Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Only Begun

The morning before my recent surgery my mom sent me this poem (below.) That surgery was the first time I spent any (planned) length of time in the hospital since my son's birth so it stirred up some things in our home. I was trying to help walk one of my kids through their anxiety about it and also sort through my own emotions about it all... let alone just face the logistics of all the details of having surgery. Besides that there are also some unrelated situations my family is facing that are difficult. It's a lot going on right now. 

As I've been sorting through all of this I also recently read this by my friend Miranda. She said a lot of things I've been ruminating on really well: 
"One of the hardest things for me to be faced with, over the past couple of years of our journey, has been how transactional is my view of blessing. Without stopping to think about it, I somehow adopted the idea that If I do *this*, God will do *this*. I don't think I would ever have formulated it in those words, but circumstances - great revealer of character that they are - showed this to be true." 
I've been wondering what would be different in my life if I wholeheartedly lived what I believed - that love & beauty & grace & good gifts are not earned or lost based on anything I do or don't do; anything I am or am not. Not based on my emotions, my failures, my lack. Not based on my good choices, my bad choices, my anything. 

This Autumn has been so hard & so beautiful - and I keep coming back to these lines from the poem below:

When we have exhausted our store of endurance,
When our strength has failed ere the day is half done,
When we reach the end of our hoarded resources
Our Father's full giving is only begun. 

It's impossible to read those words for me without feeling so much hope. And I keep wondering how I can live with more of my life more saturated with that reality.

He giveth more grace as our burdens grow greater,
He sendeth more strength as our labors increase;
To added afflictions He addeth His mercy,
To multiplied trials He multiplies peace.

When we have exhausted our store of endurance,
When our strength has failed ere the day is half done,
When we reach the end of our hoarded resources
Our Father's full giving is only begun.

Fear not that thy need shall exceed His provision,
Our God ever yearns His resources to share;
Lean hard on the arm everlasting, availing;
The Father both thee and thy load will upbear.

His love has no limits, His grace has no measure,
His power no boundary known unto men;
For out of His infinite riches in Jesus
He giveth, and giveth, and giveth again.

He Giveth More Grace 
by Annie J. Flint

Annie Johnson Flint suffered with arthritis for 40 years - her story is quite something.


Chelle said...

I am so very excited to find out that I have some catching up to do over here...I am going to be back with a cup of tea to curl up with your beauty and words as a reward for checking off my to-do list for today. Love you and praying for you, my entirely lovely friend.xo

Sarah said...

On a loney coast in Arabia with heat and three small ones in my care I learned this very thing. You say it so beautifully. God brought me to Romans during that time and revealed the mystery of what He meant by 'I am dead but alive in Him'. At the end of me, and dispairing of hope for the future I finally understood that being dead is not the anilation of myself but the door to a freedom to enjoy His presence and power and provision without my help or imvolvement. I was free to not be needed, or depended upon. i was free just to be me. I learned how to recieve love fully and rest in being cared for. Now, I live in a mountain village that is at war. I sleep at night with tanks bombing houses in the distance and know that some places where I go to buy food people are being shot. But never in my life have I been so at peace. Because I am dead...He is alive in me. I know he leads me will do the work I can not. What I am doing with my life and my family these days is beyond me...but my calling is about what he can do, not about what I can do. Since I gave it ALL to Him, agreed to die, and rest, I worry less about what I can do and trust and wait to see what he will do. I obey Him with a glad heart for He has given me an easy yoke. In this life with Him I feel more like a princess than ever before and I marvel daily at the successes he allows me to share in. May His offer of freedom via our death seem as it is, a door to a brand new life...a life abundant and free.

Jessica said...

this is so beautiful.

Rae said...

Oh how I love that song. Years ago, shortly after my dad was diagnosed with melanoma, my grandfather was asked to sing at my mom's church, and asked me to accompany him on the piano. He had chosen two favourites to sing - I don't think he really though about how it spoke into our circumstances, but oh, how it did. Such a comfort, that song. (If you haven't heard it in song form, I encourage you to look it up - so beautiful!)

Nikki said...

What a beautiful poem--I'm going to write it in my quote book, and then I'm off to read about Annie Johnson Flint. So glad to have you in my life, Misha...even if it's "just" your blog! :-)