There is a glimmer

Written by Sandra Lloyd

Fog is all around us.  It is thick, heavy, oppressive.

Somewhere, in humility, there is a mother on her knees, weeping.  She does not weep for herself.  She weeps for her children; for the grandchildren she had hoped to have some day, but now, she’s no longer sure that is something she can look forward to.

Somewhere in America tonight, an aged WWII veteran, tattered Bible in his lap, sits alone under the light of a small lamp, sorrow heavy in his chest. It was the 4th day of his fast.  As is his habit at this time every night,  he cries out to God, who has seen Him through 94 years, to please, please have mercy on this wicked and foolish generation that is squandering what so many of his brothers-in-arms died for, to please turn the tide.

In a tiny town in Texas, there is an old woman, widow of a pastor, they’d served faithfully together for 62 years, raised 10 kids, had 18 grand kids and 4 great-grands, and she pleaded with God, prevailing upon His mercy “just this once more”.  “God, its been a long road.  I know I’ll be coming home to You and Joe soon, but Lord, my kids and my grand kids still have some living to do, long as You plan to tarry, and I’m asking not because we deserve it, for we do not, won’t you please forgive us, this wayward nation?  Will you raise up a voice with Holy Spirit fire, soften the hardened hearts and consciences of wayward folks, like my youngest son, who once knew better, and remove the scales from our eyes once again?  Father, that fella in the White House, that old Satan has done a real job on him.  Stopped his ears, blinded his eyes, and filled his head with so many lies that he doesn’t even know the difference.  Got an early start on him.  Lord, isn’t there anyone who could reach Mr. Obama.  O, forgive me that I haven’t prayed for Him more.  I was too busy bein’ mad at him, if you want the truth.  God help us.  Bring us back to the old paths that we once knew, but have all but been grown over from lack of traverse”

In a humble and run-down Christian school, started and nurtured in prayer, sweat, prayer, sacrifice, and more prayer, a mere 18 students gather for chapel.  The mood is subdued.   Finances are tight, and the school may be forced to close, if the economy gets much worse, and support dwindles further, but faith is still alive here.  The students kneel around the chapel, and even the small ones seem to detect the solemnity of the moment.  Prayers go up, silently at first, and then one by one, from the lone Senior student, all the way down to the littlest pre-schooler, they each ask God to provide.

And He hears.

The Lord looks down across the various states.  Here, and there, another one bows a head, and cries out in confession: “Lord, I am tired of this existence.  Nothing really makes sense to me anymore.  I have wandered so far from how my parents raised me, and here I am, divorced, my kids couldn’t really care less if they see or hear from me or not, and I deserve it because all I wanted was ‘the good life’.  I’m so sorry, Lord.  I am so sorry for not being the man I should have been.  I know can’t go back and fix anything, but God, if You’ll have me, I’d like to ask for your forgiveness and if You’ll help me, I’d like to do better.  But I can’t on my own.  I have come to understand there isn’t anything good in me.  For all my conviction I could forge my own destiny, and make something great of myself, the truth is, I don’t like what I have become at all.  I have the money, but without my family, it doesn’t satisfy, and only mocks me.  I’ve indulged every desire, and everything is empty and disappointing.  God, I want to get back to what I once knew.  You are God, and I am a sinner and I deserve hell and worse.  I’ve used people, harmed those I should have loved the best and should have treated as fine gold.  I disappointed my folks when all they ever did was serve You, and serve me and raise me up on the Bible.  There is no one to blame but myself and my own selfish ambitions.  But Lord, for Mama and Daddy’s sake, would you consider giving me one more chance?  I know Jesus never sinned, and He died on the cross to take the punishment for these things I’ve done.  I come empty and with nothing to recommend me, but Christ’s willingness to die for me, and ask that you apply His atonement to my account.  I know there is no guarantee I can ever mend fences with Joan and the kids, but I’d appreciate if You would give me the courage and the words, to try to convey my apology, and seek forgiveness, even though I don’t deserve it and they may not be able to find it in their hearts to grant it”, and on he prays until he is exhausted, empty, and purged.

A phone rings in that small Texas town, and the old widow is startled from sleep.  “Must have dosed off prayin’ again.  Sorry Lord”.  She reaches for the phone and hears a familiar voice, her dear, wayward son.  It’s been 5 years.  “Mama” was all he could say, before his sobs came.  She clutches her heart, and prayer as natural as breathing, pours out to her beloved Savior.  When he could finally talk, he told her of his confessions before the Lord, “and Mama, I know it’s too late to say this to Daddy, but will you forgive me for how I’ve treated you?”.

“Son, I already have”.  They talked for nearly forty minutes, and now it was time to try Joan.  He’d heard she was living in Georgia now, with her new husband.  All-around good guy, from all he’d heard.  With shaking hands, he dialed the number his daughter Kelly had given him the last time they talked.  Good old Kelly, the baby, the only one who hadn’t written him off.

A chain reaction started to take place.  As people sought reconciliation, bitter hearts were released from prisons they didn’t know they were in, and eyes of those who had been wronged, were then able to see beyond their own pain and disillusionment, to their own faults and failures.  Fathers mourned for failing to be the leaders and examples their families deserved.  Mothers repented for putting self-fulfillment above the needs of children they brought into this world.  Teens who had so dearly hoped to see some sign that there was really something to this “Christianity” business, witnessed something they recognized as authentic, and were relieved to be able to give church another chance.

All across the nation, prayers began to waft heavenward as incense and pleasing aroma to God.  Prayers captured in censors by the angels.  Prayers God had longed to hear and the sorts of requests God delighted most in answering.  Prayers of confession and repentance.  Prayers of long-silent saints, begging for boldness to proclaim Christ, prayers for revival!

It started out a trickle.  Like the faint warble of a faraway bird somewhere deep in a vast forest, as sunrise approaches.  It grew to a murmur. Fog began to dissipate.  Heaven grew animated and excitement buzzed through the heavenly host of angels and saints.  The sound of portals opening, angels dispatched, swords flashing.  What a flurry of wings!  The enemy, beaten into retreat.

The angels responsible for gathering the tears of the saints for God’s collection, had seldom been so busy!  Flask after alabaster flask, filling and filling with the repentant tears of a vast nation.  The fog was indeed lifting, and the light of heaven was breaking forth on the countenance of many who hadn’t genuinely smiled in years.

It started in the House of the Lord, preachers repenting of leaving what they knew, enticed or pressured, losing sight of God as provider, thinking only of getting the budget met, elders finally admitting that the ways of the world and the best marketing schemes, were useless tactics they’d fallen for, and they simply did not work.  Pastors who had gotten proud, or gotten themselves under yokes of bondage by failure to pray and continue in the Word, and most of all, to look to the Lord as the supplier of all, instead of getting  everything upon their own shoulders.  Others, lonely and pressured, who had succumbed to the lure of pornography and lonely women, wept in profound remorse, and repented before the Lord.

It was only a few here and there at first.  But it was genuine.  They started calling one another up, old friendships that had grown neglected.  They confessed their faults one to another, and pledged a new commitment, by God’s grace and with His help, to hold one another accountable, and stop going it alone.

Next there came a wave of deep conviction in the hearts of those members which had various rifts and fallings-out with their brothers and sisters in Christ.  People who hadn’t spoken to one another in years started looking one another up, calling, confessing, repenting, reconciling, agreeing to simply disagree on the things that are not pertaining to salvation itself.  Many of them terribly petty.

Churches that had split from one another, held reconciliation meetings, held sessions of prayer together, and soon they were embarking on joint ventures.  One which had been struggling to start a bus ministry, but couldn’t get it off the ground, soon found itself the beneficiary of a used bus, and a generous love-gift from the other.  The youth, seeing something genuine taking place, came back out of curiosity, and soon were putting their elders to shame, with their own youthful enthusiasm and boldness.  Wise adults took their cues, and learned from the example.  The faith of a child, getting over what’s done and gone, looking to the future instead of nursing old hurts.  They may not have as much time or energy, but these adults started doing what they could, rather than seeing it all as the job of someone else.

VBS rosters filled, help showed up in droves, where congregations were aged, young families started to turn up a few at a time, with them, came babies, youth, a new generation to carry on the work.

And as aging missionaries all over the world, continued to press on even at seventy and eighty years old, the reinforcements they had prayed so long for, finally started coming.  Middle-agers, families with small children, nervous and insecure, they came on faith and a shoestring budget.  But the work would continue, after all, for whatever time remains.

All because someone cried with importunity, in humility, and in Godly sorrow, and refused to stop praying until something happened.  For that is the prayer, that availeth much.

Righteousness exalteth a nation, but sin is a reproach to any people.

Gosnell is guilty, but Christian, so are you.  Obama is guilty, but Christian, so are you. Against thee, and thee alone, have I sinned, oh Lord my God.