The Heart.

“…When my heart is overwhelmed;
Lead me to the rock that is higher than I.” Psalm 61:2

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O LORD,

My every sense, member, faculty, affection, is a snare to me,
I can scarce open my eyes but I envy those above me,
or despise those below.
I covet honour and riches of the mighty,
and am proud and unmerciful to the rags of others;
If I behold beauty it is a bait to lust, or see deformity, it stirs up loathing and disdain; How soon do slanders, vain jests, and wanton speeches creep into my heart!

Am I comely? what fuel for pride!
Am I deformed? what an occasion for repining!
Am I gifted? I lust after applause!
Am I learned? how despise what I have not!
Am I in authority? how prone to abuse my trust,
make my will my law,
exclude others’ enjoyments,
serve my own interests and policy!
Am I inferior? how much I grudge others’ pre-eminence!
Am I rich? how exalted I become!

Thou knowest that all these are snares by my corruptions, and that my greatest snare is myself. I bewail that my apprehensions are dull,
my thoughts mean,
my affections stupid,
my expressions low,
my life unbeseeming;

Yes what canst thou expect of dust but levity, of corruption but defilement?
Keep me ever mindful of my natural state,
but let me not forget my heavenly title,
or the grace that can deal with every sin.

— The Valley of Vision. (2016). Self-Deprecation. The Banner of Truth Trust.

 

I’ve tried running.
Tried hiding.
Tried fighting.
Tried indifference.
And learned all forms of navel-gazing will never bring me one iota closer to home.

But in all this, I learned that when I bring both my burdens and my treasures to You,
(for You are the only One who can take care of both so well)
there, I find peace and hope.
And learned that with You, I am Home.

Remind me of Your truth,
the simplicity and profound mystery of it.
And in learning, teach me to love You over and again, until I see You, and love You even more then.

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Change.

“I am not what I ought to be. I am not what I wish to be. I am not what I hope to be.
Yet, though I am not what I ought to be, nor what I wish to be, nor what I hope to be…
I am not what I once was…and “By the grace of God I am what I am.” ”
| John Newton

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We set out with our maps, eyes on the ‘X’.
Little did we know what would come our way: The fog, the swamps, the deserts, the peaks, the valleys, the jungles, the springs, the pastures, the sea.

The friends and foes (and how roles change with time)…
And others whose roles You have yet to make clear.

The good and bad (and yet good if they were from and allowed by You).
The questions and answers.
And answers to questions I didn’t know I had.

To realize Your patience and forbearance now (yet I shall never grasp their full extent).
For if such nourishment and excellent environment had been given to plants, they would have flourished and produced much fruit.

Yet I grew wild…And with love, you trimmed me that I could grow. On the road where I thought I would bring change, You continue to change me instead. And with every step, I grow to learn this truth, uttered with awe and praise from the lips of those who walked with You in times past:

I am not what I ought to be — ah, how imperfect and deficient!
I am not what I wish to be — I abhor what is evil, and I would cleave to what is good!
I am not what I hope to besoon, soon shall I put off mortality,
and with mortality all sin and imperfection.
Yet, though I am not what I ought to be, nor what I wish to be, nor what I hope to be,
I can truly say, I am not what I once was; a slave to sin and Satan; and I can heartily join with the apostle, and acknowledge, “By the grace of God I am what I am.”

No sweeter thing, no sweeter song
The day I knew my sins were gone
My failures and my broken life
Were washed in blood the day You died…
And what I was, I am no more
All my life surrendered…
To You alone, I owe it all
All my life forever