Off for the second stent tomorrow, Monday. Not feeling afraid but somehow just aware of how fragile and vulnerable humanness is. It has not been the easiest of times in the last 18 months, so much of it to do with health issues beyond my control, but these issues have asked for a response of faith.
As I thought about these semi-turbulent times, this was the prayer I said and wrote, thinking of Jacob. By the way, I heard one of my recently written prayers was used at a Church of Scotland Presbytery event! I never expected that! I hope this prayer too might be useful to someone somewhere in some setting that is beyond my imagination to think possible. Maybe that person will be you!
“God of Jacob, thank you that the most ordinary ground, even the most uncomfortable ground, difficult to lie down upon – far from soft feathers – can become the very “Gate of Heaven.” The place where my head is full of adrenalin deciding for me whether to fly or fight or freeze, the place where I can find no pillow save hard stone upon which to fall into uneasy sleep, can become the congregating point of wide awake angels fulfilling assignments ordered by you in the wisdom of your purposes.
God and Father of my Lord Jesus Christ, why should this surprise me? He came forth as a shoot out of dry ground. All His littleness and frailty of cross to crib was rooted in the immovable stump of your eternal purposes being unrolled through your servants, time and space and earth and history. What looked improbable, happened. A Kingdom appeared on the earth which became the largest of trees; big enough for the birds of the air to find refuge in its branches. Your eye is even upon this sparrow.
May the gate of heaven open for me in unexpected places in my very ordinary human journey, shared in kind by so many. You have given me faith that I will come to the end of this day, and by your grace to the end of tomorrow fully awake to your presence as I fall asleep, knowing that I will be watched over by unutterable and unalterable love. The planting of the Lord will grow in me, for me and through me for others to your glory and to the honouring and praising of your Name. I do not need to know how.
I worship You, God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, God of Jacob, God of so many thousands of Bethels. God of our Fathers be the God of their succeeding race. By your hand your people still are fed even in the desert wanderings through sands of both frailty or folly. From an empty sky, manna comes down. From hard rock, water flows. You know the way you are taking. “Through each perplexing path of life, our wandering footsteps guide: give us each day our daily bread and raiment fit, provide! Such blessings from Thy gracious hand, our humble prayers implore, and Thou shalt be our chosen God and portion, evermore!”
I am so glad you are the God of Abraham and people of faith; of Isaac and people of meekness; but today I am even more glad that you are the God of Jacob and all people of weakness, the uncomfortable sleepers and distracted wanderers. He says to me from the past that in such a place of an unfinished and uneasy journey, I am sitting at the gates of an unseen Kingdom. Your Son assures me of even more. He invites me through the gates to live in the house itself forever in His Name and grace and authority. Such is the power of His cross. He signed my deeds with his atoning blood. He ever lives to make His promise good! If the gates abound with angels, what riches are mine to enjoy in the house to which I belong in the Sonship of the Son for eternity?”
God of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, God and Father of my Lord Jesus Christ, God of angel armies, God of my Fathers: thank you that you are my God and my children’s God. What more can I ask?