This Is My Father’s World
It’s not about me. But it kind of is.
I am struggling these days. I have been in a bad place and I haven’t felt able to offer encouragement to anyone when I can’t offer it to myself. But today. It is on my heart to write, no matter how little I feel like it. If you read my last Word of Encouragement then you know what struggle I refer to. Recently I had my last straw fall on me and I broke Remember that old game where you put sticks in the toy camels pack and the one who put in the last straw and made the camel’s back break lost. That’s how I feel. But gosh, now that I think of that game it’s really kind of awful, isn’t it.
Well my struggle is no better, though I am doing as I encouraged others to do in that Word. I am being faithful in my Bible study (Isaiah is still in Judgement Mode although chapter 21 was a bit more uplifting…and I’m doing Psalms on the weekends.) I am talking to one of my pastors for counseling. I am immersing myself in things that usually bring me peace and joy, such as furniture refinishing, drawing, and organizing the rest of the house that we are settling in to. And spending time with my husband and kids, who are so understanding of the mess that I have become. I am learning, slowly, that I am still loved even when I cannot do what I consider my duty by them. At least, some days I get that. Head knowledge and heart belief don’t always meet up. And Satan just loves to feed us his lies and they’re so easy to believe when you’re down.
Most days I don’t recognize myself. But I know that eventually I will come out of this storm. My pastor just started a series called “Emerging From The Storm” and wow, is it timely for me. I’m still in the storm, but he said that God allows the storms to teach us something and I find that very hopeful. I’d hate to go through this for nothing. So when I am not feeling like the mess that I am I look forward to who I will be when I emerge from this. It’s been said that anxiety is not a sign of weakness but a sign that you have been strong for too long. I’ve been strong for five years or so, with one storm after another. From the onset of Mom’s dementia, to my surgery, face-off with death, multiple hospitalizations, eight month recovery, degeneration of Mom’s dementia and having to take over her affairs, another surgery, long drawn-out dealings to get Mom into a Memory Care assisted living, clearing out her place (she was a bit of a pack-rat) and moving. The full weight of responsibility. Then just as things seemed to be settling down, The Great Hunkering followed by the Great American Riot.
I mentioned before that I was studying Isaiah, which is all Judgement-Hope-Judgement-Hope and I was a bit depressed because I was still in the Judgement phase. But reading Isaiah’s prophesies of destruction, desolation and utter devastation of the world I finally see some sense in what used to be gibberish to me. Isaiah shows me a Mad Max level of world-wide destruction, and then gives God’s promise of an eternal paradise to come. No matter how frightening this world becomes, God’s glory awaits on the other side. He has made ready a beautiful future that will never spiral into the horror that this world can. He has promised me He has redeemed me through Christ His Son, and I will live forever with Him and never again be the mess that I am, but I will be the beautiful creature He intended me to be from before the beginning of the world. I mean how awesome is that really!
Again, head knowledge and heart belief don’t always meet up. That’s why I have to repeatedly remind myself of that message and make a conscious choice to believe it. And pray for His help with that. Mark 9:24 “I believe; help my unbelief!”
Like some of you, music is the language that speaks loudest to me. Even without words, music sings its’ message to my soul. It sings of joy, of sadness, of hopelessness, and of hope. One of the songs my church did this week was an old childhood favorite, and as I sang it (at home on my couch-pew while live-streaming) I was filled with that hope for the future:
This is my Father’s world, and to my list’ning ears,
All nature sings, and round me rings the music of the spheres.
It is indeed my Father’s world and He will do with it as He pleases. Eventually this world will be destroyed and we will live in His new world. In this one, for now, we must continue to sing His praises no matter our circumstances. A song that came to be “my song” when I was dying in 2017 is one sung by Tribute Quartet, called “God Wants to Hear You Sing”. (I told you music speaks loudest to me.) It tells us exactly that…no matter our trials God wants to hear us sing His praises. I’ll put the lyrics at the end of this. Maybe someone needs to hear it.
For now I’ll leave you with this certain hope: God and His eternal promise waits for us at the end of all our storms. The last verse of that old childhood favorite hymn says this:
This is my Father’s world, O let me ne’er forget
that though the wrong seems oft so strong, God is the Ruler yet.
This is my Father’s world: the battle is not done;
Jesus who died shall be satisfied, and earth and heav’n be one.
God Wants To Hear You Sing
Their chains were fastened tight down at the jail that night,
Still Paul and Cyrus would not be dismayed
They said, "It's time to lift our voice, sing praises to the Lord
Let's prove that we will trust Him, come what may."
God wants to hear you sing when the waves are crashing round you
When the firey darts surround you, when despair is all you see
God wants to hear your voice when the wisest man has spoken
And says your circumstance is as hopeless as can be
That's when God wants to hear you sing
He loves to hear our praise on our cheerful days
When the pleasant times outweigh the bad, by far
But when suffering comes along and we still sing Him song
That is when we bless the Father's heart
Here is a video of Tribute singing it. (Other groups have done it but I know these guys and just love them.) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8688KNKIZvE
My prayer: Lord help me to sing.