Thursday, March 4, 2010

I Cannot Do This Alone

I Cannot Do This Alone

O God, early in the morning I cry to you.
Help me to pray
And to concentrate my thoughts on you:
I cannot do this alone.

In me there is darkness,
But with you there is light;
I am lonely, but you do not leave me;
I am feeble in heart, but with you there is help;
I am restless, but with you there is peace.
In me there is bitterness, but with you there is patience;
I do not understand your ways,
But you know the way for me…

Restore me to liberty,
And enable me to live now
That I may answer before you and before me.
Lord, whatever this day may bring,
Your name be praised

- a poem included in Devotions for Lent, by Dietrich Bonhoeffer

No. I'm not really observing Lent this year. Tentatively, i told God I'd try to read His Word every night. For a long time it was my tradition not to miss a night or morning with Him. After i lost my little baby, i just withdrew from His severe love that held me but let my little one fall.

maybe i was wrong to feel that way about Him, but we're working through it. He knows my heart, and this is where i'm at.

And i've missed a couple of days, so i hate even saying i'm observing Lent. Because it has to be perfect, doesn't it?

I cannot do it alone.

He knows how true that is for me.

Ordinary Miracle

maybe it's just me getting older. maybe it's me feeling tender tonight.
we've had sickness in the house for so long and finally we were feeling better, only to be pushed down and beaten up again.

and yet in the busyness of cleaning up and nursing fevered brows, i am so acutely aware of the things i do take for granted.

i prayed that we would not have any lingering germs when we went to visit my baby sister and her new baby - we did. Disappointing. In one sense, it's a prayer that God said no to.

But how many times does He answer the prayers we don't pray, does He supply what we lack before we even know to ask?

Tonight i've been at Kara Faith's blog and read about Nancy Jean's polyhydramnios. My sister had that, and we all prayed, and her baby was born whole and well. That was a pretty dramatic answer to prayer - but the next time the doctor told her there was polyhydramnios, it didn't seem like such an emergency, nor such a miracle when that baby, too, was beautiful and whole.

My little baby has been sick with a cough on and off since Christmas. Meanwhile, i got her cough, and kicked it up a level to pneumonia. But it could have been my little sweet one with pneumonia, instead of me - and i'm so grateful to God that He let that ordinary miracle happen.

So many threats, strangers, dangers abound - and yet so often we are spared. We (and here i mean "i") - I have my feelings hurt when i feel that God hasn't protected me enough, and yet when I am fine, when all is status quo, do I thank Him for the lack of drama? For His protection from unknown, unsuspected harms that He has taken care of, without my knowledge or asking?

Tonight i am grateful for those ordinary miracles, and for His grace, as steady as my heart is unsteady...