On Friday the fresh air and sunshine beckoned to me, and for the first time in many weeks I was able to go for a short “ride-along” with my husband. The clouds and blue sky brought nourishment to my soul as I lifted my eyes with thankfulness to the Lord.
The short journey came with its own payback, though, as days of rest were required afterward. That old nemesis of “post-exertional-malaise” made sure I paid attention to its demands. But above that voice I heard another whispering to me through the call of the poetry book that had been lying next to my chair for the last several weeks.
You might remember that my son and his wife and four sweet girls were here for a week back in March. Their little two year old wasn’t sure what to make of this Grandma that she had only seen on Facebook chats. I could see the wheels turning in her head as she tried to make sense of her bigger sisters coming to sit next to me while I was in recovery mode. As she finally began to cuddle next to me, the time of their visit was drawing to a close. But God made sure that even this littlest one would leave me with a gift. She pulled a book out of my bookshelf, and when we tried to replace it, she pulled the same book out again and again. You guessed it, the book she found is this poetry volume that now rests next to me. I finally recognized God’s prompting, and let my youngest granddaughter bring me the book that God had wanted me to read: Toward Jerusalem, a gathering of poetry by Amy Carmichael.
These words describe so well the way that chronic illness can feel some days. And these words also describe so well the way that Jesus has met me within that very illness.
Light in the Cell
“And a light shined in the cell,”
And there was not any wall,
And there was no dark at all,
Only thou, Immanuel.
Light of Love shined in the cell,
Turned to gold the iron bars,
Opened windows to the stars,
Peace stood there as sentinel.
Dearest Lord, how can it be
That Thou art so kind to me?
Love is shining in my cell,
Jesus, my Immanuel.
In this waiting time, with days of unseen paths ahead of me, I hear my Lord Immanuel calling me to deeper rest. While I cannot see His purpose, and I grow so impatient, feeling the chafing of wanting my own way, He is still working for good. His voice calls to me through another poem that has been quietly whispering:
The Age-Long Minute
Thou art the Lord who slept upon the pillow,
Thou art the Lord who soothed the furious sea,
What matter beating wind and tossing billow
If only we are in the boat with Thee?
Hold us in quiet through the age-long minute
While Thou art silent, and the wind is shrill:
Can the boat sink while Thou, dear Lord, art in it?
Can the heart faint that waiteth on Thy will?
And therefore will the Lord wait, that he may be gracious unto you, and therefore will he be exalted, that he may have mercy upon you: for the Lord is a God of judgment: blessed are all they that wait for him. Isaiah 30:18 NIV
In these days where my own waiting is so clearly in front of me, what an encouragement to know that the Lord Himself is waiting also. He will bring His grace, His mercy, and His blessing of justice that I so desperately need, here in this time of purifying and cleansing.
I hear Him calling me to come away and rest with Him yet again, for another blogging break. This is a holy space, in-between Doctors, fully dependent on God’s care, looking to see what He has planned for this next season in my life. I hope to be back here for at least a brief update after my June 12th consultation with a new Rheumatologist. I will also be checking into my Instagram account now and then.
Please know that each one of you has become so precious to me over these past few weeks especially. God has brought home even deeper to my heart the ways that we are all connected in Him. Please send me an email through the contact form in the menu bar above at any time if you have a word, a thought, or a prayer request to share.
Dear Heavenly Father,
Thank You for sending out Your justice, mercy, and grace to meet us–through Your only begotten son, Jesus. Thank You that You stand ready and waiting for the perfect time to shower us with Your gifts of love. I pray that my friends and I will keep our hearts open to receive from You. Would You help us to listen for Your voice that calls us away from the crowds and the noise. Let us pause before You, and stay with You till the storm passes by. And may we lift our praises up to You, the only One our hearts long for.
In the Name of Jesus we pray,
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