Sunday, May 08, 2011

Smoking Flax

I was reading out of F.B. Meyer's book "Christ in Isaiah" and ran across the following piece. I can't think of a more important exhortation than what's contained below as he bares his heart for the marginalized.

"So feebly does love burn in some hearts, that only He who knows all things can know that love is there at all. So fitful, so irregular, so destitute of kindling power. Ah me! Reader, you and I have known hours when not the coals of juniper, but the smoking flax, have been the true emblem of our love.

The superficial worker ignores these in rude haste. He passes them by to seek an object more commensurate with his powers. Give me, he cries, a sphere in which I may influence strong, noble, and heroic souls! Give me an arena where I may meet foe-men worthy of my steel! Give me a task where my stores of knowledge may have adequate scope! And if these fail, he counts himself ill-used. “I will do naught, if I cannot do the best.” Oh, foolish words. The best, the noblest, is to bend with a Divine humility over those whom the world ignores, exercising a holy ingenuity, a sacred inventiveness; making of bruised reeds pipes of music or measuring rods for the New Jerusalem; fanning the spark of the smoking flax until that which had nearly died out in the heart of a Peter, sets on fire three thousand souls within seven weeks of its threatened extinction.

This is also the test of true work. Where does it find thee, fellow-worker? Art thou ambitious for a larger sphere; grudging the pains needed to explain the gospel to the ignorant; to cope with the constant relapses and backslidings of the weak; to combat the fears of the timorous and mistrustful; to adjust the perpetual disputes and quarrellings of new-made disciple; to suit thy pace to the weakest and youngest of the flock? Beware! Thy work is in danger of losing its noblest quality; the hue is passing off the summer fruit; the tender tone which God loves is fading from thy picture; the grace of the day is dying. Before it is too late, get alone with God to learn the noblest souls are sometimes found within bruised bodies, and the greatest work often emanates from the most inconspicuous sparks.”

Photo by Birte Person


Mel said...

Fred, this is beautiful! I especially love the last sentence! I'm so grateful to have read this piece today, as I was feeling a little weary, and these words have quickened my heart and spirit! Thank you! :)

Matt said...

I guess being a bruised reed, i alway slike this stuff. i have heard people say they will wait until the flame of someone is blazing before they advise them in works of the Lord. But I am more convinced from my own fire, as said here, that God loves the littlest of flames.

Matt said...

can you post these to your facebook account so i know when you post easier? there should be an option when you post in blogger to be able to simultaneously post to facebook.

FCB said...

Hi Mel,
I love this as well, and that last line is so encouraging. I also like the term "sacred inventiveness", that brings so many thoughts to mind. Reaching and serving requires this state of mind don't you think?
God bless,

Hi Matt,
Me as well, I have always considered myself but smoking flax but He has never quenched the embers, praise Him.
Love Dad