If I was not formerly convinced that I have no light to shine, no song to sing, and no love to give of my own, I am now. But that is just fine… Why would I want to love with my feeble little heart when I could learn to love with His? Or sing my tuneless human compositions when I could be singing the songs of Heaven?
Now, I’ve said for some time I wanted to be a reflector… But I’ve learned something of late…
Not all reflections are created equal.
Some reflections are worthy
Some things are best absorbed…
Reflect only light.
Pray for us this week… And stay tuned for samples while our next CD takes shape… 🙂
It’s been one of those weeks…
You know, when every 20 minutes there was another I-should-blog-that moment. And indeed, I would have posted more, had the luxury of time been afforded me.
Instead, I transformed the office into a recording studio/mastering suite and ran through life from summit to valley to next summit (every twenty minutes!) taking it all in faster than I could even journal about it.
Then yesterday afternoon it all came together.
I haven’t written a song in over a year… (Though I’ve half-written at least half a dozen)
And it wasn’t because I didn’t really want to. Just something would get me halfway through, and then drop me.
I got to the point where I was nearly convinced I’d written my last song.
Until this week.
Then I recognized a sweet little melody woven through everything…
– Through the boxes and boxes delivered by our friend the UPS man
– Through fists wrapped around a taught barbed wire while starring into the canyon, and talking to a God that’s a million lightyears away, and still within easy reach.
– Through middle-of-the-night prayers for a friend’s safety
– Through reality checks
– Through emails not so easy to read
– Through prayers for you– my blog friends. (I pray for you by name– all of you)
– Through reminders of loss
– Through conversations with my little sister…
– Through hours spent pacing over dust and rocks fighting darkness and finding light…
Here’s just an excerpt. Maybe the melody will never be published, I don’t know…
But I’ll always pray the prayer.
Water Your dreams my Lord,
with tears I shed
Feed hungry children Lord,
my promised bread
Send me to darkness Lord,
teach me to pray
Through fire or freezing cold,
I’ll smile and say–
. . .
Hope is my prison Lord,
love is my chain
If I can serve You Lord,
my loss is gain
I am a soldier Lord,
called by Thy name
Let me walk worthy Lord,
worthy of Your name…
“…But I never did promise [it] to you specifically.”
“I noted that.”
“I just asked you to…?”
“What am I supposed to do? Fight for someone else’s trophy?”
“That’s what I did.
Thus ended the little “dialog” between the Eternal Weight of Glory and a tired soldier feeling more like a little boy in his cold, dark room on the eve of Christmas.
But not because there was no more to say.
Because there was too much to think about…
Ahh, matchless condescension.
Matchless abdication of rights.
To give the best and brightest of your talents, the bulk of your time, the vital force of your life for someone else’s gain, asking absolutely nothing in return other than the honor of giving…
That is the spirit of Christmas.
My life is to be “a praise and a glory.” (COL 288.2)
Or as I like to think of it, a light and a song.
I love that word picture…
But this morning as I was devouring Ephesians, it got even more beautiful.
1:12 tells me that we who trust in Christ are not to be just any praise and any glory…
We exist to be the praise of His glory…
So make that:
My broken little life–
His light. His song…
Now I really love that word picture.
Yes, they’re what we’re made of. But our sights should be so much higher…
Instead, amongst the ashes of our human solutions come to naught we still search for direction, seemingly unconscious of the light above and before us. Like the poor man of Isaiah 44:46, we chop down a tree, start a little fire, cook a bit of lunch, and say: “Aha, I am warm…” Yes, for just this one moment…
Don’t get me wrong, we must turn to ashes… But then what?
When it was all over he scraped up the residue and made a god. We make plans, set standards, and formulate our norms… And then we wonder why we’re still not satisfied.
How can we be?
Oh Jesus, teach us to look only to You…
I love that word– Providence.
It’s ultimate power giving of itself… And that, provision more than sufficient.
There is no promise that we will never lack… Indeed, if we never lacked, there would be no need for a promise. No need for Power. No need for Grace…
We will lack. We must thirst…
But we need remain thirsty only for a moment. Just long enough to recognize our need… And then, Providence kicks in.
And not with a little glass of water either…
“When the poor and needy seek water, and there is none, and their tongue faileth for thirst, I the Lord will hear them, I the God of Israel will not forsake them. I will open rivers in high places, and fountains in the midst of the valleys: I will make the wilderness a pool of water, and the dry land springs of water.”
Where there is thirst, He creates a river…
You can find it on the list of things He hates. In fact, He calls it an abomination. And he’s promised to bring it low (Job 40:12), and cut it off (Ps. 12:3). He’s also promised rebuke & curses (Ps. 119:21), shame (Ps 119:78), judgement (Isaiah 2:12)…
…and now, dishonor. (Isaiah 23:9)
I think you’ll agree we would best be rid of it.
“for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble.”
Their defenses were impregnable… Or at least, they thought so.
After all, no army, no siege, and no machine of war had yet brought the empire to it’s knees. Tonight they set a watchman to satisfy protocol, and then the party started.
But that very night their souls were required of them…
And it is not because the watchman was asleep. It is because he was facing the wrong direction.
It was not the unnumbered force without that vanquished them, it was a little glass of champagne within.
A goblet destroyed the empire.
Then Lord Jesus, let the watchman on the wall of my heart watch first for what weakens from within, and then for what threatens from without.
Until His opinion is all that matters, we’re in danger of self-destruction…
Read Isaiah 19. God didn’t have to do anything! He just showed up on the scene riding a chariot of clouds, and things started happening. Most notably, the multitudinous idols started rattling off of their foundations.
The next verse says it all… (v.2) With their gods losing their footing, the men start losing their minds. Now they’re literally at each other’s throats, no more decency, no more familyness, no more patriotism.
When gods move, men move.
That’s not so scary for a professing follower of Christ, like myself, until I remember little things like my opinion. I need not even make a case for how easy it is to idolize it… (Especially when it is right!) Just let somebody rattle it to it’s foundation and see what happens. Oh, and I can be totally civil, and pleasant throughout without much effort… But inside…later…
I fear even serious Christians act like desperate Egyptians sometimes…
But there is in this story a beautiful Ray of Glory… And a simple lesson for those who want to live an unrattled life…
Choose one God. And choose One that can’t be rattled…
I’ll say it again.
Until His opinion is all that matters, we’re in danger of self-destruction…
The gardens and vineyards of the kingdom we’re passing through may look promising indeed…
But let us never be distracted or delayed from our journey by the bounty supposedly coming tomorrow.
Another Greater has promised that these vines will never yield. He will personally see to it they don’t. (v.5-6)
And just as surely, the promised pleasures of sin and sinners will never really be. Oh, they will throw all sorts of parties, but they are all empty…
After all, how can the masters of darkness render any joy to anyone when they are strangers to happiness themselves?