When you are young the hills of time merge into the outline of a distant horizon. I used to look at my grandparents, who were younger then than I am now, and try to imagine what it must be like to be so old! They were standing on a distant hill and enjoyed telling me what their view of life and history was like from their elevated perspective.
The years have now passed and I, in turn, am standing on one of those distant hills. I have been looking back over the 73 years that God has so far granted to me, over 30 of which have been spent on pioneering and developing, with the Ellel team, the work that became known as Ellel Ministries. What God has done in that time is beyond human comprehension. I have been privileged to see Him work miracle after miracle – both in terms of the life-transforming work of His Spirit, in the lives of thousands of people, and in meeting the practical needs of the ministry.
The Psalmist encourages us to make a record of what God has done (Psalm 102:18), so that future generations will be able to praise and thank the Lord for what He has done. So, over the past few years I have been doing just that — writing the story, both of the years of preparation which preceded Ellel Ministries, and the step-by-step journey of faith that has seen the work established now in over thirty countries.
At long last the book, Strands of Destiny, is finished and about to be published. It is with considerable nervous anticipation that I await seeing the book for the first time. I have used the phrase View from a Distant Hill as the title of the Epilogue. For that is exactly what the book is — a view from the distant hill of my own life, looking back on seven decades of God’s faithfulness through many ups and down and often extraordinary experiences.
I find myself saying a very loud Amen to all that is expressed in Psalm 34 in which we find those simple words of testimony “O taste and see that the Lord is good” (v8). The poetry of Nicholas Brady and Nahum Tate perfectly encapsulates the words of the Psalm, and expresses for me my own thanksgiving to the Lord as I look back from my own distant hill. For He has miraculously woven the many different strands of my own life into His destiny purposes – hence the title of the book, Strands of Destiny.
Through all the changing scenes of life,
In trouble and in joy,
The praises of my God shall still
My heart and tongue employ.
Oh, magnify the Lord with me,
With me exalt His name;
When in distress to Him I called,
He to my rescue came.
The hosts of God encamp around
The dwellings of the just;
Deliverance He affords to all
Who on His succour trust.
Oh, make but trial of His love,
Experience will decide
How blest they are, and only they,
Who in His truth confide.
Fear Him, ye saints, and you will then
Have nothing else to fear;
Make you His service your delight,
Your wants shall be His care.
(Strands of Destiny will be published by Sovereign World at the end of November.
Over 400 pages of text, and 48 pages of photographs.)