Following the departure of Baby Doc from Haiti in 1986, political instability rocked the country. Our work in Haiti stalled so we went to Jamaica to direct mission teams. After months of living with suitcase and passports beside the bed and not knowing when we might need to flee Haiti, we looked forward to sleeping without hearing gunfire or fearing the phone call that would order evacuation. Our accommodations in Jamaica, however, fell short of our expectations. On the first night, when we turned out the lights, swarms of flying 2-inch palmetto bugs (cockroaches on steroids) bombarded us and rats raced through the attic over our heads. We dropped a mosquito net over the bed to shield us from the flying Palmettos, but could do nothing about the rat track above our heads.
One day I sat on the edge of the bed and asked the Lord, “Do you think this is funny? Are you laughing at me about wanting to leave Haiti and getting into this situation?” While I was sitting there, trying to make sense of everything, I noticed movement in an open wardrobe across the room. A palmetto bug with twitching antenna was crawling across a stack of books. As a book lover, I couldn’t resist checking the titles. After wiping off the droppings, I began to peruse a book titled Quiet Talks on Prayer. Before long I recognized how God really does “work all things together for good.” (Romans 8:28) In spite of my abhorrence of roaches, I found in that bug-riddled, and I do mean riddled and chewed book, a resource on prayer that has been one of my most treasured possessions.
In this and a couple more blogs I am posting some Old Signposts from S.D. Gordon’s Quiet Talks on Prayer. Written more than 100 years ago, contemporary readers will find some writing archaic and definitely politically incorrect in the usage of sexist language. I’ve taken liberty to revise a few sentences or change words for clarity but the content remains the same. I hope you’ll take time to pause on your journey, pull back the vines that have overgrown some of these truths, and read the signs this traveler posted about the One Inlet of Power and the Five Outlets of Power.
There is one inlet of power in the life—anybody’s life—any kind of power: just one inlet—the Holy Spirit. He is power. He is in every one who opens his door to God. He eagerly enters every open door. He comes in by our invitation and consent. His presence within is the vital thing.
But with many of us while He is in, He is not in control: in as guest; not as host. That is to say He is hindered in His natural movements; tied up, so that He cannot do what He would. And so we are not conscious or only partially conscious of His presence.
But to yield to His mastery, to cultivate His friendship, to give Him full control—that will result in what is called power. One inlet of power—the Holy Spirit in control.
Martha Hawn VanCise©2014 www.signpostsonhightrails.com