S: We Would See Jesus Lilah Lehman Gustafson
FC: We Would See Jesus Patterns in Poetry A Journal of God's Care Lilah Lehman Gustafson
1: TABLE OF CONTENTS Preface Introduction The Lord Is Good Trust His Heart He Is My Life My Gi-gi Gethsemane God Is Still in Control Not My Will Lest I Should Be Exalted Above Measure My El Shaddai, Adoni A Quiet Soul A Time of Learning God Carries Me Before I Called My Teacher and Guide Maranatha!
2: Preface And there were certain Greeks among them that came up to worship at the feast; The same came therefore to Philip...saying 'Sir, we would see Jesus.' John 12:20-21 How can we see Jesus? We can't physically look upon Him, but we can see Him in His Word, and we can be as near to Him as the Greeks at the feast were when we come to Him in prayer. Is it really your heart's cry to see Jesus? To all who seek Him, He will be found. But if from thence thou shalt seek the LORD thy God, thou shalt find Him, if thou seek Him with all thy heart and with all thy soul. Deuteronomy 4:29
3: T | Make Thy face to shine upon Thy servant; and teach me Thy statutes. Psalm 119:135 | If My people, which are called by My name, shall humbles themselves, and pray, and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land. II Chronicles 7:14
4: The winter of 2012 will be permanently etched in my heart. It has been my "Gethsemane"--a time of pain, tears, and commitment. It has been a time of abandonment to God's will for me. Through the uncertainties of my health, I have had to face my weakness. It is wrenching to crucify the flesh! It hurts deeply! But time and again, through Scripture, the Lord reminded me that I am His; He will carry me; He will never forsake me. I am in His care. These are powerful lessons to learn. As Job said during his trials, Though He slay me, yet will I trust Him. (Job 13:15) Herein is complete trust and abandon to God Whose way is perfect and Whose heart is love. Some folks journal their spiritual journeys through notes or essays. My thoughts emerge through poetry. The following poems are very personal and reflect my heart. They chronicle this spiritual journey. Through it all, it has been my desire to keep my focus on the Lord, hence the title of the book, "We Would See Jesus." May these simple poems yet profound thoughts touch your heart. Lilah | Introduction
5: The Lord is Good The LORD is good; a strong hold in the day of trouble; and He knoweth them that trust in Him. Nahum 1:7 The Lord is good; 'tis ever so. It is His attribute. This doctrine can't be qualified; this truth we can't refute, For God is God! He does not change, and all He does is right, No matter what my circumstance, no matter what my plight. God's goodness is unal'trable, forever firm and sure, And in the day of trouble, yet His goodness shall endure. He is my Rock and Fortress and my Strong hold in the blast; And when the storms rage all about me, He will hold me fast. God can be only good! Oh, may I not despair nor doubt! Cast out imaginations, for God knows what He's about! For evil does not come from God. He tempts not any man, But every good and perfect gift is from His loving hand. With God, there is no shade of turning; ever He's the same! He's worthy of my faith and trust. O praise His holy name! My God is good ALL of the time. It never can be nay. He knoweth them that trust in Him. Lord, have Your perfect way! Lilah Lehman Gustafson
6: Rest in the LORD... Psalm 37:7
7: Trust His Heart ...He hath done all things well... Mark 7:37 When we're overwhelmed with questions and can't trace the Father's hand; When we've bowed the knee in worship, and yet do not understand–– Trust His Heart! When the answers are elusive, explanations vague or bleak; When we cannot see God's purpose, and resolve and strength are weak-- Trust His Heart! When our plans have come to nothing, and our efforts seem in vain; When we've set out with great vigor, but seen verve and spirit wane-- Trust His Heart! God does not ask understanding of this poor and feeble heart. Faith in Him is what He wants of us; to trust Him is our part. For the biggest battle we will face that leads us to despair Is to doubt God's love, destroying faith in His unfailing care. It is when we face these struggles and we cannot trace His hand That we place our lives in His control to do as He has planned-- And Trust His Heart! Lilah Lehman Gustafson
8: If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God. When Christ, Who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with Him in glory. Colossians 3:1-4
9: He Is My Life I lift my eyes unto the Lord, Leave earthly things behind. As Christ fills all my vision, There He purifies my mind. Affections of the lust and flesh Must all be cast aside. Christ is my life! He is the Vine. In Him I will abide. Lilah Lehman Gustafson I am the Vine, ye are the branches; He that abideth in Me and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit; for without Me, ye can do nothing. John 15:5 | .
10: We all have things we cling to! In themselves they may not be necessarily bad, but ultimately, they replace that which is for our good. There are steps of maturity that move us on to greater growth. We leave the lesser things behind and accept that which will be best. As we love the Lord more, we will love the world less. Lord, help me to let go of the things that take my focus from You! With my whole heart have I sought Thee; O let me not wander from Thy commandments. Psalm 119:10 | My Gi-gi! For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. Matthew 6:21 I gave up my gi-gi one very sad day. I cried and I mourned as I gave it away; But now it is Grandpa's; he'll give it good care. I'll see it again when we ever go there. I'll hug it real tight and remember those days. My gi-gi and I will be friends for always! But now I'm a big boy; 'twas what I should do. I have a NEW friend for I have Daddy's GNU! Lilah Lehman Gustafson
11: Andrew with Daddy's gnu!
13: Gethsemane | Father, if Thou be willing, remove this cup from Me; nevertheless, not My will, but Thine be done. Luke 22:41-44 Gethsemane: a place of pain, of heartaches, struggles, fears. Our Savior knew Gethsemane and there shed wrenching tears. But there He knew surrender: Father, not My will, but Thine, And there accepted all God's plan, fulfilling His design. There would have been no Calvary without Gethsemane, For in that Garden there alone, He won the victory. The cross, the shame, the brokenness was soon to be His cup; But Satan could not rend from Christ what He had given up. For of His own He shed His blood and died for you and me, The battle won before begun at His Gethsemane. The strength to be forsaken and to bear the weight of sin Came from the Father in that hour, the victory to win. And there will be Gethsemanes for all our earthly days. We'll fellowship in suffering and sacrifice in praise. And in this time of brokenness, He makes of us pure wine. Now crushed and broken, we too say, "Not my will Lord, but Thine." Gethsemane's surrender and acceptance of God's will, Commitment with abandon, the Lord's purpose to fulfill. And when we open up our hands relinquishing all things, We'll know the fullness of His joy that sweet surrender brings. Lilah Lehman Gustafson
14: God Is Still in Control! I will never leave thee nor forsake thee. Hebrews 13:5 The Savior is with me; My heart is His home; He'll never forsake me Nor leave me alone. His presence within Is a comforting balm; He'll soothe and console me With His peace and calm. He knows all my needs, Every challenge I face. He'll show me His love And His unfailing grace. His goodness and mercy Will flood o'er my soul. I choose to rejoice. God is still in control! Lilah Lehman Gustafson Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life. Psalm 23:6
15: Gethsemane was where Christ died to self; Calvary is where He died for sin. We, too, must die to self and place our lives in the hands of Him Who saved us from sin to do that which will bring Him glory. Those "Gethsemanes" is our lives are those precious moments of full surrender, and it is then that Christ draws us close to Himself and reminds us that His way is perfect. ...Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honor, and glory, and blessing. Revelation 5:12 He is the Rock; His work is perfect: for all His ways are judgment; a God of truth and without iniquity, just and right is He. Deuteronomy 32:4
16: Not My Will ...I will make darkness light before them, and crooked things straight. These things will I do unto them, and not forsake them. Isaiah 42:16 I have raised him up in righteousness, and I will direct his ways. Isaiah 45:13 The Lord prayed , "Not My will." Oh, there is comfort in this thought, For in the flesh, 'twould not have been The thing that He'd have sought. But He'd surrendered all to God To do His perfect will. As Christ faced crucifixion, 'Twas His yielded spirit still. God says He will direct my ways And make the crooked straight. 'Tis mine to yield to all His will, To trust, believe, and wait. As I surrender all to Him And pray, "Thy will be done," I'll know the peace and joy Of daily walking with the Son. Lilah Lehman Gustafson That I may know Him ,and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being made conformable unto His death. Philippians 3:10
17: Lest I Be Exalted Above Measure ...I forbear, lest any man should think of me above that which he seeth me to be, or that he heareth of me. And lest I should be exalted above measure...there was given to me a thorn in the flesh... For this thing I sought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me. And He said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for My strength is made perfect in weakness... II Corinthians 12:6-9 I've always been a spunky one; it's part of who I am! The "spunky" gene was passed on down from Grandpa through the "fam." But I've been laying pretty low! I'm feeling mighty punk! I've lost my vim and vigor, and I miss that good old spunk! The thought that then occurred to me was this: could it be pride? Lest I should be exalted, has God laid my spunk aside? My strength all comes from God alone; the praise is all His due; But lest I would be proud, is my God teaching me anew? Lord, I confess to Thee this wrong; the glory all is Thine, And my dependence is on Thee. My spirit, Lord, refine. Forgive me for such boldness; help me conquer self and pride. Help me to know Your strength and in Your sustenance abide. Perhaps You have allowed this thorn to let me see Your face, To show me You're the Source of Strength, to know sufficient grace. Like Paul, this is my prayer: when I am weak, then I am strong. With spunk or not, may You be praised in glorifying song! Lilah Lehman Gustafson
18: My El Shaddai, Adoni El Shaddai Hebrew Almighty God Adoni Hebrew Master I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, Which is, and Which was, and Which is to come, the Almighty. Revelation 1:8 If God knows how many berries will be on a lowly bush In that great prophetic Tribulation Day; If God knows the rain will fall upon this place but not on that, Then it's surely true that all is in His sway. (Isaiah 17:6-7 Amos 4:7 Isaiah 14:24) If God knows how many hairs are on each head upon the earth, And He knows the name of every living soul; If the very winds and waves obey His word to storm or cease, It is surely proof that God is in control. (Matthew 10:30 John 1:47-49 Isaiah 49:1) So then why am I so anxious when life's troubles fill my plate, And my heart is burdened down with fear and loss? I must take my vision from those things that cause my heart to quake; I must focus on my Savior and the cross. (Philippians 4:6-7 Matthew 14:30 Isaiah 26:3-4 Psalm 112:7) For my God is only wise and ever perfect in His ways, Even though I may not always understand. He is El Shaddai, Almighty God, omnipotent is He! I'm secure within His great and mighty hand! (I Timothy 1:17 II Samuel 22:31-33 Isaiah 55:8-9 , 40:28 Proverbs 3:5-6)
19: Dear Lord God, You know my struggles, You know all about my need. There is nothing beyond Your all-seeing eye, And You love me with unfailing love; You'll keep me in Your care-- My great Savior, Precious Master, Adoni! Lilah Lehman Gustafson (Psalm 103:14 Matthew 6:33 II Chronicles 6:19 Job 28:10 Jeremiah 31:3 I Peter 5:7) | My times are in Thy hands Psalm 31:15
21: A Quiet Soul ...in quietness and in confidence shall be your strength... Isaiah 30:15 O Lord, still my soul; fill my heart with Your peace; From worry and anxiousness, bring me release. God, You are my refuge; help quiet my soul. Help me to remember that You're in control! Help me to cast down all discouraging thought; Lord, help me, instead, to look up as I ought. And when I am weak, Abba, Father, I pray. The Spirit Himself knows the words He should say. As He intercedes, I am placed at the throne, And there I am helped, for God cares for His own. The God of all grace--when I've suffered awhile-- Will strengthen and settle me, bringing a smile! I now can rejoice, for the vict'ry is mine. He floods me with mercy and grace that's divine. I leave all my wallowing in my despair. My soul is now quiet! I'm under His care! Lilah Lehman Gustafson
22: A Time of Learning Not that I speak in respect of want; for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content. Philippians 4:11 have learned: present perfect tense [an action or condition that was begun in the past and is completed at the present time and is continuing in the present] It's been a stage of learning in my time alone with God, A time of contemplation of the truths within His Word. I'm learning how this body is as dust, so weak and frail, And how imaginations cause my heart to quake and fail. I'm learning just how precious is my very life and breath. My being is from God alone, just as the Scripture saith. I'm learning just how intricate, how complex God's design, How fearful and how wonderful this earthly frame of mine! I'm learning not to focus on solutions for my need, But focus on the Savior and trust Him to intercede. I'm learning there aren't always answers for my questions, "Why?" But in these troubling moments, I am learning God is nigh. I'm learning how to fear the Lord as Scripture says I should. When I fear Him, I need fear naught, for all is for my good. I'm learning of the comfort of my husband, fam'ly, friends; How humbling that they pray for me; how sweet the cheer they send!
23: But, oh, my flesh yet binds me; I pray, "Take this thorn away!" And still it lingers with me every night and every day. Paul stated in Philipp'ans, "I have learned to be content." Contentment comes from God alone, a spirit heaven-sent. I'm learning now to yield to Him, to let God have His way. He brings me peace and gives me strength and courage for each day. God's grace is all-sufficient; He'll not give too much to bear. I give to Him my burden, and I cast on Him my care. His way and work are perfect and without iniquity; He is my Rock; He is all Truth; and Just and Right is He! And through it all, I praise Him, for my God inhabits praise. I'll bless the Lord at all times and give thanks for all His ways. Lilah Lehman Gustafson
24: ...which are borne by Me from the belly, which are carried from the womb; And even to your old age, I am He; and even to hoar heads will I carry you; I have made, and I will bear; even I will carry and deliver you. Isaiah 46:3-4 My counsel shall stand, and I will do all My pleasure... I have spoken it; I will also bring it to pass; I have purposed it; I will do it. Isaiah 46:10-11
25: God Carries Me God carries me! O blessed thought! My Shepherd holds me fast, And as His lamb, from birth to death, He'll bear me Home at last. In valleys deep or mountaintop, My Savior's ever there To shelter, guide, protect, And give to me His tender care. What comfort just to know the Lord Is with me all the way. He gives His grace; He fills with peace; He is my hope and stay. So though the path is turbulent, And trials sore there be, Yet I rejoice to know this truth: My Father carries me! Lilah Lehman Gustafso
26: Before I Called And it shall come to pass, that before they call, I will answer; and while they are yet speaking, I will hear. Isaiah 65:24 Then shall thy light break forth as the morning, and thine health shall spring forth speedily; and thy righteousness shall go before thee; the glory of the LORD shall be thy rereward. Then shalt thou call, and the LORD shall answer; thou shalt cry, and He shall say, "Here I am." Isaiah 58:8-9 Before I called, He answered me; before I spoke, He heard; I'm heartened by this promise that is written in God's Word. BEFORE I called, the Lord was there preparing all my way, And AS I called, the Lord responded when I sought and prayed. He gave me wisdom for each step; He made the crooked straight. But, oh, the path was difficult! It's hard to trust and wait! I'd fainted had I not have seen the goodness of the Lord. But it was God Who strengthened me; His power He out-poured. Oh, not in outward stamina! 'Twas inner strength renewed. In brokenness, I then surrendered all in gratitude. All things are for my sake; abundant grace makes me serene, And through thanksgiving to the Lord, His glory will be seen. Much higher than the heavens are God's perfect plans and ways. To know He'll do what's best for me brings forth a heart of praise. My tears are in His bottle, and I know He understands. He'll walk with me through trouble and will ever hold my hand. Lilah Lehman Gustafson
27: My Teacher and Guide Thus saith the LORD, thy Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel; I am the LORD thy God Which teacheth thee to profit, Which leadeth thee by the way that thou shouldest go. Isaiah 48:17 For Thou art my Rock and my Fortress; therefore, for Thy name's sake lead me, and guide me. Psalm 31:3 The Lord knows the way that He wants me to take. He's promised to guide and direct. He leads with His hand holding tightly to mine To keep and assure and protect. He guides with His eye; He sees all in my path; He knows every challenge I'll face. He'll make the way plain, give me peace in my heart, And flood me with mercy and grace. His Spirit within guides me into His truth. His counsel He gives through His Word. He'll guide me continu'lly, even to death. My Teacher and Guide is the Lord. Lilah Lehman Gustafson
28: Maranatha! Maranatha! I Corinthians 16:22 Surely, I come quickly., Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus. Revelation 22:20 O Lord, how long 'til Your return, Until the trumpet sounds? How long until we see Your face With glory shining 'round? Lord, "Maranatha" is our cry; "Come quickly" is our plea. Our hearts anticipate with joy That glorious day with Thee! Lilah Lehman Gustafson Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Savior Jesus Christ. Titus 2:`13
29: We would see Jesus! One of these days, we really will see Jesus! He may call us Home through death, or we may see Him as He descends from heaven to rapture His own to be forever with Him. What a blessed hope!
30: Until that day, we press on, looking unto Jesus, the Author and Finisher of our faith. We shall see Him in His beauty, face to face. I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. Philippians 3:14 ...let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, Looking unto Jesus, the Author and Finisher of our faith... Hebrews 12:1-2 Thine eyes shall see the King in His beauty; they shall behold the land that is very far off. Isaiah 33:17 And they shall see His face... Revelation 22:4