Echoes From the Campfire

The night darkened, the air cooled, the camp fire flickered out.  Rock crawled into his blankets under the widespread cedar.  The soft feel of wool, the hard ground, the smell of cedar, the twinkle of a star through the branches, the moan of rising night wind, the lonesome coyote bark, and the silence—how good they were and how they recalled other days!”
              –Zane Grey  (Sunset Pass)

    “I have come as a light into the world, that whoever believes in Me should not abide in darkness.”
              –John 12:46 (NKJV)
Most people don’t realize how short life really is until it flashes before them in some way or they have reached old age.  Time is swift–believe you me.  What we do with the Lord is what is important during the time we are on earth.  Ponder the words of this old hymn, and then take a search of the New Testament of the term, “abide.”

         “Abide with me:  fast falls the eventide;
          The darkness deepens; Lord, with me abide!
          When other helpers fail, and comforts flee,
          Help of the helpless, O abide with me.”
                  –Henry F. Lyte

There is no one like Jesus; He will never fail.  Others may be there for a while, some may fail you when needed, but the Lord–never!  Whether it be at the end of life or the end of the day, the Lord is there to comfort, guide, and protect.  He never changes; He is always faithful; He will ever be with us.

         “Swift to its close ebbs out life’s little day;
          Earth’s joys grow dim, its glories pass away;
          Change and decay in all around I see,
          O Thou, who changest not, abide with me.”

Not only is He with us at the end of life, and at the end of each passing day, but His presence is with us each hour.  When the devil threatens with his fiery darts, the Lord is there.  When the hour is full of fog and mist, the Lord is there to grasp our hand and guide us through.  No matter the weather or the season, He is there.

         “I need Thy presence every passing hour;
          What but Thy grace, can foil the tempter’s power?
          Who, like Thyself, my guide and stay can be?
          Through cloud and sunshine, Lord, abide with me.”

With the Lord with us we can face each hour and each day with hope and victory.  We have nothing to fear as we go through this life.  Suffering, sorrow, pain, and anguish have no hold on us and when we face the grave we can boldly say, “where is thy sting?”  Victory is ours, but only when we realize that Jesus is there, and abides with us in every circumstance of life.

         “I fear no foe, with Thee at hand to bless;
          Ills have no weight, and tears no bitterness.
          Where is death’s sting?  Where, grave, thy victory?
          I triumph still, if Thou abide with me.”

The cross, oh, the cross of Jesus, what joyful bliss even though at the time He faces pain and agony.  The cross is to us salvation.  Because of His death we can face eternity with hope and gladness.  When the shadow of death comes over us there is the light of heaven shining through.  No matter, “in life, in death,” the Lord is there.

         “Hold Thou Thy cross before my closing eyes;
          Shine through the gloom and point me to the skies:
          Heaven’s morning breaks, and earth’s vain shadows flee;
          In life, in death, O Lord, abide with me.”

Notice the word that ties everything in each of these verses together–“Abide.”  We need to abide in Him; we are the branches, He is the vine.  However, we may forget to pray for Him to abide with us.  In every dark hour we face on earth, we need Him to be there.  Through the gloom, the storms, the sunshine, He is there abiding; therefore, there is no dread along the way.