Reflections on the message: “He Found Me”

No matter how seemingly forsaken and uncomfortable the place where we are located in difficult times, God will always find us.

No matter how seemingly forsaken and uncomfortable the place where we are located in difficult times, God will always find us.

This past Sunday, June 23, 2013, Pastor Michael T. Bivens of Equip U Ministries, Reynoldsburg, Ohio, offered another powerful message that impacted me in a powerful way. The message was entitled “He Found Me,” and Pastor Bivens focused on places of desperation and disappointment, places of barrenness and weakness in a dry desert. Despite our being in an undesirable and uncomfortable place, God knows exactly where we are, and He will always manage to find us right where we are. I thought of the familiar quote, “Wherever you go, there you are,” which I augmented with this “And wherever you are, God will find you there.” Pastor Bivens made a similar statement which became the introduction to a poem inspired by the message:

But He Found Me

God sees me where I am,

and He has found me in this place.

 Pastor Michael T. Bivens

But He found me, in a wasteland, in a deserted place.

Surrounded by lack, pressed on all sides in a narrow space.

Alone in a place where I never thought that I would be,

How I longed to seek His face, but it seemed so far from me,

As I shivered in the darkness wrapped in shame and disgrace.

Surrounded by enemies, I was pursued on the chase,

With painful memories of failure nothing could erase.

At the end of my rope, I had fallen and grown weary,

But He found me.

From my rightful position the enemy tried to displace,

But with loving arms God reached out to forgive and embrace.

With arms that ached and weary feet, stumbling to keep the pace,

I had grown tired and seemed to faint at the end of the race,

But He found me.

In the course of the morning message, Pastor Bivens shared a poem by an unknown author:

"Keep your hand on the plow--hold on!"

“Keep your hand on the plow–hold on!”

The Plough

Keep me from turning back
My hand is on the plough, my faltering hand:
But all in front of me is untilled land,
The wilderness and solitary place,
The lonely desert with its interspace.
What harvest have I but this paltry grain,
These dwindling husks, a handful of dry corn,
These poor lean stalks? My courage is outworn,
Keep me from turning back.
The handles of my plough with tears are wet,
The shares with rust are spoiled, and yet, and yet,
My God! My God! Keep me from turning back.

This particular poem brought to mind a similar original poem which also makes reference to the words of Jesus Christ who talked those put their hands to the plow and looked back:

Hand upon the Plow                   

 Jesus said to him, No one who puts his hand to the plow

and looks back [to the things behind] is fit for the kingdom of God.   

 Luke 9:62

“Keep your hand on the plow, hold on!” –Black Spiritual

When life ain’t like it spose to be,

Right then and there it occurs to me

Folks been in fixes worse than me,

Right in the Bible where I see:

The Lord will make a way somehow.

Just keep your hand upon the plow.

Pharaoh said, “Kill each Hebrew boy,”

But Moses’ Ma was full of joy

Cause Pharaoh’s daughter raised her boy.

The Lord will make a way somehow.

The lions looked so lean and thin

When they throwed Daniel in the den,

But Old Man Daniel didn’t bend.

Just keep your hand upon the plow.

                                   

When Jesus died, God paid the cost

And at that time all seem like lost,

But God planned ahead for Pentecost.

The Lord will make a way somehow.

Paul and Silas didn’t rant and wail

When they throwed both of them in jail.

They called on God, and He didn’t fail.

Just keep your hand upon the plow.

When troubles start to buggin you

Remember, there’s just one thing to do:

Look to God and He’ll see you through.

What he did for them, He’ll do for you.

The Lord will make a way somehow

Just keep your hand upon the plow.

Accompanying the poem is a lively version of the spiritual “Keep Your Hand on the Plow” sung by Mahalia Jackson, the Queen of  Gospel, who reigned throughout most of the 20th century.

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