The Trench

In prayer I saw You
I knelt at the altar
Weak, in pain, sick
And weeping from anxiety

You said, “It will be beautiful.”
“What will be?” I asked.
“My ministry through you.
Do you want to see it?”

My heart struggled
I felt so lacking in will.
I felt no desire
Only the tendrils of Your grace
Still holding me

At length I said, “Yes.”
Though it was not fully my own will.
Then He said, “Go ahead and look up.”
I looked up at the ornate covering of the altar
And looked through them.

I saw a grey landscape before me
Surrounded in white mist
And the path was delved into the ground
Like a trench waist then chest high.
On either side a wall of shallow ground.

And I saw You.
You were white clad
Though I could not see Your face.
Your arms were outstretched.
Hands open, above the trench.

I suddenly felt this aching truth
Leap with tears from my heart.
Not only was my path on either side marked out for me
You moved onward on the path facing me
You invited me forward.

The single truth is hard to put in words.
I found myself longing to go towards you
Weeping with longing to be in Your arms.
All the while You guided me forward.
The way forward was simply getting close to You.

Melting

I visited the Welder’s house, and I received instruction.

He showed me a weld that was poorly done. It had sags. It had fish eyes. It had lumps. And it was not structurally sound. So either it would suffer abuse and afterward fall apart in 2-3 years, or it would nee to be ground down again. If it was done again smoothly in a structurally sound way, even after abuse it would last at least 10 years instead.

I understood: This is why God takes his time with us. And often has to grind us down and have us start over. Because he knows if he does not, then when we suffer abuse, we will be struck down to the core of our being, and will fall apart much quicker, unless he takes his sweet, steady time preparing His vessel according to the need only He can foresee.

He also showed me a weld with cracks, and he told me, “Cracks always propagate!”

I understood: any issue that is not dealt with before the Lord will continue to be an issue. Arrest smaller issues before they become larger ones.

He told me that welders often go fast because they get excited. But when that happens they only lay half of the load down. It takes a steady hand that has insight into the true nature of the particular metal who has a successful weld.

I understood: As God prepares his vessel, the vessel will be tempted to speed up the process any way he can, because he feels the Lord’s power, but he does not yet possess the true insight into the material which He is being welded into.