Before saying anything more about my experiences many years ago, I wanted to thank God for allowing me to write about these things and thank YOU for caring enough to read about them and in some cases to be blessed by them. Certainly what I have been sharing is not the most positive stuff I have ever written, but sometimes that is just the way life is. We all want every day to be a springtime picnic in the park with beautiful flowers everywhere and children laughing etc. But, as we know, that is certainly not the case. Until we learn to stand faithfully for God in the bad times as well as the good; we will never remain faithful to Him for a lifetime.
In Matthew 13, Jesus told the people the parable of the sower . In this parable, Jesus talked about the farmer who went out to scatter his seed. Some fell along the path and birds came and ate it up. Some fell on rocky places where there was not much soil. These seeds quickly sprang up but because the soil was shallow, when the sun came up they were scorched and withered because they had no root. Some seed fell among the thorns which when the seeds came up, choked them. Some seed fell on good ground where it produced a crop that was 100, 60 or 30 times what had been sown.
Jesus went on to explain that the bird who ate the first seed is the evil one who snatches the Word sown in the heart of a person. The second seed fell on rocky places, which is the person who gets all lit up upon hearing the Word of God and is filled with great joy; but, because he has no root, when tribulation or persecution arises he stumbles and falls away. The third seed sown was among the thorns and is the person who hears the Word of God but the cares and worries of this life and the deceitfulness of wealth and riches choke the Word and he becomes unfruitful. The fourth seen sown was upon good soil and is the man who hears and understands the Word of God and produces a crop yielding 100, 60 or 30 times what was sown.
Unfortunately, the majority of people who hear the Word of God end up in one of the first three categories. For many people, the Word of God lands on a hard heart and the adversary quickly snatches it away. They never have a chance to grow because their heart is unwilling to accept the truth. For many people, although they receive the Word of God with great excitement and joy, because they do not become rooted and grounded in the Word; when bad things start to happen, they quickly fall away. Many people receive the Word of God with meekness and the Word even starts to take root, but they become distracted by the cares and worries of this life and the deceitfulness of wealth and the Word becomes unfruitful.
Then there are those people who not only hear the Word of God but UNDERSTAND it. These are the people who go on to produce a crop of varying amounts depending on their abilities. These precious people are the ones who against all odds fight for the Word of God they have heard and who do what is necessary to understand it. They attend worship services, they attend Bible study groups, they spend time talking with those who have stood for God for many years etc. These are the people that represent the good soil which is a meek, willing and faithful heart.
At no point in my life has the evil one ever snatched the Word of God out of my heart. Even during times of intense tribulation and persecution, such as I have been documenting in recent blogs, did I ever flip out , trip out , freak out or drop out of the Word of God. If there is one thing I can be eternally thankful for, it is that no matter how bad things go around me and even inside of me; I never quit. Not that I wasn't tempted to throw in the towel, for I was. But I refused to allow the adversary the thrill of plucking another of God's men off the tree of life and trampling him underfoot. This resolution carried me through the intensely difficult years of 1984 and 1985. This resolution allowed my Lord Jesus Christ to keep me from driving off a cliff or totally self destructing. This resolution saved me from total spiritual oblivion and having to live with knowing I turned my back on the Lord and walked away.
Even in my darkest hour, I still loved God and cried out to Him for deliverance. Even when everything I once held dear fell apart and collapsed around me, I still remained devoted to God in my heart. Even when I strayed and ended up feeding pigs far away, I still knew that I would return to God's glorious home; which I did. When I finally crawled up the driveway to God's heart, wounded and exhausted; God came running to me to pick me up and carry me the rest of the way home. God never failed me, even when I failed Him. God never gave up on me, even when I was teetering on the edge of ending things. God never stopped loving me, even when I was unlovable. God never quit forgiving me, even when I really messed things up. God is faithful and my testimony as expressed in these blogs is to His faithfulness, His goodness, His forgiveness, His mercy, His grace and most of all His great love.
I must stop now for the tears I am crying are clouding my eyes. Our God is good and so willing to love and forgive us if we allow Him. Oh how I love our God.