This month, our meditation has been excerpted from the book entitled, Bound to Be Free compiled by Jan Pit. In the following short quotation from the Christian martyr, Mehdi Dibaj, prior to his death (from Iran. Rev. Dibaj was murdered six months after he was released from prison), there is fodder for reflection and perhaps application:
You hem me in -- behind and before; you have laid your hand upon me. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, too lofty for me to attain. (Psalm 139:5-6)
Truly, living with God is glorious.
The darker the night, the closer the dawn.
The darker the clouds, the more plentiful the life-giving rains.
The narrower the way, the more God's unlimited help.
The greater the troubles, the more the comforts from God. Though the waves of the sea
get higher, it can never disturb the calm of the depths!
Though the storm be violent, it cannot displace the mountain. Those who trust in the Lord
are like mountains that cannot be shaken.
The person who lives in the shadow of the Almighty will never be disturbed by the heat.
A moment of introspection: Again, perspective from the field -- "Living with God is glorious". It is that for us as well, or can be--for Christ Himself said that he had... "come that they [we] might have life, and have it to the full." (John 10:10b; my clarification) Paul knew where this "glorious" life comes from (Philippians 4:19). He lived it, though his path led to his own cross in Rome. The night for him was dark and darker, yet he saw the dawn come close; he knew the weeping of the night AND the rejoicing that ensued (Psalm 30:5). Pastor Dibaj glorified in Christ Jesus even to his own death at the hands of assassins. We too see storm clouds massing and await "the life-giving rains" of Christ's soon return; the darkness cannot hide the Light within, or the Light of the World who reigns with God on high. We can experience firsthand the mercies of God that spring up toward us with the dawn of each new day (Lamentations 3:22-23); great, indeed, is His faithfulness throughout all generations. Many today seek the wide road of universal salvation; as followers of Christ we are to examine ourselves "to see whether you [we] are in the faith; test yourselves." (2 Corinthians 13:5a, my clarification). It is a good exercise to take on, for we know that the gate is small and the road narrow "that leads to life, and only a few find it." (Matthew 7:13-14)
Pastor Dibaj acknowledged the troubles that beset us in our lives. Yet he saw beyond the troubles, and noted a direct relationship between troubles and God's comforts bestowed on us. Mehdi averred that "the greater the troubles, the more the comforts from God. Though the waves of the sea get higher, it can never disturb the calm of the depths!" E.E.B. Rogers expressed "the depths" beautifully, in the following:
Go deeper into me, Lord Jesus; yes, deeper every day,
Till Thou has conquered me, Lord Jesus; go deeper all the way.
Go deeper into me, Lord Jesus; search all the secret springs
Of thought and action, words and feelings, of great and little things.
Go deeper into me, Lord Jesus, cleanse all the hidden parts,
Where pride, or touchiness, or temper, may lurk within my heart.
Go deeper into me, Lord Jesus,
Till Thou canst really rise,
Out of the depths of this my being,
Through Thy great Sacrifice.
As Thou dost rise in me, Lord Jesus,
The life shall be Thine own,
Till o'er my humbled broken spirit
Thou reignest on Thy throne.
How deeply have we let our Savior into the recesses of our lives--illuminating and cleansing us from within, establishing and securing the work of the Helper, freshly enthroned in our lives and directing our paths (Proverbs 3:6)? In the depths of our soul ruled by Christ, wild waves or troubles can never separate us from God's love and comfort. Great troubles vs. peace of God (which transcends all understanding... [Philippians 4:6-7])? The peace of God shines through.
Though the storm be violent, we can be unshakable; God's Word says so (Proverbs 3:5-6; Psalm 37:23-24) if our trust is "in the Lord." And lastly, the heat of a world at war with Christ may well lead us to the shadow of the Almighty's wings (Read Psalm 91 for this "air conditioning"). There is indeed a balm in Gilead (Jeremiah 8:22); there is a strong tower into which we can run (Proverbs 18:10), and divine wings to take shelter under (Psalm 91). Wow!
Pastor Mehdi Dibaj speaks to us from the glorious life he knew before his death. Today, he lives in eternity in a robe of white, glorifying God with all of his being. In this life we live, God's Word shows us what a glorious existence we have available to us--no matter what heat, trouble, storms, clouds, night, waves, limited options, etc., might beset us. We're headed home, folks--soon and very soon. Should the rest of our trip not be glorious, and glorifying to God? Mehdi Dibaj, a martyr for the sake of Christ, resoundingly still says "Yes!"