Monday, July 13, 2009

In the Night

The following is from an email that I wrote to my parents, who are two of my closest friends, tonight/this morning. My intent was to pour out my frustrations and doubts and to entreat their prayers. But I think that God has taken my struggle and turned it into something He can use. It is likely the most raw piece of myself I have ever posted on this blog...

Unable to sleep, I found myself at the computer checking my blog reader.

Laurie posted this recitation of Ps 145 on her blog tonight - it's truly a wonderful recitation.

But as I sat here at 3'something in the morning watching it, when he got to vs 16, the tears started and I just can't seem to make them stop.

14 The Lord sustains all who fall
And raises up all who are bowed down.
15 The eyes of all look to You,
And You give them their food in due time.
16 You open Your hand
And satisfy the desire of every living thing.
17 The Lord is righteous in all His ways
And kind in all His deeds.
18 The Lord is near to all who call upon Him,
To all who call upon Him in truth.
19 He will fulfill the desire of those who fear Him;
He will also hear their cry and will save them.

My broken, aching heart cries out - - What about my desire? Am I not a living thing? Do I not fear Him? Am I not calling properly? I pour out my heart before Him. I cry to Him. I bow down. I AM bowed down. When will I be raised up? When will I be saved? When will He open His hand?

Ps 30.5
For His anger is but for a moment,
His favor is for a lifetime;
Weeping may last for the night,
But a shout of joy comes in the morning.

Weeping may only last for the night, but the night seems so long. So dark. So full of anguish.
This particular night in a greater night has been one where I have had to fight exceedingly dark thoughts. I hate it when those thoughts intrude. I hate my doubts and impatience. I long to trust.

And then He takes me to Ps 31:

A Psalm of Complaint and of Praise.
For the choir director. A Psalm of David.

In you, O LORD, do I take refuge; let me never be put to shame; in your righteousness deliver me!
Incline your ear to me; rescue me speedily! Be a rock of refuge for me, a strong fortress to save me!
For you are my rock and my fortress; and for your name's sake you lead me and guide me;
you take me out of the net they have hidden for me, for you are my refuge.
Into your hand I commit my spirit; you have redeemed me, O LORD, faithful God.
I hate those who pay regard to worthless idols, but I trust in the LORD.
I will rejoice and be glad in your steadfast love, because you have seen my affliction; you have known the distress of my soul,
and you have not delivered me into the hand of the enemy; you have set my feet in a broad place.
Be gracious to me, O LORD, for I am in distress; my eye is wasted from grief; my soul and my body also.
For my life is spent with sorrow, and my years with sighing; my strength fails because of my iniquity, and my bones waste away.

Because of all my adversaries I have become a reproach, especially to my neighbors, and an object of dread to my acquaintances; those who see me in the street flee from me.
I have been forgotten like one who is dead; I have become like a broken vessel.
For I hear the whispering of many-- terror on every side!-- as they scheme together against me, as they plot to take my life.
But I trust in you, O LORD; I say, "You are my God."
My times are in your hand;
rescue me from the hand of my enemies and from my persecutors!
Make your face shine on your servant; save me in your steadfast love!
O LORD, let me not be put to shame, for I call upon you; let the wicked be put to shame; let them go silently to Sheol.
Let the lying lips be mute, which speak insolently against the righteous in pride and contempt.
Oh, how abundant is your goodness, which you have stored up for those who fear you and worked for those who take refuge in you, in the sight of the children of mankind!
In the cover of your presence you hide them
from the plots of men; you store them in your shelter from the strife of tongues.
Blessed be the LORD, for he has wondrously shown his steadfast love to me when I was in a besieged city.
I had said in my alarm, "I am cut off from your sight." But you heard the voice of my pleas for mercy when I cried to you for help.
Love the LORD, all you his saints! The LORD preserves the faithful but abundantly repays the one who acts in pride.
Be strong, and let your heart take courage, all you who wait for the LORD!

2 Peter 3.9 - "The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you...."

And I return again to:

A Song of Ascents, of David.

O Lord, my heart is not proud, nor my eyes haughty;
Nor do I involve myself in great matters,
Or in things too difficult for me.
Surely I have composed and quieted my soul;
Like a weaned child rests against his mother,
My soul is like a weaned child within me.
O Israel, hope in the Lord
From this time forth and forever.

Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice. Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me--practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.
(Philippians 4:4-9)

And now, "In peace I will both lie down and sleep; for you alone, O LORD, make me dwell in safety." (Psalms 4:8)


Mary said...

Praying for you, dear one. I don't know what your night is, but I love you and know that our loving Lord is somewhere there in the darkness, somewhere out there for your groping hand...
May you find rest in knowing that the highest thing you will ever do or know is to glorify God however HE chooses to do that! <3

Wayne and Genene said...

Amen, Mary.

Heather said...

Love you Laurel!

Laurie L. said...

Hugs to you dear Laurel. Though we KNOW the truth, we don't always FEEL what should result from the truth! Oh, I know. But nevertheless, His truth is constant, steadfast, sure and faithful. His love is toward His beloved children. Rejoice that you are His beloved. Trust Him and cling to Him. Rest in His keeping and complete holiness and goodness.
Thank you for your transparency.
Love to you, dear Laurel

I love you, dear sister.