The rest of this post is a series of random notes on a more personal level than I usually broach. They're actually connected in my mind, but most of you will be hard-pressed to find all the links (you might call it "listening to myself, then preaching to myself, a la DMLJ"). So just read each bullet for what it's worth, and hopefully there will be something edifying there for you, too.
- A lot can happen in a month's time. To the Lord, a thousand years are like a day. To his people, a month can feel like a thousand years. Ah, how much more important to recognize that our life is truly as a vapor.
- "Mark the error of despair. We should see that the case of a praying man cannot be desperate - that if a man be out of the pit of hell, he is on the ground of mercy." Isn't that a beautiful quote? It's written by John Newton's biographer, and quoted by Piper in Life As A Vapor.
- God made the wind. God made me. God knew that the wind would keep me up most of last night. So I spent the day trusting that God would give me the energy and clarity of thought that I needed. (O feeble flesh!)
- A line from a song's been running through my head for the last few days, from the O Brother soundtrack: "I am weary, let me rest." Weary is an apt word to describe me right now in a lot of ways - not least of all physically. I'm trying to meditate on how "Come to me all you who are weary and heavy laden" applies specifically to me. Sometimes it feels a whole lot lighter of a burden to zone out, watch a movie and finish that bottle of wine than to consciously "Take my yoke upon you." What does it look like to take up this "light, easy yoke" while "fighting faith's fight"? One of those mysteries of God's economy that is, quite frankly, exhausting me right now. Ironic, no?
- I think part of the answer is in the repeated biblical exhortation (especially in the psalms) to wait. Wait in quietness, wait in trust. I'm nowhere near the state of despair that the psalmist describes (I've seen a lot of God's goodness, so much more than I deserve, every day!), but Psalm 27:13-14 is still an encouragement to me:
I am still confident of this:
I will see the goodness of the LORD
in the land of the living.
Wait for the LORD;
be strong and take heart
and wait for the LORD.
- Waiting on God ... one of the hardest parts of waiting on God is the dailiness of it. It's like that stupid wind that kept me up all night - one bump at 3 a.m. and I could have gone back to sleep. But it was constant, hitting the side of my house, rattling things, minute-after-minute, until the minutes turned into hours. Wearing, wearying.
One of the problems with waiting is that we so want to do, not to be still. If I know I have to wait five minutes, no problem. But when the question becomes, "How long, O Lord," the sprint becomes a marathon and the strategy must change too.
This also encourages me in the wearying dailiness of waiting:
Yet this I call to mind
and therefore I have hope:
Because of the LORD's great love we are not consumed,
for his compassions never fail.
They are new every morning; (ahem, dailiness!)
great is your faithfulness.
I say to myself, "The LORD is my portion;
therefore I will wait for him."
The LORD is good to those whose hope is in him,
to the one who seeks him;
it is good to wait quietly
for the salvation of the LORD.
Okay, that was pretty long, especially for my blog. Kudos to you if you got through it. If not, well, it was mostly written as self-preaching anyway.