Echoes From the Campfire

KAPOW! The thunder rolled rattling the windows, shuttering the shutters, shaking the shingles, and making the house quake. After I was wakened the lightning danced for the next thirty minutes like sheets hanging on the line. I like to sleep during a storm, but it was a shock with that boom waking me from a sound sleep. After realizing what it was I laid my head back on the pillow and this old song came to my mind. It was like the voice of Jesus saying to rest, go back to sleep, that He was in control.
If you have read my writings for long you will remember I have used this hymn a couple of times. However, since it came to my mind, perhaps someone out there needs to see the words and be comforted by them. One of my favorites, and the composer is unknown.

“I’ve seen the lightning flashing, And heard the thunder roll;
I’ve felt sin’s breakers dashing, Trying to conquer my soul;
I’ve heard the voice of my Savior, Telling me still to fight on;
He promised never to leave me, Never to leave me alone.”

Harvey hit us this past year. The winds howled, and the rains beat down. When a person stops to think of a storm and then the analogy of temptation, they are very similar. Temptation beats down upon us, just like the winds and rains of a fierce storm. Anxiety may come, but we should not fear, for the Lord our peace is with us no matter how severe the storm, no matter how severe the temptation.

“The world’s fierce winds are blowing Temptations sharp and keen;
I feel a peace in knowing My Savior stands between;
He stands to shield me from danger, When earthly friends are gone;
He promised never to leave me, Never to leave me alone.”

It was 1964, a scrimmage game and I was on the mound. I was in the process of taking my windup and bringing my arm forward to release the pitch when KAPOW! Lightning struck and knocked everyone down. We never did figure out whether the lightning bolt hit the lights or the backstop, but we were all tingling from it. After picking myself off the ground, I found that the ball was still in my hand; I didn’t release it. For many years afterward I was quite concerned when one of those electric storms came; and living in Colorado, they were quite often. It wasn’t until I was in college that the Lord came me victory and assurance over the storm.
Affliction, disease, sorrow, suffering, are like the bolt of lightning that strikes out of nowhere and brings us into a world of care and woe. Or it may be as we walk the path of life the storm hits and we stumble off the well-trodden path and get caught up in the briars and brambles on the edge of the road. The rains assail and we are entangled, frustrated, and ready to give up. Then the Savior comes, cuts away the briars that hold fast to us and reminds us that He is always there to guide, to give rest and comfort.

“When in affliction’s valley I’m treading the road of care;
My Savior helps me to carry My cross when heavy to bear;
My feet, entangled with briars Ready to cast me down,
My Savior whispers His promise, ‘I never will leave thee alone.'”

Jesus, in His time of woe and suffering, was left alone. His friends ran away, and maybe worse of all, His Father turned away from Him. It was sin. On that dreadful day of storm that none of us will never have to face, He hung in our place. His precious blood purchased our salvation. He left to go back to the Father and sent the blessed Holy Spirit to be with us until that day that we walk with Him in glory.

“He died for me on the mountain, For me they pierced His side;
For me He opened the fountain, The crimson, cleansing tide;
For me He’s waiting in glory, Seated upon His throne;
He promised never to leave me, Never to leave me alone.

No, never alone! No, never alone!
He promised never to leave me, Never to leave me alone;
No, never alone! No, never alone!
He promised never to leave me, Never to leave me alone!”