Have you ever felt a moment of time connecting the past and the present? Almost as if eternity had swept up your time into Christ’s life of FOREVER?
I had a moment like that this week, as I came across more of my old journal notes, from 15 or more years ago, and a poem that was written hundreds of years ago, by Madame Jeanne Guyon. It was a favorite of mine, but it always stirred such a sense of longing within my heart. I felt that I had not begun to taste of the Love of God whenever I read her poem:
“I love my God, but with no love of mine,
For I have none to give;
I love Thee, Lord, but all the love is Thine,
For by Thy life I live:
I am as nothing, and rejoice to be
Emptied, and lost, and swallow’d up in Thee.
Thou, Lord, alone art all Thy children need,
And there is none beside:
From Thee the streams of blessedness proceed,
In Thee the blest abide:
Fountain of life,
And all-abounding grace,
Our Source, our Centre, and our Dwelling-place.”
–Madame Guyon (from Hymnary.org)
I was drawn to read several of her books. They are slow reads, requiring much meditation and pondering to let her words soak into your heart. And then when I opened my first Kindle account 7 years ago, this book, below, was one of the first that I downloaded. I enjoyed being able to highlight words electronically across different devices.
“Prayer is the heat of love, which melts and dissolves the soul, and carries it to God. In proportion as it melts, it gives out its odour, and this odour comes from the love which burns it. . . . This is what the Bride meant when she said, “While the King sitteth at His table, my spikenard sendeth forth the smell thereof” (Cant. i. 12). The table is the heart. When God is there, and we are kept near to Him, in His presence, this presence of God melts and dissolves the hardness of our hearts, and as they melt, they give forth their perfume.”
Guyon, Jeanne Marie Bouvier de la Motte. “A Short and Easy Method of Prayer” (Kindle Locations 457-460). Public Domain Books. Kindle Edition.
Again, when I read those words seven years ago, my heart ached with longing. I knew that the heat of prayer had begun to melt away hard coverings in my heart. I had indeed felt the outer trappings of my own hard heart become a puddle of compassion when I felt the Lord draw near with His gift of prayer.
But as I listened for the first time to the words of this contemporary worship song that I have linked below, it was as if the blinders fell from my eyes. I realized that I could not feel the depths of the safety of Jesus as long as I was trying to be my own safety. As I let go of my own ways of protection, then I could see Him as the true fortress that my soul craved. And in this letting go of my own strength these past few years, the Lord has thrust me into His place of peace that my soul used to crave.
It is in the very centre of our hearts that we begin to taste the safety of His pure fortress of love. When we see Him dwelling within us, it is there He will show us the power of His glorious strength:
“You are my strength, I sing praise to you;
you, God, are my fortress,
my God on whom I can rely.” Psalm 59:17
And Jesus, Himself, in His last prayer to His Father offered up these words on our behalf:
“I will remain in the world no longer, but they are still in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, protect them by the power of your name, the name you gave me, so that they may be one as we are one. While I was with them, I protected them and kept them safe by that name you gave me” John 17:11-12
It seems such an odd place for me to learn about strength: I am currently without the proper Rheumatoid Disease medication, and my husband is preparing for knee replacement surgery next week. All of the things that I would like to be so strong in and to do for him, are just not possible. And yet, in the midst of this very place, I can know that Jesus has prayed for me to see how the Father protects us and keeps us safe. He wants me to find the same oneness with the Father that He enjoyed, the name that we now bear. Deep in our hearts we find HIS love covering and protecting us, joining us with Himself. He is all and everything to us.
Are you in an odd place to learn about strength?
Is there an aching in your soul and a longing in your heart?
Perhaps He wants to carry you into the very centre where He dwells in you
And to give you the strength of His own heart.
Will you join me in prayer this week?
We come before you now, humbled by the awesome strength and glory that You dwell in. And Father, we are awed that You would love us so much, that You would open the way for us to dwell with You through Your precious Son’s sacrifice. Will You forgive us for the pride that we have fought so hard to hold onto? And will You continue to lift the blinders off of our eyes, to show us the true safety that You have for us as we come fully surrendered to You? What a blessed fellowship You have granted to us: to be carried by You through every day, to be in sweet communion with You, through Your own Blessed Holy Spirit. We praise You for the Love that is gifted to our hearts as we lift our eyes to You.
In the Precious Name of Your son, Jesus, we pray, Amen.
I am linking with: