Saturday, January 15, 2011

In You My Soul Takes Refuge

Thursday morning, I was drinking in the discussion at our ladies' Bible study when the topic turned to idols.  The actual question posed was something along the lines of, "Other than God, where do you turn for satisfaction?"  I inwardly gasped when Mrs. Becky replied, "Books.  I can get lost in a book & escape."  I didn't realize until that very moment that this is exactly what I've been doing!  I picked up The Hobbit on Christmas Eve, the day after Ginger died, & from that day til now, I've also read The Fellowship of the Ring, The Two Towers, The Return of the King, Against the Tide, Wings Like a Dove, Dr. Oma, & A Cup of Cold Water.  8 books in 3 weeks.  (For perspective, it should be noted that I didn't read 8 books in all of last year!)  I've also watched the extended DVD edition of "The Lord of the Rings" trilogy, which took an entire weekend, & we've rented a few more movies.  So, even though it was unbeknownst to me, I've been a busy girl trying to escape my reality.  I'm not sure how I could be so intensely engaged in avoidance & not realize it, but apparently, I am really good at ignoring reality when need be!

Anyways, with that one comment, God threw open my darkened eyes & illuminated my idolatry.  God is supposed to be my comfort, my very present help in time of need - not some fantasy world or even historical events.  I'm supposed to run to Him with my grief & sorrow, not run away & get lost in Middle Earth or 17th century Scotland.  It was quite fitting that our discussion in Bible study was regarding satisfaction in Christ alone.  I, of course, teared up pretty much the whole time, but delving deeply into God's Word to see that only He can fully satisfy was healing.  I knew that, but I certainly haven't been living as though I believe it.

Last night, I finally began A Steadfast Heart.  It was rather late when I started reading, so I only got through the introduction & a little into chapter one, but it is already a balm to my sorrowing heart.  Listen to this:

"The trials we endure are meant to get at the idolatry, self-love, & independent unbelief that God desires to purge from our life.  They're also meant to cause us to love Jesus Christ more & more, & sometimes they're not discipline at all, but rather part of God's mysterious plan to glorify Himself." (pg. 20)

Then, she quotes the following poem by Martha Snell Nicholson, & I was particularly touched by the last 4 lines:

I stood a mendicant of God
before His royal throne
And begged Him for a priceless gift,
which I could call my own.
I took the gift from out His hand,
but as I would depart,
I cried "But Lord, this is a thorn
and it has pierced my heart.
"This is a strange, a hurtful gift
that Thou hast given me."
He said, "My child, I give good gifts
and give My best to thee."
I took it home and though at first,
the cruel thorn hurt sore;
As long years passed I learned at last
to love it more and more.
I learned He never gives a thorn
without this added grace.
He takes the thorn to pin aside . . .
the veil which hides His face.

So, I'm on the right track now & am looking to God for my comfort.  Rather than escaping to fictional worlds that provide no lasting relief, I'm leaning on God who will help me bear up under my load of grief.

Be merciful to me, O God, be merciful to me,
for in You my soul takes refuge;
in the shadow of Your wings I will take refuge,
'til the storms of destruction pass by.
I cry out to God Most High,
to God who fulfills His purpose for me.
~Psalm 57:1-2


Anonymous said...

A Steadfast Heart is an EXCELLENT book!

Jennifer said...

Just wanted to let you now that I dropped by tonight. And also, I haven't said it before now...but, I'm so sorry about Ginger. I know it's been so hard on ya'll. I'm so sorry. May you continue to find peace and comfort in the Lord. Also, I'm MIL (mother-in-love) lost her doggie a few years ago. At first she also thought maybe she would never love another quite the same, but when she was ready we surprised her with a new puppy -even the same breed. She was indeed smitten at first sight. You will love another again!!

Lynn said...

Good post, Chrissy! I, too, love the escape of a good book, but I am glad that the Lord is showing you His ability to satisfy and how hard things can sometimes be a gift so us. I think He loves us so much more than we know.

The Boyds said...

Thank y'all for your comments & encouragement.

Leslie, I completely agree; I've already been led into worship & have noticed a greater awareness of God in my daily life.

Jennifer, thank you for your condolences. It is hard, even harder than I feared. I appreciate your sympathy & prayers.

Lynn, thanks for the compliment & for the reminder. I think you're right: I think He does love us more than we know.

I appreciate & love you ladies. Thanks for being Christ's body to me.