Monthly Archives: May 2018
And no one could learn that song except the hundred and forty-four thousand who were redeemed from the earth. – Rev. 14:3 (NKJV)
Even in Heaven, there will be a song that can only be sung by us, poor human beings. The angelic beings cannot even learn that song, but only us, those who are redeemed from the earth.
To learn it, we must pass through the valley of death. To learn it, we must be alone with our Saviour Jesus Christ, in the darkest hours of our life.
Yes, it will be a song of triumph, but we have to learn it in the worst of conditions. In a valley filled with dried bones. In a wilderness waiting to swallow us. In sickness. In the loneliest of the situations. But only you can sing it. Only those who carried their crosses and followed the “Man of Sorrows”, our Redeemer, will learn and sing that song. Yes, only you can sing it.
So, my dear friend, are you feeling lonely? Are you feeling as if you are forsaken and forgotten by our LORD? No, no, you are learning a music lesson from our Father in heaven. You are part of the Divine Choir, the Heavenly Symphony and right now, you are being trained to sing your part and only you can sing it.
There may be heights in the symphony that you cannot reach; probably only angels can reach. But there are depths in the symphony that the angels cannot understand. And only you can understand those depths and only you can reach those depths, because you are walking in one right now.
In this valley, your Shepherd is next to you, because you can hear His voice singing that song for you. When you start singing in the quick sands of the valley, you can feel His strong arm pulling you. Yes, take heart, our good Shepherd Jesus Himself is teaching you this song. With His beautiful voice, He is comforting you. This song becomes a part of you; it may even become your life. So, only you can sing it.
As dark clouds surround you, remember the Father is preparing the song for you. As the walk in the valley threatens you, remember that Jesus is training you. When darkness engulfs you from every side, remember to follow the soft voice of the Holy Spirit. And when you are singing that song in Heaven, you will realize how glorious is this walk in the valley of death.
On May 17th midnight, I was rushed to the emergency ward yet again and was admitted in the ICU for nearly four days. As I was in the bed, due to the mercies of the LORD, I had a chance to observe the ICU where I spent a week in 2016.
Throughout my stay this time, the nurses were efficient and they did their duty. No complaints there. But something was very off from the first time I stayed there. Initially I could not find anything wrong, but even my wife who is taking care of me, and the few visitors who came to see me, pointed out that the atmosphere at the ICU was different. Then I realized that.
You could see the sense of duty this time around; but in 2016, it was a service; not duty to be performed. For example, the night shift ends at 8 AM. So the nurses have to clean us up, give us the injections to be given, take blood samples for daily analysis and then make sure we have our breakfast before they leave.
In 2016, the nurses would finish all their writing summary and various official things in the night and would start the cleaning up process by 5 AM. By 7:45 AM, they would finish everything and get ready to leave by 8 AM.
This time around, getting ready to leave was the priority. So, we were woken up at 3:30 AM for cleaning, 4 AM for brushing our teeth and the blood samples were taken at 4:30 AM. It did not matter how tired we were. We would start sleeping and then one nurse would come to wake us up for one thing or another. Then by 5 AM, they would sit and start writing their summary. During that time, you ask for anything, you are just wasting your time. One day, I was thirsty and asked for water, and I got it after 45 minutes. Because they have to finish their jobs, you see.
Also in 2016, I was in a worse condition than I was this time. Yet the nurses would comfort me saying that I would be okay, that they would take care of me, and whatever they did, they did with a reassuring smile. This time, there is no assurance of anything, no smile nothing. If there is a question, ask the doctor why are you asking me – was the kind of attitude.
In 2016, the night shift nurses would not even talk aloud, because most of the patients would be sleeping. But this time, it did not matter what the time was… they shouted at each other, their friends would drop in suddenly for a chit chat and they would laugh aloud. An 87-year old grandma was hungry and asked for food – she was next to me, and the nurses were laughing at how with such a thin frame, she could talk so loud.
So, what was the difference? In 2016, almost 90% of the nurses working in the ICU were Christians. This time not one of them was a Christian.
But there was no gospel preaching in 2016. No one tried to convert any of us. No one asked us to believe only in Jesus. But whatever they did, they did with a smile. They did their duty too, but it was more like service. You could sense that there was a sense of sweetness in the atmosphere… the fragrance of Christ.
Yes, dear friend, if Christ fills us up, we do not have to open our mouths and shout from the roof top, that we are Christians. Everyone around us will feel the fragrance of Christ by the way we live. Are we emanating the fragrance of Christ or are we just doing our duties?
“And I will give thee the treasures of darkness.” (Isaiah 45:3)
When God made this promise to Cyrus, He was speaking of material treasures from lands of darkness that Cyrus would conquer. But we are not doing violence to the verse when we take it and apply it in a spiritual sense.
There are treasures that are discovered in the dark nights of life that are never found in days of unrelieved sunshine.
For instance, God can give songs in the darkest night (Job 35:10) that would never have been sung if life were completely devoid of trials. That is why the poet wrote:
And many a rapturous minstrel among those sons of light
Will say of his sweetest music, “I learned it in the night;”
And many a rolling anthem that fills the Father’s home
Sobbed out its first rehearsal in the shade of a darkened room.
There is the darkness of what J. Stuart Holden calls “life’s inexplicable mysteries—the calamities, the catastrophes, the sudden and unexpected experiences which have come into life, and which all our forethought has not been sufficient to ward off; and life is dark because of them—sorrow, loss, disappointment, injustice, misconception of motive, slander.” These are often the things that make life dark.
Humanly speaking, none of us would choose this darkness, and yet its benefits are incalculable. Leslie Weatherhead wrote, “Like all men, I love and prefer the sunny uplands of experience, when health, happiness and success abound, but I have learned far more about God and life and myself in the darkness of fear and failure than I have ever learned in the sunshine. There are such things as the treasures of darkness. The darkness, thank God, passes. But what one learns in the darkness, one possesses for ever.”