Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Grant to me, Lord, I pray, the Spirit to think always what

You, O LORD, are my lamp; my God, you make my darkness bright. Psalm 18:29

God moves in a mysterious way His wonders to perform; He plants his footstep in the sea, And rides upon the storm. Deep in unfathomable mines Of never-failing skill He treasures up His bright designs, And works His sovereign will. Judge not the Lord by feeble sense, But trust him for His grace; Behind a frowning providence He hides a smiling face. His purposes will ripen fast, Unfolding every hour; The bud may have a bitter taste, But sweet will be the flower. Blind unbelief is sure to err, And scan His work in vain; God is His own interpreter, And He will make it plain. William Cowper

Prayer: Drop thy still dews of quietness, Till all our strivings cease; Take from our souls the strain and stress, And let our ordered lives confess The beauty of thy peace. John G. Whittier

So I had a new pair of goggles today. Every day I vowed to replace the old pair that I probably dug out of Lost and Found and that were cracked, and the rubber was permanently wilted from too many days of sitting out in a hot car and they leaked and fogged and pinched. I finally pulled it together and bought a new pair that does not leak or fog or pinch. And I could clearly see the stained bottom of Amphi High School pool where we are swimming this week as they super chlorinate Hillenbrand.

And I remember how after my first back surgery so many years ago, a friend, Cheryl Powell, knew that the very best thing for me would be swimming. So every single day she picked me up and drove me to Amphi Pool. And I didn’t really know how to swim very well, really. I mean, I learned in a river so my strokes were ugly and short, but very functional. And she explained the clocks and the flip turns and something called intervals. And she was very patient and faithfully stubborn. I appreciate good friends during the hard painful times.

Because the clamor is great. The voices in my head. But when I muster together some grit and stare them in the face without the metaphorical leaking, fogging and pinching goggles, they all have one name: The Accuser. Pointing his trembling with rage finger in all directions. Deliver me from evil.
And even if my beautiful outstretched-arms Venetian crucifix has broken from my neck, still I know the Truth. These, He declares, each and every one including you, are My beloved children and sin has been broken forever. It is finished.

Peace I give you.

The Lord is my shepherd and nothing is wanting to me. In green pastures He hath settled me.

And in the stillness of this garden drenched by monsoon rains and roped by twinkle lights, the blossoms unfurl in bright colors. Here and here and even there are sturdy testimonies to His intentions of healing and growth and satisfying fruit.

And a bright light gleams in the sea of Dreams Come True, the darkest nightmares of unspoken fears, and leads the company of travelers into the sunshine of His presence. But no one except Lucy knew that as it circled the mast it had whispered to her, “Courage, dear heart,” and the voice, she felt sure, was Aslan's, and with the voice a delicious smell breathed in her face.

And as I finish up with my backwards journey through Narnia, there is The Voice: In the darkness something was happening at last. A voice had begun to sing. It was very far away and Digory found it hard to decide from which direction it was coming. Sometimes it seemed to come from all directions at once. There were no words. There was hardly even a tune. But it was, beyond comparison, the most beautiful noise he had ever heard. It was so beautiful he could hardly bear it.

Be still, then, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations; I will be exalted in the earth.  Psalm 46:11