Friday, February 4, 2011

On the Altar

"I am nothing but sharp edges and splinters.. shards of a splattered and shattered faith, using those shanks and points to keep His love at a distance so I don't have to face Him.   Yet He allows Himself to be pierced and bloodied once again as He draws me close,  holding me in His arms of love and grace and pulling those spears and swords into His body and heart as He covers me.   How can He stand it?  How can He stand me? "
I wrote these words one 2:00 a.m. morning  several years ago.   It was  a time when my life was broken and I felt that I had nothing left to give.  Nothing but pain.
Looking back, I see the hand of God in my life, shaping me and changing me into the person He created me to be.   Growing me.    Growing my faith.   Growing my confidence and trust in Him.
The following hymn (written by Elisha Hoffman ) comes to my mind  with new understanding of the lyrics:
You have longed for sweet peace,
And for faith to increase,
And have earnestly, fervently prayed;
But you cannot have rest,
Or be perfectly blest,
Until all on the altar is laid.

Is your all on the altar of sacrifice laid?
Your heart does the Spirit control?
You can only be blest,
And have peace and sweet rest,
As you yield Him your body and soul.

Would you walk with the Lord,
In the light of His Word,
And have peace and contentment alway?
You must do His sweet will,
To be free from all ill,
On the altar your all you must lay.

O we never can know
What the Lord will bestow
Of the blessings for which we have prayed,
Till our body and soul
He doth fully control,
And our all on the altar is laid.

Who can tell all the love
He will send from above,
And how happy our hearts will be made,
Of the fellowship sweet
We shall share at His feet,
When our all on the altar is laid.

I laid my life in the hands of Jesus.   He has not disappointed.  He has not let me down.  Ever.  He suffered for me and with me personally.     I gave Him my future, my past, my present.   He owns it.  He owns me.   

He, in turn, and as the song says, has given me peace and contentment and a happy heart.  The altar of His love is the crucible that changed my life.  

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