Linda Larsen - Second Testimony - Palmerston Library, Darwin, Australia Special Meeting - September 2, 2007

Hymn 287

I very much appreciated the chorus of that hymn, “Things in life I cannot alter, I will leave in Jesus’ hands.” All of us have an unknown future before us and we don’t know what experiences yet await us, but I’m sure still ahead are things we don’t understand. Maybe ahead are times of discouragement still; things that we are going to find hard and things we can’t alter. Do you know - it’s always safe whatever the experience, to take it to Jesus and to leave it with Jesus.

I have appreciated reading in Luke 10:38, “Now it came to pass, as they went, that He entered into a certain village and a certain woman named Martha received Him into her house. And she had a sister called Mary, which also sat at Jesus’ feet and heard His word. But Martha was cumbered about much serving and came to Him and said, 'Lord, dost Thou not care that my sister hath left me to serve alone? Bid her therefore that she help me.' And Jesus answered and said unto her, 'Martha, Martha, thou art careful and troubled about many things; but one thing is needful and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her.'” Martha had a problem; she had something that she couldn’t alter and she took it to Jesus. You know the story could have been so different if Martha had taken her problem elsewhere. What if she had talked to the next door neighbours and said, “I have this problem with Mary and she’s not helping me serve.” It would feed the problem and spread it more; and maybe the neighbour would take a dislike and disapproval to Mary. But she took it to Jesus and what happened? Martha got a revelation that she misunderstood everything. She got a revelation that there was something that she could do to alter the situation; and found that really it was Mary that was doing the right thing. The thing that she needed to do was to sit at Jesus’ feet. Sometimes in life there are things that seem hard and things we would long to alter, and we see it as other people’s problems. Sometimes when we take it to Jesus we find that there is a way to alter the situation and it helps us. It’s altering "me" and maybe I need to spend more time at the feet of Jesus.

I was also reading of Hannah in Samuel I, where it tells Hannah couldn’t have children. Each year, they went up to worship at Shiloh and it came to the time of offering and Elkanah gave to his wife and children worthy portions but he loved Hannah, “So Hannah rose up after they had eaten in Shiloh and after they had drunk. Now Eli the priest sat upon a seat by a post of the temple of the Lord. And she was in bitterness of soul, and prayed unto the Lord and wept sore.” That’s when she vowed a vow that if the Lord would give her a man child, she would give him back to the Lord. Hannah had a situation that she couldn’t alter and we don’t know how many years Hannah carried this burden but she took it to the Lord. When she took it to the Lord, she got an answer that if she was to have a child, she could give it back to the Lord. It tells us when she arose from the place of prayer, her countenance was no more sad; she arose and ate. I just loved this picture of a lady who cast all her care upon the Lord, left it there, arose, and was able to eat again.

Doesn’t it say in Peter I 5:7, “Casting all your care upon Him; for He careth for you.” It’s something to go to the place of prayer with our burden and we can tell it to the Lord, but it’s another thing to rise and leave the burden there, to rise and simply trust that we have left it in Jesus’ hands and all is going to be okay. I feel so often I tell the burden and also take it with me because I don’t trust enough. It tells Hannah had got to the stage it was making her fret and not eat. If we are fretting and not feeding, how can we grow? There are a lot of things that can make us fret and stop feeding when we are in that condition.

I like the encouragement in Psalm 37:1, “Fret not thyself because of evildoers, neither be thou envious against the workers of iniquity. For they shall soon be cut down like the grass and wither as the green herb. Trust in the Lord, and do good; so shalt thou dwell in the land and verily thou shalt be fed. Delight thyself also in the Lord and He shall give thee the desires of thine heart. Commit thy way unto the Lord; trust also in Him and He shall bring it to pass and He shall bring forth thy righteousness as the light and thy judgment as the noonday.” There are a lot of things we could fret about; maybe things in the kingdom that we see aren’t right, things that really we can’t alter and it’s a grief to our heart and we fret about it. But we aren’t going to grow if we keep fretting about it. It tells us what to do: “Trust in the Lord, commit thy way unto the Lord and resting in the Lord.”

We sing in a hymn, “Art thou pained to see the kingdom suffer loss,” and then it says, “Throw thyself into the conflict, do thy faithful, honest part.” There are things that we can’t alter but we can’t fret about them either; we need to take it to the Lord and trust in Him. You know, I was thinking of our meeting on Tuesday night and we left you that little saying that the "secret of success is success in secret." The way of having success in secret is to learn how to wait on the Lord.

I appreciated that verse again in Isaiah 40:29-31, “He giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might, He increaseth strength. Even the youths shall faint and be weary and the young men shall utterly fall but they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles. They shall run and not be weary; and they shall walk and not faint.” This seemed to be a little secret to me of that little verse that we have in Psalm 84:6, “Who passing through the valley of Baca make it a well; the rain also filleth the pools.” How is it that we can make the valley experience, times when we are feeling heavy burdened, things we don’t understand? How can we turn these things into a well? It’s when we wait on the Lord; dig deeper into God’s word or maybe into our hymn book to encourage and comfort. I long that we can prove what it is; that the secret of success is success in the secret and in taking things to the Lord that we can’t alter.