Maybe some of you have been there. Sound asleep to awaken to a sense of foreboding.. the things that are on ones mind but jump to the front of the thought life and “right there” and to be dealt with.
It happened to me last night. People that know me well understand I do my ” closet God time” at the 4th watch hours like 3 AM or so. Yeah I know, it seems extreme but these have been the best of times to communicate with the maker of the stars. My Jeremiah 33:3 time “ seek me and you will find me with all your heart“. Those times are bliss, the best.. hard to describe and likely the long ago echo from a childhood where getting up early on a dairy farm was the norm.
That is not what happened last night.. I woke up troubled and feeling well .. yes “afraid”. So I got up feeling a momentary panic coming from very real serious ministry related issues. These are not tiny ones either.
It was cold. For eastern, coastal North Carolina, very cold in fact.. 23 degrees. So here I come to seek the “parables to be learned in the night seasons”. Too big… to hard, inescapable but there.
So what to do… look out at the stars and remember the One who made them and softly comforted to remember He is there.
One of my heroes of faith is Irish born missionary, Amy Carmichael who arrived in India at a tender age (late twenties ) to never leave. She grew into life despite India’s religious culture to rescuing children; primarily young little girls destined for the sexual pleasure of Hindu Temple priests. It did not make her popular not to mention the spiritual warfare.
Amy said once that the mountains at night become molehills by day.
I have loved quote of hers, and clung to that thought as it has served me well time and time again. Something else I hunger for from from Amy’s life experiences is what she learned to acquire. She developed the spiritual secret that caused her spirit to light up the place , to blaze bright in the midst of great calamity… that friends, other missionaries, churches would misunderstand. The lonely result that a many would fail to support her work.
She even ended up having a bad fall that put her in bed to endure much suffering– the cup of His suffering , really.
Anyway how I see it .. her triumphs form an ordinary woman who came to lead an extraordinary life.
Through it all she held fast to what was inexplicable hope. She was ridiculed, put in danger, unjustly criticized and found a way as she put it to ” tuck into God” in the surrounding discouragement and dangers. Through perserverance she shared her vision that became contagious and fortunately others joined in the support of child rescue. Amy gave her whole life to this calling. Amazing she was, and her legacy remains in India to this day.
Me.. I am definitely hard pressed at times to separate myself from the ministry I founded and love . However, I have a family that blesses me each day.
Amy learned the art of leaning.. Oh how I want to get that in my deepest spirit for the indwelling and abiding faith and high hopes abiding.
That is my quest… to learn how to not leap to the mountains but focus on the molehills that come when I read His word and inhale His promises.
To listen for His voice and as in ” Isaiah 8:11 ” The Lord spoke to me, like a firm grasp of the hand.
Amy had a prayer for this that I find uplifting and hope it will bless and encourage you.
My Father, you welcome me into your presence– and that’ a wonder in itself. More than I can imagine. Then you invite me to lean against you… and a bolt of self -reliance in me resists.
But I want to trust you. To relax the weight of my fears and anxieties against you. To rest, to know how fully trustworthy you are. Help me , Father.
I reach for your hand , feel your firm grip… and I lean my weight against you now.
So there you have it.. my plan for 2010 to be better at leaning. The night season parables then will soon be the sound of my heart rejoicing in the praise He is so worthy of.
Time to pray and then have some coffee and bring in the day…. my radio playing softly the local Christian radio station and all is well and He has me in the palm of His hand.