Midnight Devotion

January 23, 2009 at 12:28 am

This isn’t particularly striving to be a well written piece, but a public-private journaling piece, hurredly written before bedtime to purge thoughts.  I pray that if you need it, it’s hear for you.  If you don’t, that’s okay, too.

I read a scripture on a friend’s blog this week that I once had in my list of scriptures to read-mediditate on–perhaps memorize, if God graced me and it happened.  It was something like this, I think coming from somewhere in Jeremiah:

Your words came, and I ate them…they were my joy and my heart’s delight, for I bear you name, O Lord, God Almighty.

And they stuck.

I mean, I’ve read  them before, and it’s a beautiful verse, but now…they are sticking still.

Somewhere along the way, faith became hard.  Obeying God became costly.  Surrender took everything, and then some.  Listening became fearful.  Service became, at times, more than my attitude could gladly bear.  Speaking to God was not really an option.  For what have I to say to a God who does such huge things, asks such hard things, brings about events that I cannot wrap my mind around, as over-used as that term has become with my generation.  There is no other phrase or I’d gladly pick it up.

And yet…the verse that stood out to me a few weeks ago in church for my year was a Psalm.  I don’t know the location, or it by heart yet, but the general gist of it is this:  “I will sing praise to you, and declare your salvation day after day.”

Yes…day after day, he saves.  And is worthy of my good report.  Day after day, he saves, and is worthy of my song and praises.  I don’t know if you’ve been in seasons where you just don’t have it in you to carry a song…I’m sure you have, if you sing at all.  I can listen to music, enjoy it, and worship on Sundays, when led, but that daily song.  It is hard, when you are hard-pressed.  And generally, you do not know how hard pressed you were and perhaps even that you had stopped singing until you hear yourself doing it again.  Oh!  What bliss!

Perhaps there is no greater joy in the world than the strength to carry a song.

And so…what if, we could truly, truly…I could truly be at the place where when his words came, I could “eat them” and they would be my joy and my heart’s delight, for I bear His name…My Lord God Almighty.  What if, no matter what he asked, no matter the struggle, whatever he said, that brought me joy and delight…simply because I’m his servant.

I’m not in control.  I’m not the master.  I’m not the director.  I have no conference calls.  I serve.

I read this verse and it appeared in my prayer journal a few days ago afresh for me…perhaps on a sheet of paper that fell from the book I opened…yes.  It said, “Come unto me, you who are weary and heavy laden.  Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am meek and lowly (humble) in heart, and you will find rest unto your souls.”  I think it’s in the gospel of Matthew.

I remember the Lord continually reminding me of that verse at the time I wrote it down, and I said to the Lord, “I’m not exactly sure what you mean by this, to be honest with you.”  I mean, it sounds promising, but I really didn’t know what or how to follow him that I wasn’t already doing.

And then…the words “for I am meek and humble in heart” struck me.  And I said, “What do you mean by that?”

I still don’t know the context or what he meant exactly, but it seems to me, for that day, I was struck that until we can surrender control and approach him with meekness and humility, totally losing our agenda, expectations, and wishes…letting him be Master, and us be servant, we won’t know rest.

And so, my job after that was to just continue on in the tasks he’s given me, the jobs, the lists, the day to day things that I’m needed to do, and let him have all the conversation about it.  If that sentence makes sense to you.  To ask questions would not help.  To whine would not help.  To get depressed would not help.  To pray all day would not necessarily change things.

Surrender.

And now…the joy in the surrender.  The joy in those things He’s left for us to do.

“Your words came, and I ate them…they were my joy and my heart’s delight, for I bear your name, O Lord, God, Almighty.”

I pray that is the next place.  From surrender, to a joy-filled and more trusting surrender.  One gritting my teeth less, joyful in all He is doing and Has given.

Days are long.  Hearts get weary.  Demands come.  Frustration sets in.  There is struggle all around.

But, “I will sing to the Lord, and proclaim his salvation day after day.”

I’ve spoken on this verse before…but this week, it feels supported by other messages to me.  And in His words, there is comfort and strength for the day.  On hard days.  In times when my stomach aches with pain for those around me.  Days when I wish I could do and had done and would do…more.  Days when I can.  Days when I can’t.

Both encouragement of the scriptures and wordless sighs grip me tonight.  The amazement of more than I can ever comprehend, and the mass of weight of things I will never grasp.

Lord, keep being Lord.  It’s all we can ask or hope for.  And it’s all you are.  And we thank you.  As we step down from the throne, we place you there, and beg you to keep giving us the grace to please you.  In all our trying and in all our frustrations, in all our human-ness, strivings, frailty, strengths, gifts, and even unspoken prayers that you hear… take what we bring, and use it.  Be magnified.

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Entry filed under: Everyday.

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I am married to the love of my life, as we raise three children, learning the ways of grace.

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Magnanimity (derived from the Latin roots magn- great, and anima, soul) is the virtue of being great of mind and heart. It encompasses, usually, a refusal to be petty, a willingness to face danger, and actions for noble purposes. Its antithesis is pusillanimity. Both terms were coined by Aristotle, who called magnanimity "the crowning virtue."

Noah Webster's 1828 Dictionary of the American Language defines Magnanimity as such:

MAGNANIM'ITY, n. [L. magnanimitas; magnus, great, and animus, mind.] Greatness of mind; that elevation or dignity of soul, which encounters danger and trouble with tranquillity and firmness, which raises the possessor above revenge, and makes him delight in acts of benevolence, which makes him disdain injustice and meanness, and prompts him to sacrifice personal ease, interest and safety for the accomplishment of useful and noble objects.[1] (Source: Wikipedia)

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"Yesterday is gone. Tomorrow has not come. We have only today. Let us begin." ~Mother Teresa

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