focused on Glory...When You've Reached the End of the Rope

I'm a day late with this post, and frankly, I had decided this afternoon that I was just going to have to skip this week's focused on Glory post altogether.  I just didn't have the emotional energy and mental clarity to post (that mental clarity part may be very obvious as you read...:)).  It's been a rough week, and to be honest, the process of selecting and editing photos and coming up with text to go along with them was just beyond me.  

Last week was amazing.  God so knew that we were going to need vacation at that particular time.  Time spent with dear long-time friends, visits to the church where I was a charter member almost 25 years ago, a few days in a cabin in a beautiful mountain setting, and a couple of days in a hotel with an indoor pool...the doctor couldn't have given a more perfect prescription for our family last week. 

As we drove home, I thought  about the encouragement, refreshment, and edification God had provided during the week.  I'd had more hugs (from people outside my home) in that week than I'd probably had all year. :)  My kids had basked in the love of people who had loved on me for years.  There were some much-needed but all-too-short conversations with old friends.  And a sermon and a Wednesday night Bible study at my old church that were so perfectly what I needed to hear.  

As I thought about those things, I thought about the fact that I hadn't just been on a physical mountaintop last week, but a spiritual one as well.  And I thought about what always happens after a mountaintop...and I realized I needed to be prepared for the valley that was almost certain to come. 

And come it did.  It started Saturday night and got deeper and deeper until it was more of a gorge...or maybe the Grand Canyon...than a simple valley.  By this afternoon I was emotionally, physically, and mentally spent.  Spiritually, I was struggling, but feebly reminding God of His promises and determined to praise Him with what little strength was left.  I decided to attempt a foG post using just random photos from our trip with minimal text, and began trying to edit a few favorites.  

Physically, I wasn't really up to going to church tonight.  The stress was taking its toll.  I was sure when I left the house that I wasn't staying for adult choir rehearsal.  I would fulfill my responsibilities with children's choir and head home.  But when it was time to leave, I found myself walking toward the choir loft, wondering all the while if I'd lost my mind.  

I was still wondering when we started singing.  I didn't have enough breath support to hold a single sustained note all night, and more than once I had to stop singing completely.  As rehearsal progressed, I realized that it was one of those weeks when I certainly wasn't there because of what I could contribute, but because of what God wanted to do in me through it. 

We sang one of my all-time choir favorites, "Creation Sings", and I basked in the words, thinking back to the beauty of creation that we saw on our trip last week, and realizing that the Almighty Creator has not for one minute lost control of what is going on in our family right now.  I needed to be reminded of His glory, of the "wonders of Creation's King" and of the Plan of the Creator...the one set in motion before the foundation of the earth, against which NOTHING can prevail.  

I don't usually post video in foG posts, but I feel like I need to post this one. It's worth watching.  Be sure to listen to the words. :)

But God wasn't finished with me tonight.  The last song we worked...the one I almost missed because I came very close to leaving early...was a new one, as far as the choir arrangement.  The hymn itself was quite familiar.  It was a hymn I used to sing to my children when I rocked them as infants. 

My heart has been heavy this week for my children, one in particular.  The weight of that has been almost overwhelming.  As we worked the new arrangement to that old familiar hymn, I couldn't help but remember those long-ago days of rocking little ones.  So much has changed...so much is not as we planned it to be at this point.  And yet what hasn't changed is the power in the name of Jesus.  I thought about the prayer time I had had with one of my children this afternoon...calling on the power of Jesus's name and clinging to its comfort.  

What a perfect reminder tonight yet again of God's glory, His grace, and His love for us and for our children.  What a blessing to be reminded...again, and again, and again, that there is hope in that precious Name.  What a needed encouragement {and gentle prod} again that our first response, any time we are overwhelmed or hurting or confused, should be worship

Take the Name of Jesus With You, by Lydia Odell Baxter 
Take the name of Jesus with you,Child of sorrow and of woe;It will joy and comfort give you,Take it, then, where'er you go.

Take the name of Jesus ever,As a shield from ev'ry snare;If temptations round you gather,Breathe that holy Name in prayer.

O the precious name of Jesus!How it thrills our souls with joy,When His loving arms receive us,And His songs our tongues employ!

At the name of Jesus bowing,Falling prostrate at His feet,King of kings in heav'n we'll crown Him,When our journey is complete.

Chorus:Precious name, O how sweet!Hope of earth and joy of heav'n;Precious name, O how sweet!Hope of earth and joy of heav'n.

Be sure to see Tauna's focused on Glory post this week.  We had a wonderful (if way too short) visit last week, and she took some fun photos of our family while we were there.  I'm a bit partial to this week's post. :)

(And if you haven't already read my post from Monday, I encourage you to click over to it also.  Of all the posts I've ever written, it's one of the closest to my heart.)

1 comment:

t marie said...

I love you. I'm praying for you.