high and narrow canyon, it narrowed as I progressed further down the path and began to feel like I was walking in a way that was cut in stone, in fact this path seemed to be cut through a mountain, and I was walking though what I began to understand was a passage way, proving to become more narrow, and more difficult in the passing of time. I knew I had to continue- I was compelled, convinced, and resolved to keep going, but the further in this trek I walked, the more fear would creep in and doubt would trouble my mind as the deepening canyon cast ever darker shadows. But, I would shake it off, and keep going, the path came to a passage, it was more narrow, the walls of it towered above me; yet, impossible as it seemed, I was able to keep going. It was at this point, in the mountain, where the walls were their highest, where the way extremely narrow, and the sense of isolation deepened. It all became to much for me, and I felt I was asked to accomplish an impossible feet.
I found myself in a battle of wits fending off fear’s taunt, as my mind succumbed to an icy notion that I was stuck, with no way out, and wouldn’t be able to move. That some how I believed a lie, I felt doubt tear through me like shards of ice, an accusatory voice taunting me, “You’re going the wrong way”, I thought I couldn’t breathe, and I wept for what seemed like hours lodged in the depths of this rock mountain. Now, I stood there convinced I had done something wrong for this to be happening to me, thinking this could not have been what God had planned for my life. I remembered Jonah’s lament and felt that I could understand a portion of his agony.
“I cried out to the Lord because of my affliction,
And He answered me.”
“Out of the belly of Sheol I cried,
And You heard my voice.
For You cast me into the deep,
Into the heart of the seas,
And the floods surrounded me;
All Your billows and Your waves passed over me.
Then I said, ‘I have been cast out of Your sight;
Yet I will look again toward Your holy temple.’
The waters surrounded me, even to my soul;
The deep closed around me;
Weeds were wrapped around my head.
I went down to the moorings of the mountains;
The earth with its bars closed behind me forever;
Yet You have brought up my life from the pit,
O Lord, my God.
“When my soul fainted within me,
I remembered the Lord;
And my prayer went up to You,
Into Your holy temple.
“Those who regard worthless idols
Forsake their own Mercy.
But I will sacrifice to You
With the voice of thanksgiving;
I will pay what I have vowed.
Salvation is of the Lord.”
At some point in this moment of despair I seemed to rise above my self and go outside from where I was, and I became the “her” the “she” whom I was now watching below. I could see “her”, seemingly, embedded in a deep cleft, in the narrow canyon of a rock mountain, passing through an etched path of what looked like luminous blue gray granite. The sky had an aurora effect that cast everything into a blue translucent light as if the stars and moon were reflecting the sun as fully as they could past the twilight hour. “She” was in the pathway cut through it, deep and narrow, as I watched her I listened. She softly wept between intervals of silence, she whispered, she recited verses, and in the late night screamed out banishments to fear. When her voice grew silent I could hear the rythematic breathing in her intervals of rest.
At times she conversed, she laughed, and worshipped the Father, it was in these times her journey seemingly progressed in a steady clip. She sang little songs, but when the shadows deepened and the wind shifted she wept, she sobbed, she grew silent, she slept, she awoke, she whispered, she recited, she rested, she wept, but somehow the tears would always give way to an assurance that would lift her up to go on, and every time she rose up she found the only thing that would lodge her stuck in the passage way was when her fears would get the best of her, and doubt would overwhelm her. From above I could see, In truth, “she” was not hungry, thirsty, or lost. (The she who was I) could breathe … I was never once stuck, cold, nor ever in danger. It puzzled me why moving forward through this passageway would at times cause so much brokenness in my life, every time it stemmed from the same disturbing thought, questioning not God, but my ability to hear God, doubting not the creator, but the creature’s fallibility. In that I was helplessly and hopelessly flawed, just one more dark thought away from disaster.
An Expected End
As I watched myself from above, I thought: I cannot help myself to see, that (The WAY) had an expected end, a sure finish, lined up with the rising of the dawn, and was just this one dark night away, in a place I was never alone. For not only had the Great Shepherd walked this same path, the Spirit of the Lord was my enduring guide. I prayed to the Lord to lift me up. It was then that I heard Him begin to speak to me in a loving tone, to keep my focus fixed upon him, through this transition, in this place so difficult, saying, “He whose mind is stayed upon me has perfect peace.” He exhorted me to meditate on His word, to pray unceasingly, to worship and praise, to sing to myself spiritual songs, and keep my focus upon Him, always. He brought me back to those instances when I lost my mental footing and the journey became to difficult to bear.
He said, “In these times you let your mind drift and though it provided momentary escape for you, it wasn’t what you needed to keep your spiritual equilibrium; but, rather, was what caused you to lose your footing.” I remembered when that happened, my mind drifted away and went somewhere else, I remember looking back, staring into the rock as if it was a movie screen going back into the recesses of my mind. How I could somehow sprout wings and fly away; but, when I had come back to myself from these empty daydreams, to the crevice where I stood … it was somehow darker, the Lord’s voice masked by the howl of the arid cavity I stood in, only to feel lonelier … and it was there the doubts began to be hurled at me, landing like razor edged stones cutting into my soul, my own voice taunting me as I stood paralysed, heaving in tears. Still, a broken and contrite heart the Lord will not ignore, He will not despise it, and mercy would lift me up, and enable me to realize, I was free all along to progress in this journey, to move on in Him, by faith, and so I did. I moved, and when I did the restrictions that seemingly froze me in my tracks, drifted off like ghostly cords, unravelling from my arms, legs, and hands.
The only restraints that restrained me were those of my cruel imaginations. Had I kept my focus the essence of His being would have called upon me to continue to keep moving as it had been, all along. But, in my fatigue I looked away, Oh, if I could sprout wings and fly away, my strength betrayed me … But, I remembered HIS promises and when I thought I couldn’t go any farther, and the hours became days, He appeared there beside me, and said, “Look from where you come and what you passed through. So I did, I was astounded at the cleft in the Rock I had just passed through, knowing I had come this way; but, from where I came was physically impossible for any one to go through, I looked a gain and understood it was the via Delarosa. The only one who can take us through, was the one who had gone through it Himself. The Lord said, “This is the eye of the needle that is impossible with men, yet, is possible with God.”
I could see I had to have this encounter in order to face what I had to pass through next. For it was just as narrow and, seemingly, just as impossible; but, I was encouraged. I remembered a word the Lord gave to me years prior. “When the gift of faith takes you into extraordinary circumstances, an extraordinary prayer life is required to sustain it.” These places are dangerous to back slide in, for when we have experienced the remarkable acts, and attributes of God, and then have fallen away from Him, Satan’s delight to punish such a one is found in great cruelty, it would be better for them to have never known HIS remarkable power, than to have known it, tasted of it, flourished in it, just to fall under the spell of the deceitfulness of sin, and regress from the truth. This the Father’s concern for us and HIS MERCY is clear in the mystery of balancing our root systems with draught, to grow them deep, with out causing our fruit to perish.
But You, O Lord, do not be far from Me;
O My Strength, hasten to help Me!
Deliver Me from the sword,
My precious life from the power of the dog.
Save Me from the lion’s mouth
And from the horns of the wild oxen!
I will declare Your name to My brethren;
In the midst of the assembly I will praise You.
You who fear the Lord, praise Him!
All you descendants of Jacob, glorify Him,
And fear Him, all you offspring of Israel!
For He has not despised nor abhorred the affliction of the afflicted;
Nor has He hidden His face from Him;
But when He cried to Him, He heard.
This truth became evident in those moments of doubt in the mountain cleft. How quickly a satanic suggestion is near to creep in with mockery in order to destroy the progress of the miraculous. In contrast to the extreme, there is also the challenge to live in the mundane, and serve him well there, this is an allowance approved as acceptable, and of reasonable service, from a merciful Father, to preserve us. The author and finisher of our faith, is the one who is constantly pressing out imperfections that would destroy us under pressure should they be solidified with in the constitution of what makes us who we are. This is letting patience having her perfect work, in us that extreme circumstances can perfect us, not destroy us.
So He is faithful in the breaking, when we need broken, and in the mending, when we need torn, and in the moulding, even to the marring of the clay, when starting over serves HIS greater purpose in perfecting us … As long as we are in His hands, walking in HIS WAY, there will be no regrets, nor failure. Even our set backs in Christ will cause us to arrive right on time. Many times I asked the Lord, “Please let me do more for you.” Like a Father holding on to the tugging hands of His little daughter who would rather run than talk, He says, “I know how to send you ahead with out losing you. Let all things be in my will, and in my time.” So the lesson is rest in HIM, and trust, never doubt that He is in you as you abide in Him. In all things give thanks, to this one- The Author and Finisher of Our Faith.
Luke 4:1 Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, left the Jordan and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness …