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Have your own way Lord....

The Vineyard

Dear Friends,

I realize that sometimes my messages must sound as if I were whining about how tough my life is, when in fact I am quite blessed and have little reason to ever complain.  But I have experienced bathos and pathos in my life, and as I grow closer to the time that I will not be here, I am conscious of how He has ordained certain things to happen, for His good purposes, and how I have oftentimes interfered   with His holy purposes. I am far too small and insignificant to stop God’s hand from moving through history—-I am keenly cognizant of this.  But I sometimes I find that I am my own worst enemy in the things He is trying to establish in my life.  The very things my heart truly desires are often denied me because I chase after more base desires.

This year He seems to be removing people from my life that I counted on for support, friendship and to share my burdens.  It’s not that they are no longer my “friends”,  but they seem to have been stripped away from me nonetheless—-for various reasons—and I am in less contact with them than ever in our relationships. The end result, of course, is that I find myself leaning more upon Him and seeking His company far more often than I normally did.  I needed to have some of these things removed.

He has also brought an end—-or at least a “revision”— my dreams and utopian hopes on this earth.  That’s not to say I don’t see what I do (at our camp) as any less of a vision than it was 35 years ago, but some of those things I imagnied and hoped for have been replaced for something more ethereal. I realize that it is for the Kingdom of God that I have a thirst, a hunger, a vision and a dream —- and I will never be truly satisfied until I am there with Him. 

And finally He has removed many things that at one time represented for me security, meaning and purpose.  These were all, in and of themselves, good things, or at least, not evil things!  But the things I once reached for to provide meaning in my life,  I now see will illusory. It is Him, and  only Him that I find safety, purpose, and meaning.

We sing songs about God having His way in our lives, and we recite Psalms about God being our Shepherd, but I wonder how many of us really are prepared to allow the God that loves us to have complete control. It’s far more liberating than I realized.


Dean Barley

The Vineyard

336 351 2070

919 360 8493 (Mobile)

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