Oh Great God
You are as confusing as You are breathtaking
As mysterious as You are bright
Oh Zealous Redeemer
In times such as this, faith cannot be explained
Nor can we claim responsibility for it
Oh Mighty Fortress
Protect us from our creeping doubts
Shield us from the whore of lies
May not we stumble into the traps of bitterness
As we wonder why
Oh Perfect Understander
What is it to rejoice in new life
And yet, to grieve the sting of death
Oh Unending Provider
You extend unmerited grace as we question
The outcomes You’ve allowed
Because You know that in the questioning
We crawl closer to You in our search for answers
Leaving us to dine in communion together
Even when the whys are left in waiting
My friend and Pastor’s wife, Amber, is an amazing artist and writer. She has often been able to tap into the deepness of how things feel and write it out in such a way that brings a real peace, at least for me. I haven’t posted in over a week, due to exhaustion and a long and early labor, but as I hear of the painful things going on around me and the things I’m feeling in my own heart, I felt this was appropriate to share for today. I hope this piece Amber wrote brings you as much peace as it did for me.
“Be still and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!” -Psalm 46:10
When I am afraid, when my heart is pounding.
When all I can do is exist in fear and panic.
You bring peace to my troubled soul.
The turbulent sloshing of my emotions is stilled by your presence.
I know the assurance and comfort of your words, your hand on my heart.
Be still and know…
As my life spins with uncertainty and I quiver at quaking ground beneath my feet.
When I am reeling, knocked breathless by the bile of anxiety crawling up my throat, you still my doubts.
When disease and financial ruin steal away my equilibrium,
You breathe rest and security by reminding me of your past and continued provision for me, by reminding me of your goodness, your greatness.
Be still and know that I Am God…
When I am angry.
When my self-righteousness and need for justice becomes greater in my mind than your divinity.
When I begin to chafe at hurts and fiery darts hurled at me and those I care for, and I plot a way to set things right.
In your still small voice you remind me of my sinfulness and my own need for your grace, your mercy.
You correct my wandering heart for you alone are God, the righteous judge. And your ways are not my ways and your ways are always good.
Be still and know that I am God…
When I am with you and my mind wanders, when I have been given an opportunity to be in your presence and I cannot forget myself, you gently remind me of your presence in my heart. You lead me into worship and intimacy by revealing yourself, your love for me and leaving in me the joy of praise to the lover of my soul. You allow me to simply enjoy you.
Be still and know that I am God…
When I am sad and feel alone, when my fear of vulnerability imprisons me behind my walls of defense. When I am struggling to feel connected, worthy, treasured. You speak to me with the closeness, familiarness of old friends, brought together long ago and sharing all of life. You reveal my own heart to me with the intimacy of a lover who knows my vulnerabilities and loves me, loves me with such tenderness, a delicate handling of the wounded places in my heart. You heal my hurts and replace the scarred tissue with new life.
Be still and know that I am God, I will be exalted…
When I am fretful about the future. When it seems as if the battle is too much, too long, too hard. When it seems as if the victory has been snatched away and those I love are left hurting, wounded, bleeding. When I have been betrayed and watched my fellow soldiers walk away from the fight…
You are strong. You infuse my weary heart with the calm, steady assurance of your victory, already won by your son. You invigorate my battle worn heart with your sovereignty over all things, people and times. You give me promise and hope that your works will be finished, that the power residing in me is the power that spoke the universe into place, commands legions of angels and can bring about the resurrection of the dead into new life. You are the great I Am, the Alpha and the Omega.
Last Monday was a sweet day. I had a burst of energy, and got all kinds of things done around the house. Daniel and Abe worked outside on that industrial table that was in my last post and did stuff around the yard. It never rained that day, which was nice. At one point, Abe came inside while I was washing the dishes and wanted something to do because he was bored.
I don’t know why I’d never thought of this before, but I handed him a container and told him to go collect a bunch of different looking leaves, and then we would make a picture with them. He got super pumped about this mission, and went outside and collected leaves. He came in a few times with a couple, but I told him to keep collecting more (mainly because I was trying to buy time so that I could finish the dishes).
When he finally had what I thought was enough, and I was done with my chore, we sat down with a piece of card stock, some Mod Podge and his leaf collection. First, he showed me all of his favorites, which of course were the tiny ones. Sidenote: Abram LOVES tiny things. Like, the smallest, almost unseeable things. When he was two, he found a very small fake diamond, and he called it his sparkle. He managed to keep that thing for quite sometime, and he was the only one who could find it if it got lost. It’s astonishing to me.
After he showed me his favorites, I had him start spreading the mod podge of the back of the leaves with a small paint brush. I’m the one that organized them the way you see them above, in case you were thinking my son was some kind of leaf collage genius. But he did the collecting and the glueing. When we were done, he was so incredibly pleased and proud of his piece of work. It felt good to see his little satisfied reaction. We set it aside to dry, and he went back outside to play and help his daddy.
I had to run up to Walmart for toiletries and such, and while I was there I found a plain, matte black picture frame for like $3.47. I grabbed it to surprise Abe with. When I got home, I stuck his leaf collage in the frame and put it up on the wall. When he came inside, I showed him, and that happy, little face…. man, there’s nothing like the sight of that face.
Now, anytime someone comes over, he has to tell them about his leaf collage that he made and how mommy hung it up. This was the simplest of projects, and it can cost absolutely nothing, if you already have a picture frame lying around or would rather just washi tape it to the wall. It was fun to look at the leaves and talk about the differences in colors and textures. It wasn’t a lengthy project and it put a smile on everyone’s face.