Floyd has had a quiet, but good week. I spent time with him on Father's Day. I encouraged him that he has been a wonderful father to our children - and a spiritual father to many. I reminded him that his message about the "Father Heart of God" is still ministering to people around the world. I tried to minister to his heart that his "voice" is still being heard even though he is silent.
He was very attentive, but somewhat less responsive. I wondered if he was reflecting on what I was saying. It was a sweet, quiet time with him.
I've been very tired this week, so I've been more quiet too. I've rested in His presence, and thanked Him for getting me through some very busy weeks.
We're in the winter season of long nights/short days. It's my least favorite time of the year. I'm counting down the days until the sun "turns" - it's coming fairly soon!
In the summer when the sun comes up, I'm usually still sleeping. But with these long nights, I'm often awake before the "crack" of dawn. Because of that, I've noticed something. Just as the very first rays of dawn are breaking, there are some little birds that come outside my bedroom window and sing. I recognize their "song" now. It's so sweet and lovely. Very short - but it's like they are announcing the dawn. It's a precious gift to me that they sing right by my bedroom.
I listen to them and imagine what they might be singing. "Here it comes! A new day. God is giving us another day in which to praise and worship Him. Hallelujah - here's the sun!"
I find myself waiting for their song each morning, and I join them with my own song of thanking the Lord for a new day. It's become a sweet way to start the day. I'm so grateful for each day! Just a few months ago it looked like my days could be ending when I was so weak and frail. I'm grateful to be alive and have a fresh day in front of me.
"Awake, O my soul, with the music of His splendor. Arise, my soul, and sing His praises! I will awaken the dawn with my worship, greeting the daybreak with my songs of light." Psalm 108:2
"Weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning." Psalm 30:5
There may be some long, dark nights in our lives - but morning is coming.....with joy! I have found it important to sing in worship in the "darkness" for it releases the dawn of victory. Our worship awakens the dawn. It brings His presence into the hard situation. Worship welcomes Him to come into our darkness, our hardship, and to bring His ministry release for our needs. He has been so faithful to meet me in the darkness of this unexpected journey.
Morning is significant in the Bible. Jesus rose in the morning. He conquered death. "On the first day of the week, very early in the morning, the women took the spices they had prepared and went to the tomb. They found the stone rolled away." Luke 24:1,2
In the Word, the morning often brings freedom, victory, help, and compassion.
"God is within her; she will not be moved. God will help her when morning dawns." Psalm 46:5
"I wait for the Lord more than watchmen wait for the morning." Psalm 130:6
"The way of the righteous is like the first gleam of dawn." Proverbs 4:18
"Then shall your light break forth like the dawn, and your healing shall spring up speedily; your righteousness shall go before you; the glory of the Lord shall be your rear guard." Isaiah 58:8
I'm grateful for the dawn of each new day! I'm grateful for the victories He brings in the morning. I'm grateful that His light dis-spells the darkness. He is so faithful!
Someone sent me a sweet drawing. In the drawing, as Aslan the lion is looking on, a blond headed little girl (me) is enfolded in the wings and feathers of His presence.
"He will cover you with His feathers, and under His wings you will find refuge; His faithfulness will be your shield and rampart." Psalm 91:4
On the same day, another friend sent me a song "Under His Wings." It's an old hymn with powerful words. The lyrics are by William Cushing from 1896.
"Under His wings I am safely abiding.
Tho' the night deepens and tempests are wild,
Still I can trust Him; I know He will keep me
He has redeemed me, and I am His child.
Under His wings, under His wings,
Who from His love can sever?
Under His wings my soul shall abide,
Safely abide forever.
Under His wings - what a refuge in sorrow!
How the heart yearningly turns to His rest!
Often when earth has no balm for my healing,
There I find comfort and there I am blessed.
Under His wings - O what precious enjoyment!
There will I hide till life's trials are o'er;
Sheltered, protected, no evil can harm me,
Resting in Jesus, I'm safe evermore."
The drawing and the words to the hymn have so ministered to my heart. God has been abundantly faithful to me on this long unexpected journey! But even after all this time when you think I would be "used" to things - I find I have days when I wonder if I'll make it through the day. I guess that's partly because new trials come along to add to what has been ongoing for quite some time. Sometimes the load feels very heavy. The unending nature of what I'm walking through - not knowing when things will change - becomes a heavy weight in itself.
When all this happens - I find it so helpful to tuck myself "under His wings" in my mind's eye. As I'm wrapped secure in His shelter, the storms can blow by me......while I'm safe and secure in His care. I know I'm safe, and I can trust Him. There's no other "balm" on earth except His comfort and protection......the wonderful balm of Gilead that "makes the wounded whole."
While I'm secure in His embrace, I find release from the burdens as I bring them one by one to Him. I pour out my heart to Him because He is my refuge. My vision clears as I share my heart with Him. The light of His goodness, His presence, His glory overshadows the weights I'm carrying. How awesome and so very faithful He is!
"Even the darkness is not dark to You, and the night is as bright as the day. Darkness and light are alike to You." Psalm 139:12
"Hide me in the shadow of Your wings." Psalm 17:8
"Be gracious to me, O God, be gracious to me. For my soul takes refuge in You; and in the shadow of Your wings I will take refuge until destruction passes by." Psalm 57:1
"How precious is Your lovingkindness, O God! The children of men take refuge in the shadow of Your wings." Psalm 36:7
"For You have been my help, and in the shadow of Your wings I sing for joy." Psalm 63:7
My heart is grateful that I can be under His wings! There is no fortress on earth as safe as being in the tender covering of His feathers, His wings. Thank you Lord!