From: Francis Harper
Those who truly follow the Lord will always be a minority, and at times the followers of Jesus may be walking without a single earthly companion. Sincere disciples of Jesus must be prepared to pay this cost of discipleship. At nearly every baptismal service held in Nepal and India, the Saints sing, “I have decided to follow Jesus, I have decided to follow Jesus; No turning back, no turning back. Tho’ none go with me, still I will follow; No turning back, no turning back.”
Jesus and globe 001Those who follow the Lord intimately will be as “strangers, aliens and pilgrims” in this present world. See Hebrews 11:13. Loneliness is the common lot of those who walk with God, yet they never walk alone. They willingly exchange the fellowship of men of the world for an intimate relationship with God. Which do you prefer, the favor of God, or of men?
We often sing, “O soul hast thou forgotten, the tender words and sweet; Of him who left behind him, the print of bleeding feet? I never will forsake thee, O child so weary grown; Remember, I have promised, never to leave thee alone. No never alone, no never alone! He promised never to leave me, never to leave me alone (Hymns of the Restoration, #66).
If you turn to Isaiah 41 in my Bible, you will see written on the margin of the page: “I read this on a day I was down, 10/24/90. ‘Thou art my servant; I have chosen thee, and not cast thee away. Fear thou not; for I am with thee; be not dismayed, for I am thy God; I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness. Behold, all they that were incensed against thee shall be ashamed and confounded . . .’ ” (Isaiah 41:9-11 IV: 41:10-13 KJV). It was as if the Lord was speaking directly to me, and I believe he actually was. I was lifted up and strengthened.
Sometime later, I read of how Charles Derry had been strengthened by Isaiah 41. He wrote: “If ever a word came from the fountain of consolation and brought joy and peace to a troubled soul, those words of God gave comfort to me, they seemed as the very voice of God to my soul! The word of God seems to do a manifold duty, not only guiding, reproving, comforting and blessing those to whom it was originally sent, but in like manner blessing all under like conditions. . . . The above scripture was a tower of strength to me,” . . . and also to me.
As I traveled to and from the USA to Nepal and India, I occasionally traveled without human companions, but I never traveled alone. On one of these trips, I had difficulty finding my boarding gate and I was running out of time. I went to the information desk, but I could not understand their Hong Kong English. Finally, in my desperation, I asked God to send someone who could help me.
I saw a man approaching, and I said to him, “I believe you are the one who can help me find my boarding gate.” He answered in the most beautiful, mid-western English; “This is a confusing airport! You have to go up, and then back down to find the International Terminal. I will take you there.” I was the last to board. Was my helper a man or an angel? I know he was heaven-sent. We are never alone!
“. . . The face of him thou lovest, He’s ever at thy side. Reach out thy hand and find him, and lo, the clouds have flown; He smiles on thee, who promised, Never to leave thee alone.”