Praise the LORD from the earth, you sea-monsters and all deeps; Fire and hail, snow and fog, tempestuous wind, doing his will; Mountains and all hills, fruit trees and all cedars; Wild beasts and all cattle, creeping things and winged birds; Kings of the earth and all peoples, princes and all rulers of the world; Young men and maidens, old and young together. Let them praise the Name of the LORD, for His Name only is exalted, His splendor is over earth and heaven. Psalm 148:6–13
These have been quiet days. The gunk which is sweeping Tucson laid me flat on my back for five days and counting. Lots and lots of quiet. Well, except for the hacking cough. And it has been one of those gripping headache sicknesses where I have felt too lousy to even read; just a page or two and then quiet. Quiet under the February blueness and surrounded by Alan’s peonies. And Pippen is always snuggled somewhere in the midst of the Hosterman knit blanket.
Praying through Rees Howell battling the Nazis long hour after long hour, front after front, faithful and unrelenting. The battle is not against flesh and blood but principalities and against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world. What does it mean to be an intercessor, one who stands in the gap.
Reading Passage to India that captures all peoples so clearly.
And it has been a Lenten time of repentance. Confessing ingratitude. Expectations. Resentment. Accusation. Tools of the Evil One straight from the first temptation in the Garden which smashed the joyous unity with Him. Allowing His loving claws to rake down deeply through the dragon skin that surrounds my heart.
In the light of His purity, it was not so much sin we saw as self. We saw pride and self-motives underlying everything we had ever done. -Rees Howells, Intercessor
And now it has been eight days and counting. Gladden the soul of your servant, for to you, O LORD, I lift up my soul.
And this has been my prayer for myself on Saturday, every Saturday, for years upon years: LORD please make me ever aware of Your Spirit, moment-by-moment wisdom, quicken my spirit to immediate, full-of-faith obedience. Cause me to be thankful…this obedience results in a joy that brings glory to you.
And I slip up so often on this moment-by-moment wisdom.
Quicken my spirit to immediate, full-of-faith obedience.
And for me, wisdom usually equals silence.
And obedience usually means silence.
Usually. Intercessor. Allowing the Spirit to groan deeply within.
And to stand back. And let Him do His thing.
But He showed us, 'There is all the difference in the world between your surrendered life in my hands, and I living My life in your body.' We read the Acts afresh, and found we were reading, not the acts of the apostles, but the acts of the Holy Ghost. -Rees Howells, Intecessor
So I read Acts as well. Afresh.
And sometimes obedience is not silence, but a bold leap into words. Sometimes. Just this week, I felt the familiar tug: God longs to demonstrate His great love and power by removing that tumor… and the next day I received this email:
I just want to share this:
I went to get the magnetic resonance yesterday. The radiologist (if that is how you say it in English, haha) looked at the X-rays and the results from the other tests. He asked me a set of questions. Then, they put me in the capsule for about 40 minutes. They took me out and he said he was confused because he did not see anything, he even asked me about the X-rays, he asked me if those were recent, and I told him they were from this week. So, although he seemed to be confused, he told me he was going to run another resonance so they put my body half way into the capsule and ran another test for about 30 minutes. In the end, he told me he cannot explain himself because what is reflected in the X-rays did not show up in the images in the magnetic resonance. Inside my head, I kept thinking, he cannot explain it but I can, I know God has his ways.
Praise the LORD from the earth, you sea-monsters and all deeps; Fire and hail, snow and fog, tempestuous wind, doing his will; Mountains and all hills, fruit trees and all cedars; Wild beasts and all cattle, creeping things and winged birds; Kings of the earth and all peoples, princes and all rulers of the world; Young men and maidens, old and young together. Let them praise the Name of the LORD, for His Name only is exalted, His splendor is over earth and heaven.
And somehow all of this craziness and pain and beauty and delight and heartbreak and sea-monsters and fire and tempestuous wind is to His exaltation. King of the earth and all peoples. Praise the LORD.
And today’s Joy Dare was for the ugly-beautiful gifts, for example this ugly cough and the beautiful silence. His gift.
And His wisdom to know the difference.