Thursday, December 7, 2006

Puritan Ponderings

This morning at our family worship, my husband read a prayer from a book we love called The Valley of Vision: A Collection of Puritan Prayers and Devotions. Sometimes it is helpful to read what someone else wrote to put words to what you feel, but can't quite express.

This morning's reading really made me think though, and I'm glad it was my husband reading it and not me so that I had time to mull over what I was saying "amen" to.

Listen: "Creator, upholder, and proprietor of all things, We cannot escape from thy presence and control, nor do we desire to do so."

Whoa. So already in the first 3 lines of the prayer I had to say, "Really Lord? If I'm being honest can I always say that I don't desire to escape from Your presence and control?" I think there are many times that we wish we could just duck out for a few minutes and do our own thing without worrying about whether we are now walking in God's blessings or His discipline.

Years ago we knew a young teenage couple who had the foolish idea to have "Sin free days". Not that they would not sin all day long, but that they could choose to sin willingly and pretend that there were no consequences. Great Big Sea even has a song called "Consequence Free". It is quite catchy. But the point is all wrong. I remember thinking how irresponsible to choose to intentionally sin expecting that God would give you a day off from responsible living and natural consequences.

Except now I'm realizing that in my heart, if not in my actions, I am very interested in having the freedom to step out from under God's control on occassion.

Fortunately that is not an option. Imagine how dreadfully I would ruin things.

Thankfully, as I was thinking these things (and the thoughts came quickly!) the prayer continued next to say "Our privilege is to be under the agency of thy omnipotence, righteousness, wisdom, patience, mercy and grace; For thou art Love with more than parental affection."

So it maybe isn't so bad to submit (which my husband discovered one time means to 'get under and wait') when the One I am submitting to only has love for me, even if it feels hard some days. He is all wise, all patient, all merciful, all gracious.
Lord help me to surrender. Not just when you are asking me to do something I would normally do anyway (that's not true obedience), but also when the way looks tough and I am weary. You are good Lord. Thank You for covering me.

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