Month: January 2021

Put Your Hand Into God’s

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          Since the passing days of Christmas, my heart has been searching for direction for my new year. My kids and their education challenges. My job, my husband’s. All the struggles pertaining to our jobs. The state of affairs in our country, the anguish and pain of the world – what is God’s will for us there?

How do I live out the days and months of this new year?

          Just after New Year, I was reading posts from other bloggers, on their Word for the Year. It got me wondering if I should give it a try too – and I did. Since my inner self has gone into complete silence once more, not a murmur from it, I availed myself of a Christian word generator.

          The first one yielded Comfort.

          The word didn’t reach out and… grab me. Quelling my slight disappointment, I thought I should shop elsewhere.

          I should have quit right there because the second one gave me wink. I’m not a winker, never have been and never will be. The only great winker in my life was my mother who always winked to let us know that she was lying to someone else, so that has pretty much coloured wink all wrong for me now. Christian word generator or not, I was quite sure God hadn’t picked out that word for me.

          Through the weave of days, past the joys of home and the upheavals of other lands, I kept prodding God,

What do You ask of me?

          Because I’m not the cruise-to-nowhere sort. I’d rather not be surprised. Cresting the hills of life, more often than not, I’ve come to things I’d rather not have journeyed towards. My idea of bravely accepting the unknown now is learning as much about what lies ahead as is willed so that I can condition and prepare myself for it. And that is why I trouble God an awful lot.

What do You ask of me?

          Today, I think I have my word for the year. It has come through a beautiful poem I learned about through an equally beautiful blog, It’s a Beautiful Life.

The Gate of the Year

And I said to the man who stood at the gate of the year:
“Give me a light that I may tread safely into the unknown.”
And he replied:
“Go out into the darkness and put your hand into the Hand of God.
That shall be to you better than light and safer than a known way.”
So I went forth, and finding the Hand of God, trod gladly into the night.
And He led me towards the hills and the breaking of day in the lone East.

So heart be still:
What need our little life
Our human life to know,
If God hath comprehension?
In all the dizzy strife
Of things both high and low,
God hideth His intention.

God knows. His will
Is best. The stretch of years
Which wind ahead, so dim
To our imperfect vision,
Are clear to God. Our fears
Are premature; In Him,
All time hath full provision.

Then rest: until
God moves to lift the veil
From our impatient eyes,
When, as the sweeter features
Of Life’s stern face we hail,
Fair beyond all surmise
God’s thought around His creatures
Our mind shall fill.

 

Put your hand into the Hand of God.

          My word is trust. Hardly the earth-shaking revelation I was hoping for. A sigh escapes me – because I was hoping for some quick changes, good changes. Just enough to lift my spirit and spur my steps forwards. Trust intimates that the journey winds on for me, that what is in store may not be what I am hoping for – even if it is what is best for me.

          As I give myself a little shake to chin up and stand up, I spy something I missed earlier. The title of the post that mentioned the poem, The Gate of the Year. The post was titled: The New Year: Comfort Food for the Soul.

          Comfort. The first word I drew for 2021.

          Funnily, just like that, all the grey around Trust misted away. I felt the word dust a wee spot in my heart and settle in for the ride.

          As I gazed at this change in me, I almost felt Someone wink at me.

Lord of Sea and Sky

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          In the dark of the New Year morn, I awakened to an unseen voice sing this line within me,

I the Lord of sea and sky…

          There was unmistakable power in that still voice. Someone was asserting His power. Yet, there was no hint of pride nor of triumph. No smile of joy either. Instead, I sensed something else.

Seriousness.

And intent.

          Whenever I have such an experience, I trace the rest of the words of the song or hymn sung to me, to discern God’s will for me. And so, I did this time too.

          But the rest of the lyrics didn’t stir my spirit. Puzzled, I went back to the beginning.

I the Lord of sea and sky…

Again, that quiet power.

          Then, I became aware of the heavy rain pouring down outside. An unexpected change in the weather.

          Travelling to New Year Mass a little later, the rain almost blinding, we saw that little rivers had burst their banks, flooding the low-lying lands framing the highway. It had been happy and sunny just a week back on Christmas Day. How quickly things had changed.

I the Lord of sea and sky

          I pondered those words as we came upon damage to the road we were on. A portion to the side had given way, wrecked by the force of water from rain. The tiny, benign rivulet beside it was now a rushing, churning body of water. There hadn’t been much rain since last week so the speed at which the road had degraded was startling.

          It was a beautiful Mass and after that, more lovely hours followed. I treated myself to a new lippie and then, it was to the bookstore for books and stuff. We got everything we needed there quickly yet gently. Laughing and joking, we went off for lunch. Again, it was a simple yet happy time, the delicious food the icing on a sweet and tender day.

          It was then that one of our kids reminded us of a stop at an Apple store we had planned previously. I couldn’t believe how that had slipped our mind; we had talked so much about it before this. But there was nothing to be done now. We didn’t relish navigating city traffic back to that store. Besides, the weather wasn’t good, and we were a long way from home.

          Still in good cheer, we laughed off the missed stop and began the return journey home.

          Within an hour, the fast-moving traffic on the highway home had suddenly slowed. We discovered why soon enough: a big sinkhole had developed on the opposite side of the damage we had sighted earlier that morning. That entire section of the road was going to collapse soon. We were horrified but quickly thankful too that there was still some space available for vehicles to circumvent that damaged and dangerous portion and cross over safely. But even that bit was muddying and softening very quickly; it wasn’t going to hold out long enough. Collapse was imminent. Had we stopped at that Apple store, we would have arrived at this point hours later and be forced to make a very long detour to get home. Or get ourselves into something worse.

          Arriving at our town some time later, roadblocks were up: the highway was being closed to all northbound traffic. I felt so very sorry for those caught. It was New Year’s Day and many people needed that highway to travel to the city and out of state. I could only imagine the chaos and consternation. The rain didn’t help matters.

I the Lord of sea and sky

          Once home, I looked up the 2-week forecast. We were in for some unpleasant weather. A mad amount of rain. Wind. High waves. Sea and sky. Again, I was surprised. I had been regularly checking the forecasts and none of this had shown up before.

          Something had suddenly changed. Suddenly, I recalled something a woman had said weeks back.

The hour of change is upon us.

It hadn’t moved me then, but now I wondered if her spirit had been told something.

          Still, the weather the world over being what it is these days, nothing is certain. We might be in for crazy weather; we might not. In my country, at least, gone are the days when our hours generally obey forecasts.

I the Lord of sea and sky

          It’s unclear why God chose today to remind me of His sovereignty over sea and sky – the heavens and water. In my present state of peace and deep inner joy now, I am in a place I never want to leave. I am content to be here, content to rest and plumb the depths of quiet joy.

          I am not quite ready for anything else. But the still voice roused me this morning to tell me that something is ahead. Something of sky and of sea. And I need to be ready. Whether it is in prayer or preparation, be it earth shaking or even something as simple as stocking up on essentials a little more to tide us over uncertainties.

          My heart burrows deeper into its blanket of peace. Happy yet alert.