Saturday, December 30, 2006

great is Thy faithfulness

I just read a beautiful description of God's faithfulness over the span of a lifetime written by Charles Spurgeon, "We delight to look down a long avenue of trees. It is delightful to gaze from end to end of the long vista, a sort of verdant temple, with its branching pillars and its arches of leaves; in the same way, look down the long aisles of your years, at the green boughs of mercy overhead, and the strong pillars of lovingkindness and faithfulness that bear up your joys." I have to attest to the truth of that statement. In spite of every storm, or maybe because I've been so well kept through them, I can see the long span of God's protection and providence over my life like a canopy of trees.

Last night I attended the Friday night Celebrate Recovery meeting I'm involved with, and I was nervous to go. Many things are irritating my peace of mind, and I felt unable to focus clearly on playing music and then listening and sharing. But I did go, and from the time I came in, I received joyful encouragement. The man who leads the group always asks after my family and myself as he sets up the chairs and I set up my keyboard. I was afraid about doing music alone and not having a singer with me. The prison chaplain who comes to the meetings gladly offered to help even though his voice isn't the best. It isn't his voice I needed as much as his desire to lead and honor God, and that joyful smile. He helped me to feel completely at ease. Immediately another person shared about struggles she'd had over Christmas, and somehow listening to her made me forget my own little bothersome things. As the room filled up I realized how in His mercy God provided people of every stripe and personality type to now be a part of my life. We don't love and serve Him to "get", but it has been my experience that the nearer we get to God and the more we trust Him with our "years", the more He brings very specific helps and mercies into our lives to help us feel protected and loved.

I wanted to take the time this morning to reflect about the mercies of God and to take a glance down the long avenue of my life. As the great hymn reminds via scripture, "Great is Thy faithfulness, oh God my Father, there is no shadow of turning with Thee, Thou changest not, Thy compassions they fail not, as Thou hast been, Thou forever wilt be..." What a comfort! Truly, we need have no fear of the future nor of God's protecting and shadowing hand if we trust in Him. He longs to be trusted. I can only say after living for nearly half a century, He is worthy of that trust. Praise Him!


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