In "Other" Words..."Stay thy heart..."

“ When you have no helpers, see your helpers in God.
When you have many helpers, see God in all your helpers.
When you have nothing but God, see all in God.
When you have everything, see God in everything.
Under all conditions, stay thy heart only on the Lord. ”
~ Charles Spurgeon

I ran across this quote a while back and immediately thought, "This is one of those quotes I need to write on the palm of my hand in permanent ink so that I can see it every day."  :)   That last line pretty much sums up one of the main lessons God has been teaching me recently..."Under all conditions, stay thy heart only on the Lord."  We did an in-depth study this summer on Colossians 3:1-17, with the theme "Heads Up!"...reminding us to "seek the things that are above".  And ever since then, in the Sunday School lessons I teach every week, and other things I hear and see from day to day, God continues to remind me that I am to be seeking Him with all my heart...always...no matter what the circumstances.   

"When you have no helpers, see your helpers in God."  ~ I hear so often of people going through serious difficulties with virtually no earthly support.  I struggle sometimes with feeling almost guilty because we have, through all the storms of the past 7+ years, had many "helpers".   I've said, "I don't know how people manage during times of crisis without friends like ours and a church family that truly is a family."  We've been blessed that our experiences with that have been rare to the point of almost non-existent.  

And yet...in other ways, we have experienced that aloneness.   When our world exploded in 2006, we knew no one who had been through the experience our family suddenly found itself dealing with.  For various reasons, we could tell no one during those early days but a tiny circle of friends, fewer than the fingers on our hands.  They were wonderfully supportive...have been throughout...and I have no idea how we would have made it without them.  But as wonderful as they are, and as big a blessing as they have been...they hadn't walked our road.   There were days when I begged God to send someone who truly understood, someone who could say, "Yes, we've been there, and this is how we handled this or that", someone who could counsel with a voice of experience.  

God in His perfect wisdom had other plans.  He began to show me that He wanted to be our "Wonderful Counselor."   He wanted us to learn to depend completely on Him.  He wanted to show us that He was truly all that we needed.  He wanted to be our Helper. 

"When you have many helpers, see God in all your helpers." ~ I said that I've struggled sometimes with feeling almost guilty because we've had so many helpers, when others go through similar situations feeling quite alone.  And as I said, there were times when we felt totally alone in some ways.  And yet we've had so many helpers who have been so precious.   We've had people who have prayed faithfully, people who have brought meals, people who have helped in so many ways.  We've had friends who have stood by us, wept with us, made us laugh, slogged through the trenches with us, and when we came to the point that we couldn't go any farther, carried us to Jesus.  

Those people have been the hands and feet of Jesus to us.  We have seen God work in amazing ways to bring just the right people across our path at just the right time.  We've seen friends listen to a still, small prompting and meet a need in just the right way.  God has been our Rock and Fortress...but He has used many people to do His work in our lives, and I am so thankful for each one.  

"When you have nothing but God, see all in God." ~ I think sometimes this one is the easy one.  When we hit the very bottom, it is sometimes easier to realize that God is not only all we have, He is also all we need.   He has proven that to us time after time in these years.  And when we are clinging to Him most closely, He is truly all that we can see.  All else is crowded from our field of vision by Him.   

"When you have everything, see God in everything." ~ This, I think, may be the hardest of all.  When things are good, it would seem we would be the most thankful, the most focused on Him, because the storms aren't there to distract us.  And yet, for me, it doesn't work that way.   For over a year now, things have been {relatively :)} calm here.  We have begun to adjust, for now anyway, to a "new normal".  And yet the less "desperate" our situation has been, the easier it has been to turn my gaze in other directions, to release my hold on Him just a bit, to let the world begin to crowd in.  It seems that "learning to see God in everything" in the good times has to be a more intentional, conscious decision, rather than the natural response borne of desperation in the hard times.  

 Under all conditions, stay thy heart only on the Lord. ~ That's pretty much what it all boils down to.  No matter what, seek the Lord with all your heart.  It sounds so easy...but it is so hard sometimes to truly do.  And yet what a difference when our hearts are completely stayed on Him.  Then we can say with Paul...

"Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. I can do all things through Him who strengthens me."  ~Philippians 4:11-13

Thank you for joining me for this week's In Other Words!   To participate, share your thoughts on the above quote on your blog, and then come back here and add the direct link to your post.  Then visit others who have shared on the quote this week.  I'm looking forward to reading what others have to share!


Marsha @Spots and Wrinkles said...

So true that when we have "lots of helpers" we feel almost guilty; and when we have few or none, we feel sad and lonely.

Thank goodness, in either situation He still comes along side and is our Helper.

Blessings to you - Marsha

Tami Boesiger said...

Learning to rest in God no matter what the circumstance is challenging, especially the tough stuff, but you're right that we tend to lean on Him more when we have to.

I'm thankful you've had the help when you needed and can pass on his mercies to others.

Thanks for hosting.

t marie said...

Funny how, though our life stages are so different, your words still speak to my heart. Love you.

(And don't think I didn't catch that you want a tattoo. You said so in your intro.)


Jennifer said...

Thanks, Marsha and Tami, for participating this week!

T ~ LOL about the tattoo! I should have used my original wording of "Sharpie" instead! Love you, too.:)

Karen said...

That was really good, well put. Loved the picture at the end. :) Thanks for hosting today.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for hosting.
I like how you broke it down bit by bit to make it accessible and tangent.

All thru Him,

Anonymous said...

This is such a great quote and so thankful you choose it. It hit me at so many things I've been learning to trust God more with. It's a quote I am going to copy down and keep! Thanks for hosting and sharing your heart!

Sorry to be joining in late . . . .