Friday, December 23, 2005

"Let them lay hold of my protection."

“Or let them lay hold of my protection, let them make peace with me.”

“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for wholeness and not for evil.”—“There is no peace,” says the Lord, “for the wicked.”

But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. For he himself is our peace.

For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross.—Christ Jesus, whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith. This was to show God's righteousness, because in his divine forbearance he had passed over former sins . . . so that he might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.—If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

Trust in the Lord forever, for the Lord God is an everlasting rock.

This is from today’s Daily Light and was such a comforting word to me today. I feel a very great need for the Lord’s protection…from a great many things. At times I feel like the ground beneath my feet is falling away…like all the work the Lord has accomplished could unravel at any moment…like I will succumb to temptation…compromise in a way that I will suffer from for the rest of my life – or worse – that would somehow separate me from the Lord and compromise my walk. These days, temptation on all fronts is very strong and I feel very, very weak. Yet the Lord says “lay hold of my protection.” He says “I know the plans I have for you...plans for wholeness and not for evil.” And, “Trust in the Lord forever, for the Lord God is an everlasting rock.”

After reading Daily Light, I looked up the opening verse in my Bible and read the entire passage. It says:

In that day,
“A pleasant vineyard, sing of it!
I, the Lord, am its keeper;
every moment I water it.
Lest anyone punish it,
I keep it night and day;
I have no wrath…let them lay hold of my protection,
let them make peace with me,
let them make peace with me.” (Isaiah 27:2-5)

I love that He repeats the call at the end of the passage...

" let them make peace with me,
let them make peace with me."

He keeps me…He nourishes me…He protects me...And He pursues me. Not just momentarily when I FEEL weak, but night and day, because I am ALWAYS weak. I think, too, when I think I am strong I am actually at my weakest. And to that He says, “My strength is made perfect in [your] weakness.”

Oh, Lord…let me lay hold of your protection and walk in your strength that I might not dishonor you. Prune me, cut away all that would hide the light of your great grace and mercy.

In one of the most recent John Piper messages I listened to, he mentioned the importance of having a "hero" of the faith, preferrably someone from another century. For me, that person has to be Amy Carmichael. This poem is yet another reason I love "Amma" so...and proof that my "choice" in personal hero was no choice at all, but ordained by the Lord.

After I posted, I went into the, um, the room that has become my quiet place since my brother and his family have moved in with me. I opened "Toward Jerusalem" and read the following:

Lord of my merry cheers,
My grey that turns to gold,
And my most private tears
And comforts manifold
'Tis wonderful to me
That I am loved by Thee!

"Tis truly wonderful to be loved by one, who even in correction responds to me in great kindness and tender love. One who, when I am wanting to slap myself around and condemn my heart, comes with comfort and healing.

'Tis wonderful, indeed.

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