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Monthly Archives: January 2013

A hush descended

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Just over a week ago I arrived home to heavy snowfall. We live in a cul-de-sac at the top of a hill, and after turning into our close I found myself stuck in the thick and compacted snow. Being unused to driving in such conditions, I was too nervous to try ramping the hidden pavement and parking out of the way. I had to leave the car where it was and hoof it up the hill, laden with groceries.

Not long after, a kindly neighbour knocked on my door with a plan – he would steer while another neighbour used his 4×4 to tow my car up the slope. I was immensely grateful for the help. And when my husband arrived home in the dark several hours later, I felt a rush of relief.

We decided to spend the weekend safely at home, and most of our street did the same. A beautiful hush descended.

Outside it was quiet and still, the usual rumble of distant traffic now deadened by the softly falling snow. Indoors – in the cosy warmth beside the fire, mugs of hot chocolate in hand – we felt a hush come over our spirits. It was as if our heartbeats were slowing for the hibernation.

In the calm, I felt the Lord speak quietly into my soul about the blessings he was bringing through the snow.

  • I spent time thinking (and praying) on things more deeply as there were no demands on my attention
  • I could relish the ‘downtime’, simply being still
  • There was nowhere we had to be, so my husband and I could cherish our time together
  • I delighted in simple pleasures, like building a snowman on the lawn, and then waking up to his cheery face the next morning
  • I learned about trusting God for my safety, and forced myself to face my fears of driving in the snow
  • I developed new appreciation for neighbours who put themselves out to help me
  • I felt gratitude towards those working in the cold… postie, the road gritters, the bin-men, visiting nurses, delivery drivers
  • I was more conscious of those vulnerable in the bad weather… elderly neighbours, single women, the ill.

The snow is gone now and outside, as the darkness creeps in, the wind is buffeting the house and raindrops are thudding against my study window. Appropriately, the radio is playing ‘Rain Down’ by Delirious and I am reminded of a scripture in Job: “He directs the snow to fall on the earth and tells the rain to pour down. Then everyone stops working so they can watch His power.” (37:6-7)

Now that the snow has gone, have you rushed back into your regular routine, or has it changed your perspective? Have you seen God’s power in the snow and the rain?

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A Psalm of Waiting

(Pic from cardiphonia.org)

(Pic from cardiphonia.org)

God, what do I do when I’m waiting for you to fulfil a promise? What do I do when it looks like I’m reaching the end and I still don’t have what I believe you’ve promised?

This week has been unbelievably hard, Lord, as we’ve wrestled with gut-wrenching issues that will affect the rest of our lives.

So far it’s been three difficult years with many moments of heartache. Am I now at the point of giving up on the desires of my heart? Perhaps not yet, but I’ve had to consider that it might not be long before I need to let this one go.

So when is the time to stop and say, “OK, that’s it, no more,” God? Is that the point of surrender? Is that what complete submission to you means? Do I keep trusting you to honour your promise – because that’s faith? Or do I acknowledge instead that you sometimes say ‘no’ and, while I may not understand, I need to accept your sovereignty?

Is it at this point of need that I meet you most honestly, God?

Praying Through

Lord, in his book on prayer, The Circle Maker, Mark Batterson says many Christians give up praying right at the point of their breakthrough, and consequently never see the answers they’ve been longing for.

I am desperate not to be one of them. But this week especially I have carried the weariness of continual disappointment. I have grown tired of being strong in my faith (and around others), and of trying to always pray the ‘right’ kinds of thankful, praising, victorious prayers that I hope will result in the outcome I so long for.

Emptied of all words I have sat – silently – with you, Jesus. And you have been near to me. I have lifted my crushed spirit to you, Father, with emotions that run too deep for words, and you have watched over me.

With infinite tenderness you have comforted me with your calm, reassuring presence and with the steadiness of your Word. You have not been offended by my cries, disconcerted with my depression, angered by my ‘failure’. Instead, you have “collected all my tears in your bottle. You have recorded each one in your book” (Psalm 56:8).

“Part of praying hard,” says Batterson, “is persisting in prayer even when we don’t get the answer we want. It’s choosing to believe that God has a better plan. And he always does!”

Father, as David wrote, “I am confident I will see the Lord’s goodness while I am here in the land of the living” (Psalm 27:13). And when I am able, I’ll keep praying.