The song fills my heart as it echoes through my memories. Decades have passed since it first lodged there, rote words to speak aloud to the dark. But do I cling to them as truth? Do I believe He is with me that securely?
Do I know what with-ness really means?
For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God.Colossians 3:3 NIV
That Holy Thing
by George MacDonald (1824-1905)
They all were looking for a king To slay their foes and lift them high Thou cam'st, a little baby thing That made a woman cry O Son of Man, to right my lot Naught but Thy presence can avail Yet on the road Thy wheels are not, Nor on the sea Thy sail! My how or when Thou wilt not heed, But come down Thine own secret stair, That Thou mayest answer all my need-- Yea, every bygone prayer.
Sometimes, when confusion or pain hits me, I think that hiding in the with-ness of my Savior means that He will remove all questions. But often He does not offer me the hiding that I so desire. The waves still crash, and the torrent still overflows its banks. There are days, all too often, when I look longingly for ways to hide myself.
And yet . . .
My Savior still upholds me, and He meets me in the way that HE knows is best. I can look back over the years and see that He held me under His protection when the trials roared past me. Even when I thought I needed to hide myself away, He found a way to uncover my hiding and bring me into His own protection.
If you have been with me for a while, you may remember a post I shared here, about a Mother’s Intercession Group that I was a part of many years ago. Recently, one of those dear Mothers passed away, and just this last week the memorial service was held for her. Unable to attend, I watched via a live Zoom Call. The Lord met me so vividly as I saw the answers to some of our prayers walking the aisles of that memorial service. I wept as I remembered how broken we had felt when we could not see the way ahead in our prayers. But I bowed before God as I felt His voice thundering over me, alone in my resting chair at home.
I was with you then, I am with you now, and I will be with you tomorrow. Your prayers have not been erased simply because you could not see what they accomplished. I have brought answers, and I will continue to bring answers as you watch me work my Glory in front of you, right where I have purposed you to be.
My body felt like jello and collapsed after that service. Later that night, my Rheumatoid Arthritis went into a heavy flare, and all I could do was lay in bed as the pain waves washed over me. And yet, I remembered His Word to me, and I offered my pain back to Jesus, from within the place of hiding in HIM. For you see, HIS Glory had been my covering through all of the past, and HIS Glory was still my covering now.
The true with-ness of my Lord is to trust that HE will always bring His answer as I wait upon Him. He is the only safe hiding place for us. And the suffering that I may endure as I wait on His answer, will be so small as I look upon the eternal weight of glory when I also step into that Heavenly realm.
For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.2 Corinthians 4:17 NIV
Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory. I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.Romans 8:17-18 NIV
On the night that I had planned to share this post, the city nearest to my rural Southeast Wisconsin town, Kenosha, seemed to be going down in smoke. The riots, looting, and burning that had happened to so many other cities across this land had finally reached our area. As I laid in bed and offered my prayers for my neighbors, I drifted in and out of sleep. But every time I was jolted awake with thoughts of fires blazing, I heard the urging of my Lord to recognize something important.
It wasn’t until the next morning that I saw the parallels and identification that I felt: my body blazes in pain during a “flare.” The cities of this world are blazing in pain during these flares of rioting. As I offer my own pain to God, the incense of my prayers is also rising for this generation of aching souls. As I cry out for the mercy of God in my place of burning, the arms of my prayers are being held up for the lost ones around me to find the mercy of God too.
May my prayer be set before you like incense; may the lifting up of my hands be like the evening sacrifice.Psalm 141:2 NIV
Have you considered that God may have called you to this season, this place of your confusions and pain, so that you might lift your hands in prayer for those around you as well? God’s purposes may seem hidden from our view, but He is never without a plan, without a “secret stair,” to bring rescue and answers for every aching heart that He is calling.
Will you join me in prayer today?
Dear Lord Jesus,
Thank You for Your blessed protection in our lives. We are filled with praise when we look back and see the answers that You sent as You cared for us in the past. But we confess that our hearts have felt a quaking with fear again, as today’s torrents roar so loudly around us. We cannot see the ways that You could help us here, and we wonder if we will have to flounder alone seeking out a hiding place. Will You quiet our fears and help us to wait with You today? Help us to rest in YOUR hiding of our hearts. And as we rest in trust, help us to open our eyes to see others who have also been floundering in fear. Help us to lift our prayers as incense now, for our own hearts and the hearts of those around us, to realize that YOU have brought us here for Your purposes. Thank You for the Glory that is yet to come! Thank You that YOU will bring Your answers as we wait now with You.
In Your Sweet name,