My Kinsman Redeemer

My Kinsman Redeemer
At Your feet, I lie down,
and I lay before You all my riches Lord.
At Your feet, I am found,
when the sword has pierced my soul
and I’m in need.

Spread Your garment over me,
My Kinsman Redeemer.
Spread Your garment over me,
My King.
Spread Your garment over me,
My Kinsman Redeemer,
And I will rest until morning.

Hide me, beneath Your wings,
for Your love is like a shelter from the storm.
Hide me, like a lover -
I am cradled in Your everlasting arms.

At Your feet, I’m like perfume,
spilling out my tears on royalty.
At Your feet, You receive me -
like an offering a bride surrounds her groom.

Spread Your garment over me,
My Kinsman Redeemer
Spread Your garment over me,
My King.

Spread Your garment over me,
My Kinsman Redeemer,
And I will rest until morning.
Yes, I will rest until morning.

(from The Boast of the Broken-Hearted by Kimberly Lefebvre) available from Lulu.com

A mature stance on sufferings and God’s love

Letter from Anne Dutton

“Though the Lord has tried you for many months of afflictions, think it not strange, since you are put among God’s children, that you have had and must have your own part of afflictions—they are, they shall be, your Father’s love-tokens! Satan and unbelief often misrepresent God to His tried children. “If God was your Friend, your Father,” say they, “if He loved you, He would not allow such grievous things to befall you—He takes no notice of you—He turns a deaf ear to your prayers—and who among God’s children are so greatly afflicted as you are? Do not these things show that you have been deceived—that you are not among the number of God’s children—that you have no saving interest in His special favor—but He lays these heavy strokes upon you in wrathful displeasure.” And especially do they urge these things upon God’s tried children from that sin which they sadly find to work in them under trying dispensations. And if they can but get God’s children to hearken to them, these enemies gain their end upon them—to weaken their faith, to dampen their love, to slay their meekness and patience, and to cause them to murmur and fret at afflicting providence.It is wisdom, then, in God’s children, instantly to cry unto Him for wisdom and strength to discern and resist these enemies in their lying voice, upon the first hearing of it; for this we may be very certain of, “that whatever comes from God leads to Him—and whatever excites us to depart from Him as the God of all grace—is from unbelief and Satan.” Nothing like faith in God’s love to us, as His dear children in Christ—strengthens our spirits to endure afflictions patiently to His glory and our joy.

And therefore, says the apostle Paul, “whom the Lord loves, He chastens.” He proposes the ‘love of God in chastening’ as the ground of a believer’s faith, for his strength in patient suffering. And says James, “The trying of your faith works patience.” If faith has got a thwart in the fight, God will come in with His auxiliary aid for the help of His child, and give his faith renewed strength; and then, instantly, his tried faith being made to stand upright in God and for Him, after its thwarting and in its trial, the child of faith is patience. Says faith—”God’s love is in the sharpest stroke!” Then says patience—”I will endure it until love shall bring joyous fruit out of present grief.” And lest patience should faint when trials are great and of long continuance, the apostle adds, “Let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and entire, lacking nothing.” It is as if he should say—You are to be made perfect in very grace, and every perfected grace to redound to your eternal glory—therefore patiently endure the greatest, the longest trial here, that is to fit you for your immortal crown hereafter—that you may be perfect and entire, lacking nothing—nothing lacking in the exercise of grace—and lacking nothing in your crown of glory!”

– Anne Dutton (1692-1765)

Closer to Home

by Kimberly Lefebvre

Would I have known this gladness

  without the mourning in my heart

    that made room for You?

Look what You’ve created from the ashes -

  beauty like a crown

    that came from finding You.

  Is my boast made of what I scorned -

    a weakness that made room for Your power?

  Is my boast made of what I’ve learned -

    to lean on You in my darkest hour?

Would I have reached to touch Your garment

  if healing was not needed

    for my brokenness?

And would You be singing Your love song

  through this vessel

    had she not known such weakness?

  Your inheritance is in us -

    our tears will be turned to songs of joy.

  And tests that buffet and assail us

    are only tools that lead us closer to our home.

Would I tell others of Your comfort

  if not needing it myself

    to see me through?

I will exalt in Your glory,

  for the things that show my weakness

    are my boast in You.

Your heart, oh God,

  is searching for a resting place -

    making room in our own through our pain;

And the sufferings we know at present

  are not worth to be compared

    with the glory that will remain!

For Your story, oh God,

  is written in the least of us -

    rejected by the world to be Your own;

So I will bow low and kiss redemption

  for the things that I despised

    have led me home.