are you the one who was to come, or should we expect someone else?
a year ago i prayed with an intensity that can only be explained as a movement of the Spirit. i prayed for a “hope that wouldn’t mock, but pull you up even just a little out of the pit you are currently in. oh, it is so despairing, dear Lord, please grant Your Beloved some relief.”
i shared this prayer of hope with the ones it was for and all day long i carried around faith of a child; expectant and excited to see how their Ever Present One would succor their weary hearts that day.
turns out it was one of their most hopeless days ever.
blessed is he who is not offended in Me
the logical fallacies that seem so, well, logical, fall like rain and gather in pools in my mind. doubt becomes a dog at my heals that refuses to leave. i’m walking with the limp of one whose boot is engulfed in mud. this is how prayer feels now, heavy and weighted down.
But we know our Father. We know His character. Somehow, somewhere, the wrong must be put right; how we do not know, only we know that, because He is what He is, anything else is inconceivable.
For the word sent to the man whose soul was among lions and who was soon to be done to death, unsuccoured, though the Lord of Daniel was so near, is fathomless: “And blessed is he whosoever shall not be offended in Me.”
-Amy Carmichael Rose from Brier, emphasis mine
one of the errors in reasoning is that the more i fumble in prayer/doubt the quicker i’m tempted to quit. ‘your prayers cause more harm than help’ the dog growls, they reveal to you a God who is cruel.
the argument is rendered invalid because i know that God is not cruel. Mysterious, yes. Wild and Big and completely Other, yes. i do know His character.
There is only one place where we can receive, not an answer to our question, but peace–that place is Calvary. An hour at the foot of the Cross steadies the soul as nothing else can. “O Christ beloved, Thy Calvary stills all our questions.” Love that loves like that can be trusted about this.-Amy Carmichael
tho in my limp i lack courage to share my prayers with these dear ones still suffering; i’m still praying. praying for moments of laughter, the kind that takes their breath away and does the work that only laughter can do for a soul. prayers hoping in Stephen’s God to ease their suffering with a tangible glimpse of His nearness. and when the words get stuck in my throat, i lift up these:
O Lord, we bring Thee him for whom we pray,
Be Thou his strength, his courage, and his stay,
And should his faith flag as he runs the race,
Show him again the vision of Thy face.
Be Thou his vision, Lord of Calvary,
Hold him to follow, hold him fast by Thee,
O Thou who art more near to us than air,
Let him not miss Thee, ever, everywhere.
LORD, Thou hast suffered, Thou dost know
The thrust of pain, the piercing dart,
How wearily the wind can blow
Upon the tired heart.
He whom Thou lovest, Lord, is ill.
O come, Thou mighty Vanquisher
Of wind and wave, say, Peace, be still,
Eternal Comforter.-Amy Carmichael
but even if You do not, oh Eternal Comforter, You Who sang of John’s greatness; doubting, imprisoned John longing for relief– steady us at the foot of Your love poured out, remember us with an overshadowing of Your still small voice;
I am your Abba, and you belong to Me.
to draw further in: Matthew 11, Daniel 3:16-18, Amy Carmichael’s book Rose from Brier
those pictures of the green leaves and pink flowers growing out of the largest thorns i have ever seen were taken at the San Diego zoo. i think we stopped and marveled at this fascinating plant just as long as we did the pandas.
*logical fallacy= a flaw in the structure of a deductive argument which renders the argument invalid/an error in reasoning that renders an argument invalid. when your kids enter high school they use phrases that you are supposed to know, having gone to high school once yourself. i had to look it up too.