© Jeanne E Webster
“10My son, if sinners entice thee, consent thou not. 11If they say, Come with us, let us lay wait for blood, let us lurk privily for the innocent without cause:12Let us swallow them up alive as the grave; and whole, as those that go down into the pit: 13We shall find all precious substance, we shall fill our houses with spoil: 14Cast in thy lot among us; let us all have one purse:15My son, walk not thou in the way with them; refrain thy foot from their path: 16For their feet run to evil, and make haste to shed blood. 17Surely in vain the net is spread in the sight of any bird. 18And they lay wait for their own blood; they lurk privily for their own lives. 19So are the ways of every one that is greedy of gain; which taketh away the life of the owners thereof.”
These verses deal with the wiles of immorality, a freebie 101 class for the young. I think back to when I was a newbie in this world, and being blessed with a heap of smarts, I know I should have seen red flags all over this, except I wasn’t into the Bible that much. Sure, I was a good person, tried to be honest, wanted only the best reputation, but in all reality was among wolves and deceivers– fodder for their charms.
Gullibility was my middle name. I married early out of high school, had grand hopes and dreams but down-to-earth simplicity. My earnest endeavor to be the best mother and wife in the world held up for eight years. I was proud of being called old-fashioned. But good intentions didn’t save my marriage or my honor; they beat me over the head and kicked my pants so thoroughly my soul could find no peace. My once proud spirit was muddied to the point of utter disgust for all I once held high. Integrity… love… trust…? What good had they done for me?
Sixty years later and many of them reflective, my life has revealed the rhyme and reason for them. God had blended them into my character; I just hadn’t read the manual–The Bible! If only… I think I had a million of those “if only s.” I finally learned how to use them and continue to refine them as the days and experiences race by.
God has been so good to me, folks. He really has. The thought that gets me out of bed every morning is “I owe Him today… and tomorrow and the next day and the next and on and on.” I owe Him my life, my all. What joys await us when we depend on Him and learn of Him. When I first felt that tug on my spirit, that soft, tender genuine love for me, a wrecked soul slipping away down that sewer called despair, I froze; I cringed, waiting for the other brick to fall. It didn’t. Never has. Never will. And…I will never be the same. Amen.
O Love that wilt not let me go,
I rest my weary soul in thee;
I give thee back the life I owe,
That in thine ocean depths its flow
May richer, fuller be.
O light that followest all my way,
I yield my flickering torch to thee;
My heart restores its borrowed ray,
That in thy sunshine’s blaze its day
May brighter, fairer be.
O Joy that seekest me through pain,
I cannot close my heart to thee;
I trace the rainbow through the rain,
And feel the promise is not vain,
That morn shall tearless be.
O Cross that liftest up my head,
I dare not ask to fly from thee;
I lay in dust life’s glory dead,
And from the ground there blossoms red
Life that shall endless be.