Thursday, 9 June 2011

Looking for level ground

I woke up to these words this morning. I went tap tapping on my little iphone to find my daily reading and there it was:

Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love...Show me the way I should go, for to you I lift up my soul...Teach me to do your will, for you are my God; may your good Spirit lead me on level ground.
Psalm 14:8,10

Level ground indeed, please. I've been climbing mountains and falling over cliffs for ages and I want to walk a little while with you feeling the sun on my back and your hand in mine, please. If that would be alright.

I read it three or four times and smiled (which is an achievement after a bad night where Katy shouted piteously at 2am because she'd got herself wedged down the side of her bed and took some extracting and consoling) and then I opened another reading:

Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him.
James 1:12

Well, I feel less confident about this one because I am not so much persevering as getting on with it because I have no choice. But nevertheless, I know that you are there, even when I can't feel you. I know that you are caring for me even when you don't physically lift me out from where I'm stuck down the side of the bed. I know you will never leave me because you said you wouldn't and I believe you.

You are good to me, Father God. By the end of every day I am so tired and discouraged and worn down by it all that I get grouchy with you as well as with my family, but I do know that you are good. I know that I need to grow up in so many ways and it's hard work. I suspect deep down that you are teaching me something, or changing me, or hammering out the metal so that it's stronger and more useful but when I'm in the middle of the hammering I have to say it's not much fun.

CS Lewis put this idea so brilliantly. Why does anyone else ever try to write everything when he has expressed things so perfectly?

'Imagine yourself as a living house. God comes in to rebuild that house. At first, perhaps, you can understand what He is doing. He is getting the drains right and stopping the leaks in the roof and so on; you knew that those jobs needed doing and so you are not surprised. But presently He starts knocking the house about in a way that hurts abominably and does not seem to make any sense. What on earth is He up to? The explanation is that He is building quite a different house from the one you thought of - throwing out a new wing here, putting on an extra floor there, running up towers, making courtyards. You thought you were being made into a decent little cottage: but He is building a palace. He intends to come and live in it Himself'.

CS Lewis, Mere Christianity

Come and live in me, Lord God. Make me a house fit for a King. Just be gentle when you can be, and if there's any way of explaining it to me as you go along so I don't feel so bewildered, that would help no end. Help me get over the fear. All the fears, including the fear of being worked on.

I do want to be of some use to you, Lord. I don't want to be mediocre. I don't want to live life on a nice even keel with no troubles at the expense of any progress closer to you; I don't want to arrive in front of your throne one day and have you say, 'Oh, there you are. Well, alright then, come in.'  I don't want a place in your Heaven on a technicality, I want you to be there because I was faithful.

Thankyou for moments of insight. Thankyou that we saw the consultant this morning at the hospital and Katy's dressings are every other day now rather than every day. Thankyou that you have given me some wise, kind, friends who love you. I have so much to thank you for.






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