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Do you ever feel STUCK? In 2000, I began looking for answers to some tough questions in my life. I'd searched high & low and finally conceded to search the promises found in the Bible. Those promises have sustained & guided me through the loss of a parent, the struggle with anxiety & depression, the loss of a valued relationship and so much more! I've found joy amid the pain. And, I want to share it with you!

13 February 2014

Morn Shall Tearless Be

Photo credit T. Getz
"Then God said, “I am giving you a sign of my covenant with you and with all living creatures, for all generations to come. I have placed my rainbow in the clouds. It is the sign of my covenant with you and with all the earth."  Genesis 9:12-13 

A few initial facts: 
  • ... my parents played music on the record player (yeah, I'm that old) as my sisters & I were going to sleep most nights
  • ... I am viscerally moved by music & lyrics - comforted in times of pain, encouraged in times of uncertainty, quieted in times of turmoil, etc.
  • ... when music is paired with TRUTH, I'm often -- undone
  • ... I look for ways to get as much music as possible in my normal day-to-day life 
I have a smart-phone and choose songs from my playlist instead of alarm tones for almost ALL of my alarms -- especially the alarms for waking up! My most frequently chosen song for my wake-up alarm is "O Love That Will Not Let Me Go." The version that is on my phone (and iPod) is the one recorded by Bryan Duncan on "Quiet Prayers" which was released in the "My Utmost for His Highest" CD set. Now that we have a little one living in our household, she gets to hear that song a lot.

At various seasons of life, certain stanzas of that song pop out to me. Since I've battled depression & anxiety most of my life, I'd have to say that the following stanza is probably my all time favorite:

Oh JOY that seekest me through pain 

I cannot close my heart to Thee
I trace the rainbow through the rain
And feel the promise is not vain that morn' shall tearless be

I just love the image of JOY seeking me -- no matter what is happening in my life. I have felt that JOY seek me when I have been hiding in my pain. It's something that has helped me go on when I've felt there's no way I could. How did someone come up with those words that bring me to my knees filling me with strength, hope & peace?

George Matheson wrote the lyrics in 1882 and said this about the song:
My hymn was com­posed in the manse of In­ne­lan [Ar­gyle­shire, Scot­land] on the ev­en­ing of the 6th of June, 1882, when I was 40 years of age. I was alone in the manse at that time. It was the night of my sister’s mar­ri­age, and the rest of the fam­i­ly were stay­ing over­night in Glas­gow. Some­thing hap­pened to me, which was known only to my­self, and which caused me the most se­vere men­tal suf­fer­ing. The hymn was the fruit of that suf­fer­ing. It was the quick­est bit of work I ever did in my life. I had the im­press­ion of hav­ing it dic­tat­ed to me by some in­ward voice ra­ther than of work­ing it out my­self. I am quite sure that the whole work was com­plet­ed in five min­utes, and equal­ly sure that it ne­ver re­ceived at my hands any re­touch­ing or cor­rect­ion. I have no na­tur­al gift of rhy­thm. All the other vers­es I have ever writ­ten are man­u­fact­ured ar­ti­cles; this came like a day­spring from on high.
Some nights I lay awake & ask the hard questions of God. He whispers to me, "Sleep my child. I am at work on these things." Some mornings I awake & my eyes begin to fill with tears as I remember the struggles I face or the struggles faced by ones I hold close to my heart. God whispers to me & reminds me that He is at work in all of it - even now. In the times my mind questions... may my heart speak the words of the Psalmist:
"I trust in your unfailing love. I will rejoice because you have rescued me." Psalm 13:5 
O Love That Will Not Let Me Go... sung by the Gaither Vocal Band:

O Love that will not let me go, I rest my weary soul in thee; I give thee back the life I owe, That in thine ocean depths its flow; May richer, fuller be. 
O light that followest all my way, I yield my flickering torch to thee; My heart restores its borrowed ray, That in thy sunshine’s blaze its day; May brighter, fairer be. 
O Joy that seekest me through pain, I cannot close my heart to thee; I trace the rainbow through the rain, And feel the promise is not vain, That morn shall tearless be. 
O Cross that liftest up my head, I dare not ask to fly from thee; I lay in dust life’s glory dead, And from the ground there blossoms red; Life that shall endless be.
Linking with Ann Voskamp - A Holy Experience today...

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