Thanksgiving

O My God,Thou fairest, greatest, first of all objects, my heart admires, adores, loves thee, for my little vessel is as full as it can be, and I would pour out all that fullness before thee in ceaseless flow.

When I think upon and converse with thee ten thousand delightful thoughts spring up, ten thousand sources of pleasure are unsealed, ten thousand refreshing joys spread over my heart, crowding into every moment of happiness.

I bless thee for the soul thou hast created, for adorning it, for sanctifying it, though it is fixed in barren soil;

for the body thou hast given me, for preserving its strength and vigour, for providing senses to enjoy delights, for the ease and freedom of my limbs, for hands, eyes, ears that do thy bidding;

for thy royal bounty providing my daily support, for a full table and overflowing cup, for appetite, taste, sweetness, for social joys of relatives and friends, for ability to serve others, for a heart that feels sorrows and necessities, for a mind to care for my fellow-men, for opportunities of spreading happiness around, for loved ones in the joys of heaven, for my own expectation of seeing thee clearly.

I love thee above the powers of language to express, for what thou art to thy creatures.Increase my love, O my God, through time and eternity.

-The Valley of Vision: Thanksgiving Prayer-

Happy Thanksgiving from Solid Anchor Ministries!

 

London Fog: A Lesson in Patience

Have you ever been in a situation in which great patience was required of you, yet during that time of patience, it was hard to do so because you were in what seemed like ‘London Fog’? It is in these times when trusting the Lord is exactly what we are to do, yet doing so is very difficult because we cannot see what is going on, or perceive how things will transpire. In these situations, we often jump to the conclusion that because we cannot perceive the end of the matter, the Lord must not be leading us in that direction. However, this may not always be so. The ‘London Fog’ may be a time in which the Lord wants to see how far you will trust Him and what you will relinquish control over in your life. Are you willing to trust the Lord even when the path is hidden from view?

I recently ascertained that I am typically not a very patient person in the long run. What I mean by this is that after a certain time of waiting, waiting seems to take on a heavier weight. That “moments seem like days and days like lifetimes” feeling sets in and being patient seems impossible. Currently, as I face such a situation, the Lord has brought to my attention 6 particular verses which I will share with you and allow to speak for themselves.

“Take delight in the Lord and He will give you your heart’s desires. Commit your way to the Lord; trust in Him, and He will act, making your righteousness shine like the dawn, your justice like the noonday. Be silent before the Lord and wait expectantly for Him.” – Psalm 37:4-7a

“I waited patiently for the Lord, and He turned to me and heard my cry for help. He brought me up from a desolate pit, out of the muddy clay, and set my feet on the rock, making my steps secure. He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see and fear, and put their trust in the Lord.” – Psalm 40:1-3

“Wait for the Lord; be courageous and let your heart be strong. Wait for the Lord.” – Psalm 27:14

“Wait for the Lord and keep His way, and He will exalt you to inherit the land.” – Psalm 37:34a

“I wait for the Lord; I wait, and put my hope in His word. I wait for the Lord more than watchmen for the morning, more than watchman for the morning.” – Psalm 130:5-6

“We wait for the Lord; He is our help and shield. For our hearts rejoice in Him, because we trust in His holy name. May your faithful love rest on us LORD, for we put our hope in You.” – Psalm 33:20-22

I believe that these verses are pretty clear as to what we are to do with patience. We wait expectantly, committing our way to Him, trusting that He will provide, and keep the way that He has shown us. That is it. If you truly commit your way to the Lord, trust Him, placing your hope in Him and wait expectantly for His decision, He will act. However, please note that this is not a way in which you can gain whatever you wish. In the place of submitting and committing your way to Him, there is no room for selfish desires. Waiting expectantly for Him means that you have unreservedly placed your situation into His hands and are committed to His plan. Finally, it is important to understand that being patient does not mean that God will always direct toward what we believe He should.

I realize that at times it can be enormously challenging to be patient, but I also realize this, after much prayer: I would rather wait expectantly in committing my way to the Lord and be lost in the ‘London Fog’,  than to be entirely unsatisfied by my own efforts. I take heart in Psalm 37:5 which has been committed to memory simply due to the amount of times the Lord has brought it to my attention while pleading with Him. It has been a constant reminder that in the particular situation I find myself in, that He alone will open doors because my efforts are not His efforts, my ways are not His ways, and my wisdom is not His wisdom. He alone is directing this path and I must wholeheartedly place my trust in Him for whatever duration He deems appropriate.

Soli Deo Gloria

Silent Before the Lord

“Be silent before the Lord and wait expectantly for Him.” – Psalm 37:7

When was the last time that you were silent before the Lord?

In our society, we are driven to have noise in some form of the other throughout our day; from the radio or iPod at our desk while we work, the TV on while we eat dinner, to our music while we study and read. Our society has even devised miniature devices that aid us in never being without our music or favorite podcast. As a result, we find silence unsettling; often putting us on edge, or to sleep.

Therefore, when we read a verse such as Psalm 37:7, we brush over it and think nothing more of it. “David just didn’t have the technology we have today, so he didn’t understand” may be our mindset when it comes to it. However, I think this misses what David was saying. Afterall, he was King; silence was not the easiest thing to come by for him. (Think of our President’s job for an insight) That is what makes this statement so interesting to me. Here is undoubtedly one of the busiest men in the known world and he is encouraging others to be silent in their time with the Lord.

Ponder this for a second.

What does your quiet time consist of? Do you find yourself talking the whole time you are praying? Do you ever wait patiently to hear from Him? My guess is that you are like me, and you do talk the entire prayer and very little time is spent in silence (if any at all) meditating on Scripture or waiting for the Lord’s reply. We fill our quiet time with our favorite Christian music, our thoughts, our words, our prayers, without any consideration to what the Lord says, let alone taking the time to allow Him to speak.

Sure it would be easy if he always spoke in a loud, attention-getting way, but this is not always how our Lord works. The problem in expecting the Lord to always speak in a way that grabs our attention is that is removes our responsibility to listen to our Master. It entails that we just go about our merry way, doing our own thing and every once in a while turn his direction when he grabs our attention. What a tragic way to handle our relationship with our Creator and Savior!

Perhaps, further still, it is not a matter of forgetting to listen but more of a refusal to listen. Is it that you don’t want to hear what He is going to say, because you know what He is going to say? In this case, don’t pray for more light, pray for more obedience! Some of you have known for years what He would or is calling you to, yet you try to silence Him believing that this removes culpability from you. Do not be foolish! Trying to silence the Lord will not work (if for no other reason than that He cannot be silenced), considering you are trying to mute what you have already heard. You know what He wills, yet you refuse to acknowledge that He has called you to it. Delay no longer, “Commit your way to the Lord; trust in Him, and He will act, making your righteousness shine like the dawn, your justice like the noonday.” (Ps 37:5-6)

I think it would do us well to learn how to be silent before the Lord; meaning, no music, no phones, and no talking on our part (physically, or in our head). Read a text of Scripture and simply pause in order that your soul may be quieted and the still small voice of the Lord may be heard. We need more Christians who are humble enough to shut their mouths and allow the Lord to speak! The object of prayer and scripture reading is not for our opinions and plans to be confirmed but to conform our opinions and plans to His opinions and plans. However, this cannot be done if you never give time to learn what His opinions and plans are.

Therefore, be silent before the Lord and wait expectantly for Him. Trust Him, He will act.