The drought that was June has been broken by rain. My home is greening, the trees can drink, and there are beads, brighter than silver, on the leaves.
I am grateful.
The day before yesterday, without visible reason or explanation, a drought in my soul was quenched as well. I was doing a job for which I have no fondness and listening to music that I have heard many times before. As I wiped coal-dust from the 1800’s off fragile pages, I realized that my soul was singing and I did not know why. It certainly had nothing to do with the bitter estate-dispute I was cleaning.
I have been praying. For a while, my mind being what it is, I had found it difficult to pray, but in the past few weeks I have pushed on and forced myself to do it. In order to focus, which is difficult for me, I write most of my prayers out. I look at them now, and most are short little nothings, like touching base with a family-member in passing. A complaint here, a thank-you there, a rant or a statement of love. There are many requests for rain, both literal and metaphorical. They are the bare minimum.
Apparently God is willing to answer even small and pathetic attempts to seek Him. For that I am grateful. It is easy to take up the false assumption that only truly great and faithful people are answered by God. Jesus, of course, shows us differently by his behavior, but the false assumption still crops up like a weed to strangle and discourage us from making any effort. “What is the point of doing anything,” I ask myself, “if I can’t do anything worth doing?” “Why pray if I have nothing to say? Why try if I expect to fail?”
But He has placed the answer in my soul, and my soul sings it to me without words. I am unfaithful, and yet He does not abandon me. He seems to value even my attempts at fidelity.
“Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it. Prone to leave the God I love! Here’s my heart, oh take and seal it…” There are many lines in that hymn that speak to me at this time, but that one is the loudest.
My mother recently said, quite rightly in my experience, that spiritual things come in waves. Others have described mountains and valleys. It is clear, though, that walking with God is anything but monotonous.
I will continue to strive for my soul’s desire. I know that I will stumble, wander off, get lost and get hurt, though I will try not to fail. I know, also, that I will never be abandoned. As always, I feel that words fail to do justice to what I mean, but at least language allows me to release some of this fullness in praise.
“Here I raise my ebenezer;
Here by Thy great help I’ve come;
And I hope, by Thy good pleasure,
Safely to arrive at home.”