Excerpts from "Heart Breathings"
========================== The Wise Men Worshiped Him ========================== You have ears to hear? Then come, draw near, And listen to my solo On the greatest event heaven ever sent! (My version's via Marco Polo) "The three wise men were kings," says Marco, "In search of the King of Glory!" And I, for one, am going to hear While he unfolds the story: "Gaspar from hoary Tarshish came, Erect of head, with ancient name; He came through dangers; he came afar, Held to his course by a guiding star. His beast swayed under a burdened back With the weight of the gifts and the young king black- A young king, strong and straight as an arrow, No fear in his heart or down to his marrow; Strong, reckless, happy, thrilled, and bold, He sought for the King and he brought royal gold. He slept by day and moved by night (For only then the star gave light); Without the star he might miss the way That led to the Lord of Eternal Day. As the time sped on, he went faster, faster, Fearing that death or some disaster Would rob him of getting that lasting joy His heart had craved since a little boy. In the danger of brigands and bears at night He was warmed by the star and cheered by its light. "A city he saw, and drawing near, Met Belthazar, king of famed Chaldee, Whose feet the wearying miles had trod, His soul athirst for the living God. 'That I might find Him,' was his humble cry As he swept a tear from his wind-cut eye; 'For life without God does not make sense,' He said as he clutched his frankincense. And though he was king of famed Chaldee, And though he had riches without a peer, And though he could rule with an iron rod, And though he could get his way with a nod, And though men bowed and revered his name, His heart was sinful - just the same As the kings who had feasted at his table, Or the boys who had cleaned his unclean stable. So he sought for the God Who could cleanse from sin And end the curse and chaos within. The two raced on, ignoring all views, Or the innkeeper's warning and scaring news. As they smoothly moved, without ever a word, They conscious grew of the form of a third. King Gaspar challenged: 'Your name, good Sire?' And, trembling with age, he answered, 'Melchior- 'And I'm seeking the Gift of gifts most dear; Though I'm lord and king of famed Nubia. I seek the Redeemer, the Sufferer! My humble gift? - just a gift of myrrh.' "And now the kings (and they were three) Moved on to the nativity. The star led on where Mary sat, Caroling her magnificat. 'My soul doth magnify. . .,' she sang, Until the very stable rang. They found their Savior, King, and Lord, With gifts they worshiped and adored." WISE men worshiped! They still do - A lesson, friend, to me and you. ==================== Let me Drink Thy Cup ==================== Prune my withered branch; Dung my fruitless tree; Spring up my dried out well, O Christ of Calvary. Touch my dimming eyes; Oil my stammering tongue; Complete, dear Lord, in me What Thou hast scarce begun. Power me for the load; Wean me for Thy will; Love me with Thy rod, And more I'll love Thee still. Of Thy suffering, Lord, I pray, "fill me up," That I may follow Thee. O let me drink Thy cup! =========================== He Knows the Way He Taketh, And I Will Walk With Him =========================== God called to us, His people, To be His holy Bride. From out the rest of living souls, He calls us to His side. The way He calls is rugged, steep; The way He knows - we are His sheep. No blind design - He has the goals; His love leads to the waterholes, Gives us this day our daily bread, And hitherto He's always led. Though dark the way, though the path be steep, He drives the wolves from us, His sheep. At times the clouds obscure His face, But, bless His name, supplies of Grace Can fortify 'gainst every shock. His wisdom plans for all the flock. Just now the skies seem solid brass; Fear not, just think: "It came - to pass!" The furnace seven times hotter be, "My Grace" sufficient is for thee. Your soul is riding out the gale; Your courage falters, and the tale Is not yet told, But brighter gold Comes from this long hostility. And Jesus says, "Look unto Me - I've planned for thee eternal days, I've planned for thee a thousand ways. I went through MY Gethsemane, Will YOU, my child, bear this for Me? My back was stripped, I bore the rod, Will you bear this for Me, your God? I've planned for thee a jeweled crown, Will you 'go through,' or let Me down?" Can you bear up a few more years, Or will you cause your Master tears? While Joseph's brothers made a pile, Young Joseph suffered for a while. That "while" just seemed a lengthy season With no design, no rhyme or reason. The brothers didn't care a bit That Joseph languished in a pit. They showed no sorrow for his plight, They cared not for the wrong or right, BUT God was there behind the cloud! (He does not shout His plans aloud.) The path through pit and prison led - For Joseph - to the nation's head. Not then did Joseph weep or groan, Each step was leading to a throne! The starving brothers soon behold A ruler with a chain of gold. They wept and each his breast did smite Before one sold to th'Ishmaelite, Their brother! With the power of death! Each man fell down with panting breath. Forgiving, Joseph understood: "Ye meant me evil - God meant good! He did not leave me or forsake. He knew each step I had to take. My Shepherd led by pastures green, No other way could there have been For ME to prove that He is God. I loved the dark, I kissed the rod!" Now through a darksome glass we see; But OH! the GLORY yet to be! ================== The Martyr's Crown ================== The saints of old were beaten, tried, Condemned and even crucified. These martyr men beat no retreat When flames were licking at their feet. They saw the tyrants' brandished steel, But still they offered no appeal. They struck no bargain for their lives, For their children or their wives; All slowly roasted in the flames While angels wrote each of their names Within a book God calls His own, To be proclaimed before His throne. Then we shall know of their renown When each receives his martyr's crown, When God shall say to them, "Well done - You ran the race, pressed on, and won When in that race men said 'Insane!' But now I gladly own your name. Now you are home - come dwell with Me In joy through all eternity." --- Excerpts taken from "Heart Breathings" by Leonard Ravenhill. Used by permission. Copyright 1995 by Harvey Christian Publishers, L.L.P. 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