Saturday, July 22, 2006

prayer from my journal

I have, a couple of times, mentioned that I have a journal and that there are things I want to write on here from it, but I have not had it with me. But today I brought it, so I'll share an excerpt that I think to be quite candid and perhaps beneficial to some. Maybe.

7-11-06 Tue.
I need to record the prayer that has come to my mind several times. The rendering of it might not capture the profundity I feel of it in my mind, for it is not yet put into eloquent speech, nor do I make promises of accomplishing such. But as I have sought the Lord, I have had a wonderful feeling of freedom, not in the typical sense of enthusiasm like I am soaring above the earth on mighty wings, but merely a sense of having let go of all, of everything that had a hold on me. The fear of those things coming back to claim me notwithstanding, I write this prayer:
YHWH, my God,
I come before you, with no claim or merit of my own, with no sense of entitlement or of discontented bitterness. I come before you humbly for your blessing. And though I know you are loving, merciful, and faithful, I do concede that I have no just claim to such love, mercy and faithfulness. But I come before you with this in mind:
that if you forsake me, I will be forsook.
If you leave me, I will be left.
If you disappoint me, I will have no recourse;
I will be utterly wasted and left alone,
because I have no other hope. I have nothing else, no other Rock, no alternative, no replacement for my hope and trust in you.
So whether you favor me with your blessing or not, I put my trust in you. Whether you deign to lead me or not, I look to you, and I know that only with your guidance will I be led. Only with your blessing will I be blessed. Only with your favor will I be fortunate. Only with your love will I know the love I need and want and seek with all my heart. In you I put my trust; in you is all my hope, and nothing else. Every good thing comes from you, and no good thing will I ever have, but that you provide it for me. In you I trust, YHWH, my God. Amen.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Notes on my life right now, with unfortunately no added hilarity or irony.

I want to write some personal stuff here, but there´s a lot to write and I still don´t have my journal with me, from which I wish to take a few things.

But let me say that I have for some time felt a storm coming, mostly in the way of spiritual things, but I do not in anyway disconnect that from real life experience. And I will venture to suggest that I believe that storm is upon me. I am not in the thick of it and I am not suffering, but great challenges are before me and I am on the outskirts going in. I don´t know how I can communicate this appropriately with details. I don´t really know it better than a feeling. But I find myself more and more reliant on prayer, reliant on God really, just to be in a good state of mind. If I do not find time and opportunity to kneel and pray fervently before him, I find myself gloomy and irritable. Then when I do so, I find that I can face the day with goodness, humility and peace. There is also a lot of spiritual activity around here - bad stuff, really. John, the head of Kadesh here in Beira, says there is a strong sexual spirit here, and that if you´re not strong and wary then people often succumb to it. He gave examples of people who have visited here who have had or who have been problems. There is also a lot of witchcraft and voodoo in the neighborhood. I don´t feel this all the time, and really I don´t feel it in terms of having the gift of discernment between spirits, which I have never claimed to have. But I do feel that being here is very very challenging, more so than the past month in Swaziland.

Otherwise, I am doing well. I finished David Copperfield, a brilliant Dickens novel, which is his most autobiographical work. It was a very long book, but well worth it. Dickens has a wit and a storytelling ability that are marvelous to behold. But now I´m stuck without very good reading material. I brought one other book with me, which looked promising at first, being about the high seas and cool adventures in the 16th century, but it turned out to be rather trashy, overly sexual and unnecessarily blatant and perverse, so I put it down and I do not plan to pick it up again. So I´ll have to rely on the Bible and my own writing, which I believe will be fine for the next few weeks. But I´ll definitely need more material on the trip home.

Going back to the challenges before me, I should point out that I am not intimidated or daunted, because I feel God has been preparing me for what is ahead, and that my reliance on him and my attentiveness to his Spirit has been amplified for this purpose. I feel a stronger sense of trust than I have had in years, a trust I believe I had lost or which had waned in the last four years that I will call the interrim period of my life. What is to come, I cannot guess, but I will not worry, or I plan not to. My greatest fear that this waxing trust will once again wane with the changing of the seasons of my life, but even that I believe is only a slight fear and I entrust it to God to keep from disrupting his plans for me.

Anyway, I am, and we are all, in great need of prayer here in Mozambique. Thanks to everyone who has been paying attention and who has cared to give and to pray and to wish us well.