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.
Have you ever thought about what it would be like to travel back into time to when you were younger, and watch yourself from the fly on the wall’s perspective?
Having a child is very much like that. You’re not as useless as you’d be from the fly’s perspective, but you can’t really control the way things go either.
There is loneliness in his eyes, and while I think a sibling might help, I don’t think it’s going to fill the longing in his little heart that’s been there since the day we met.
My mom said she watched me play alone on the beach, and she saw those eyes. She knew it was time to have another child so that I could have someone to play with. And while I love my sister very much, that still didn’t fill the gaping hole that made itself known through my eyes.
Having Abram as my son has been like time travel. I’ve been given this human to watch over and care for that is so much like me. I am deeply familiar with that loneliness I see in his eyes everyday, because it’s the same gaze that looked back at me in the mirror for so much of my life.
I watch him with his friends. His anticipation to be with them next is sweet at best and annoying at worst, but as soon as he’s with them, that gaze settles back in. That overwhelming feeling of being alone shows up on his face in a room full of peers and laughter.
He’s so desperate in his quest to feel like he belongs. It’s why he got so bent out of shape last week when I told him our television didn’t belong to him, but just to us and that we let him use it. The thought of him not being included in that ownership wrecked him.
It’s why, no matter how many times a day we tell him that 1) we love him and 2) he’s not alone, he still falls apart when we ask him to go play in his room.
I could go on and on with the examples I’ve taken note of and observed to explain the longing that I see in my son, but continuing to write them out would just make me sob, and I’ve already done that once today.
What’s so hard about this part of my job as Abe’s mother is that there’s nothing I can do to convince him of the truth. I can teach it to him formally, I can have dozens upon dozens of conversations with him about what he’s going through and what I’ve gone through, we can fight about it and then pray until our voices give out. But at the end of the day, there’s no transaction of truth we can make that will leave his heart convinced until the God that created and treasures him convinces Abram Himself.
I anticipate the day when I see that lonely look turn into one of peace and satisfaction. The fact that I can’t control when that happens doesn’t mean I’m going to give up telling my son the truth, day in and day out. My job is to help him plow the fields of his heart and sow the seeds. The growth, the changing of seasons and the pruning- that’s not up to me.