Posts Tagged ‘Psalms 139:16’

When Your World Is In Turmoil

I was watering my plants this evening and my mind was thinking about the crazy, upside down world and the violence, tragedy, and turmoil that has seeped into every aspect of our existence. I was thinking about the recent sudden death of Gene’s first cousin from a massive stroke and the cancer diagnoses of someone very close to me. Some of my friends and friends of friends are going through difficult stuff. My world is in turmoil.

All of a sudden I became aware of the stillness and beauty of the evening. The sun had dropped over the western horizon and in its wake left a soft pink and yellow sky. I glanced to the east and it was aglow with a huge fluffy cloud that reflected the after glow of the sun’s rays. It was a stunning, brilliant pink and yellow. I was standing and working in the midst of it all and almost missed it. I was so focused inward with my mind churning with the weight of many problems and failed to see God’s hand painting the the massive sky canvas in front and behind me with the glory of His presence.

Today the message at church spoke to this very need in my soul. In the midst of a very trying time, the Psalmist cried out to God four times, “How long?” How long will you feel so far away? Forever? How long will my prayers be unanswered? How long will I be overwhelmed with sorrow? How long will I feel like the enemy is winning this battle?” (Psalms 13).

The circumstances did not change between verses 4 and 5 but something changed inwardly for the Psalmist. He stilled himself and remembered God’s work in the past. He remembered God’s mercy. He determined to be joyful in his salvation. He declared that he would sing as he remembered God’s bountiful work in his life.

In the midst of his turmoil, he almost missed seeing the canvas of life God was painting.

Following the sermon we sang the words to an old familiar hymn written by Katharina von Schlegal in 1752…. the words may reflect an old English way of speaking, but the words are still true and powerfully speak to the deep need in our heart.

Be Still, My Soul

1. Be still my soul: the Lord is on thy side; Bear patiently the cross of grief or pain; Leave to thy God to order and provide. In every change He faithful will remain. Be still, my soul! thy best, thy heavenly Friend. Through thorny ways leads to a joyful end.

2. Be still, my soul: thy God doth undertake, to guide the future as He has the past. Thy hope, thy confidence, let nothing shake; All now mysterious shall be bright at last. Be still, my soul; the waves and wind still know, his voice who ruled them, while He dwelt below.

3. Be still, my soul. The hour is hastening on when we shall be forever with the Lord. When disappointment, grief are gone; sorrow forgot, love’s purest joys restored. Be still, my soul; when change and tears are past. All safe and blessed we shall meet at last.

Amen.

Gentle

A good name is to be chosen than great riches

Loving favor rather than silver and gold.”

Proverbs 22:1

 It was at my husband’s birthday lunch that we found out the news.  It took a moment as we read the card for the reality to sink in.

“Dear Grandpa, you don’t know me yet, but the doctor says you will around March 6th.  I’m looking forward to meeting you.  Happy 50th birthday!  Love your Grandkid.”

Suddenly we joined the club of other smiling “older” folks called grandparents. We didn’t have any pictures to show yet but we did get to see a glimpse of our still unknown offspring through a grainy ultrasound photo. It was fun to see its head was shaped just like my babies. Our first grandchild!    It was so exciting and so much to dream about and anticipate.  Would “it” be a boy or girl?  What would “it” look like?  What kind of personality would “it” have?  As the days and weeks crept by I began to bond with and pray for this little one being created in seclusion by a loving heavenly Father.  I found myself praying that this little one would have a gentle spirit and a heart for God.

One day Viv, Jill, and I were having lunch together and Jill and I were trying to weasel out of Viv what the “its”  name would be.  Finally, I said, “whatever you do, if it is a girl, just don’t name her Emily!” I just did not care for that name.  There are times when it is best to not say out loud what you think! Unbeknownst to me, I created a real problem for the expectant parents. After seeking counsel from several other people, they decided to stick with their name of choice.

I have made it a habit through the years to pray for my children, even before they were born.  When they were little I started praying for their spouses.  As the children’s personalities developed, I prayed for specific personalities for each of their spouses. It was so neat to see how God answered each one.

It is interesting to me to observe people’s names and to see how often their personalities reflect the meaning of our names.  Is it by coincidence?  Maybe.  Maybe not. I choose to believe that godly parents who seek God’s favor are given divine guidance in naming their children.  In the Bible  God sometimes told parents what to name their children and what the life mission of that child would be. God’s eyes see and know our substance being formed.  (Psalms 139:16)

“Delight yourself also in the Lord, and He shall give you the desires of your heart.”  Psalms 37:4

When tiny, precious Emily was born, her mother, unaware of my prayer for a spirit of gentleness said, “We like the name Emily because it makes us think of a gentle, sweet person.”  As I watch our oldest granddaughter develop, I am grateful to God for her gentle, sweet nature.  And guess what?  I immediately loved the name Emily! How could I not, God had smiled with delight as he answered my prayer!

Happy 19th birthday Emily!

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