Virginia Brandt Berg (1886-1968) was a well-known American evangelist, and one of the first radio evangelists in America. She authored “The Hem of His Garment” and “Streams That Never Run Dry” and a series of inspirational radio programs titled “Meditation Moments.” (Articles by Virginia Brandt Berg used in Activated are adapted.)
The Land of Beginning Again
I wish there were some wonderful place
Called “The Land of Beginning Again,”
Where all our mistakes
And all our heartaches
And all our poor selfish greed,
Could be dropped
Like a shabby old coat at the door
And never put on again.
After you have asked God for something, take action. Act on your faith. Put feet to your prayers by taking steps toward your goal.
When I was the pastor of a church in Wagoner, Oklahoma, there was a girl named Etta, who wanted very much to go to college to prepare for Christian service. For two years she prayed for money to pay her tuition. The situation looked impossible.
A few Christmases ago, as I was standing in the doorway of a department store, enjoying a lovely Nativity scene in a store window, a mother and her little girl came hurrying by. Catching a glimpse of the beautiful scene, the child grabbed her mother’s hand and exclaimed, “Mama! Mama! Please let me stop for a minute and look at Jesus!” But her mother replied wearily that they weren’t even half through with their shopping list and didn’t have time to stop. Then she walked on, dragging her disappointed daughter behind her.
As you know, people aren’t always able to fulfill their promises, but God always is. His Word says that He is “able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think.”1 God stands behind His promises, so hold Him to them in your hour of need, and He will not fail you.
Some of the loneliest people are surrounded by others, yet they feel that no one understands them.—That is, the real person that they are. They long for someone to share their interests and problems, to sympathize with them. But it’s true that even your lifelong companion, your closest friend, does not really know you, does not really understand you after all, because in every life there’s a locked door or two where no one enters but yourself.
Some people cannot understand how God could have come down and been wrapped in human flesh. That isn’t strange to me, though. In fact it is quite easy for me to believe, because I see Jesus born in human hearts every day. He comes and lives in hearts and transforms lives, and to me that’s a great miracle.
The secret of drawing closer to God is prayer and communion with Him through meditating on His Word. But it’s not just quickly opening your Bible. I’m sure that the failure of many Christians to gain much from meditation arises far more often from opening their Bibles too quickly than from shutting them too quickly!
The Hebrew word bakah means “weeping,” and in Bible times there was a valley in Israel called by that name. Figuratively, the Valley of Baca is a place where all of us have been at some time or other. It’s a place of suffering, sorrow, hardship; a dry, dusty, desert place.
Psalm 84 brings out the beautiful thought that whenever we pass through such a place, we have an opportunity to turn that difficulty or disappointment, that sorrow or hardship, whatever it may be, into a blessing.“As they pass through the Valley of Baca, they make it a spring. The rain also covers it with pools. They go from strength to strength.”1
When my husband’s health was declining and I was visiting him at the hospital, I would see other patients in waiting rooms or in their beds and think about what they must be suffering. Some of them, especially the very aged, would be lying there all alone, day after day. I visited the hospital daily for about a month, and no one ever came to see them. No one cared enough to come.
I once attended a meeting where a 16-year-old boy sang several gospel songs, and as he sang, his face shone with joy. I learned later that he had grown up in a horrible home environment. From the age of 12, he had been forced to steal to support his family, and within a year, he was also stealing to support his own drug habit, which his life of crime had led to. He had been arrested and spent years in and out of juvenile correctional centers. But one day, some young people met him on the street and led him to receive Jesus, and his life was completely transformed.