Today, Ellie and I were moved and encouraged by an ancient message we were blessed to read today. This excerpt taken from a second century writing is wondrously made for this very hour in which we live.
"The Shepherd of Hermas" (sometimes just called "The Shepherd") is a Christian literary work occasionally considered canonical scripture by some of the early Church fathers. Recorded in this book are five visions granted to Hermas, a former slave. This is taken from the fourth and is sub- titled: "Of the trial, and tribulation that is about to come upon men."
The lesson of this vision is first and foremost that we should cast our whole care upon Him. Should you dear reader be troubled today, please find the time alone laying upon the breast of Our Father. Dare not remove yourself until all your cares are His. Oh, He so desires this of you, dear child of God.
John and Ellie
As I was walking alone...behold somewhat like a voice answered me, Doubt not, Hermas. I began to think and say within myself, Why should I doubt, seeing I am thus settled by the Lord and have seen such glorious things?
I had gone but a little farther, brethren, when behold I saw a dust rise up to heaven. I began to say within myself, Is there a drove of cattle coming, that raises such a dust?
It was about a furlong off from me. And behold I saw the dust rise more and more, so much that I began to suspect that there was something extraordinary in it.
The sun shone a little, and behold, I saw a great beast, as it were a whale, and fiery locusts came out of his mouth. The height of the beast was about a hundred feet, and he had a head like a large earthen vessel.
I began to weep, and to pray to the Lord that he would deliver me from it. Then I called to mind the words which I had heard: Doubt not, Hermas.
Therefore, brethren, putting on a divine faith, and remembering who it was that had taught me great things, I delivered myself bodily to the beast.
Now the beast came on in such a manner, as if it could have devoured a city at once.
I came near to it, and the beast extended its whole bulk upon the ground, and put forth nothing but its tongue, nor once moved itself till I had quite passed by it.
Now the beast had upon its head four colors: first black, then a red and bloody color, then a golden, and then a white.
After I had passed by it and was gone forward about thirty feet, behold there met me a certain virgin, well adorned as if she had just come out of her bridal chamber, all in white, having on white shoes, a veil down her face, and covered with shining hair.
Now I knew by my former visions that it was the Church, and thereupon I grew more cheerful. She saluted me saying, Hail, O Man! I returned the salutation, saying, Lady, Hail!
She answering said to me, Did nothing meet you, O man? I replied, Lady, there met me such a beast as seemed able to devour a whole people, but by the power of God and through his singular mercy, I escaped it.
You escaped it well, she said, because you cast your whole care upon God, and opened your heart to him, believing that you could be safe only by his great and honorable name.
For this reason the Lord sent his angel who is over the beast...and stopped his mouth, that he should not devour you. You have escaped a great trial through your faith, and because you did not doubt for such a terrible beast.
Therefore go and relate to the elect of God the great things that he has done for you. And you will say to them that this beast is the figure of the trial that is about to come.
If therefore you will have prepared yourselves, you may escape it, if your heart be pure and without spot, and if you will serve God all the rest of your days without complaint.
Cast all your cares upon the Lord, and he will govern them. Believe in God, you doubtful, because he can do all things; he can both turn away his wrath from you, and send you help and security.
(sources Wikipedia & Cheryl)
(note: "The Shepherd" fellout of
disfavor because it's doctrine of
'adoptionism' whichis erroneous.
Still a beautiful lesson with this
visionary account.We learn to eat
the hay and spit out the sticks)