Weak and mortal

You are the temple of the living God (2 Corinthians 6:16; NLT).

1. My flesh is weak
And mortal, Lord;
It will return to dust.

2. My mind is full
Of anguish, Lord,
Making it hard to trust.

3. My heart is sad
And lonely, Lord,
Full of despair and sin,

4. But my soul is at peace
Forever, Lord,
Because it is you, within.

References

1. He knows how weak we are (Psalm 103:14; NLT).

He remembered that they were merely mortal (Psalm 78:39; NLT).

You were made from dust, and to dust you will return (Genesis 3:19; NLT).

2. My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? Why are you so far from saving me, so far from my cries of anguish? (Psalm 22:1; NIV).

3. My soul is downcast within me (Psalm 42:5; NIV).

Darkness is my closest friend (Psalm 88:18; NLT).

From the depths of despair, O Lord, I call for your help (Psalm 130:1; NLT).

In my mind I really want to obey God’s law, but because of my sinful mature I am a slave to sin (Romans 7:25; NLT).

4. The Lord is peace (Judges 6:24; NLT).

There is […] one God and Father, who is over all and in all and living through all (Ephesians 4:5-6; NLT).

Shadow

Hello everyone. I’ve been thinking a lot about our shadow side recently – all the parts of ourselves we prefer to hide, ignore and forget. If we are to become whole, we need to face and accept them all, sharing them with God, who already knows everything about us. I find it fascinating that even Jesus had a shadow side, which he had to face and accept during his time on earth – hence today’s prayer.

1. Even you, Lord,
Had a shadow:
Anger, tears, temptation.

2. Even you, Lord,
Had a shadow:
Fears you couldn’t share.

3. Even you, Lord,
Had a shadow:
Sorrow, grief, impatience.

4. Even you, Lord,
Had a shadow:
Anguish, dread, despair.

References

1. When Jesus saw what was happening, he was angry with his disciples (Mark 10:14; NLT).

Jesus wept (John 11:35; NLT).

Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted there by the devil (Matthew 4:1; NLT).

2. He was in such agony of spirit that his sweat fell to the ground like great drops of blood (Luke 22:44; NLT).

3. Then he [Jesus] said to them, “My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death” (Matthew 26:38; NIV).

Jesus said, “You faithless and corrupt people! How long must I be with you? How long must I put up with you? (Matthew 17:17; NLT).

4. My God, my God, why have you abandoned me? (Mark 15:34; NLT).

Sorrow ends

He will wipe every tear from their eyes,
And there will be no more death or sorrow or crying or pain.
All these things are gone forever
(Revelation 21:4; NLT).

1. Father God,
Forget our sins –
Sorrow ends
When love begins.

2. Help us to forgive
Each foe –
Hatred ends
When love can flow.

3. Wipe away
Our grief and fear –
Heartbreak ends
When love draws near.

4. Heal our sickness,
Mend our lives –
Sadness ends
When love arrives.

5. Purge the craving
Of our wills –
Anguish ends
When love rebuilds.

6. End our wars
And make us sane –
Evil ends
When you, Lord, reign.

References

1. I will forgive their wickedness, and I will never again remember their sins (Jeremiah 31:34; NLT).

2. Love your enemies! Do good to those who hate you. Bless those who curse you. Pray for those who hurt you (Luke 6:28; NLT).

3. God will wipe away every tear from their eyes (Revelation 7:17; NIV).

4. He […] heals all my diseases (Psalm 103:3; NLT).

5. The world offers only a craving for physical pleasure, a craving for everything we see, and pride in our achievements and possessions (1 John 2:16; NLT).

6.Nation will no longer fight against nation, nor train for war anymore (Isaiah 2:4; NLT).

A Gethsemane experience

On the day of my mastectomy, as I waited on a trolley outside the anaesthetic room, I was suddenly overwhelmed by a profound terror of suffering and death, just as Jesus was in the Garden of Gethsemane. I felt completely helpless, despairing and alone, shaking uncontrollably with cold and fear. 

Then my surgeon entered the room in blue scrubs. She must have seen at once how distressed I was, because she came straight over to me, putting her arms around me and bending down to lay her head gently on my chest. She seemed like an angel of comfort and strength. I managed to whisper, through chattering teeth, “I’m so frightened!” She didn’t even speak, but held me as I sobbed helplessly. 

After a time, realising how cold I was, she moved to stand behind me, rubbing my arms to warm me, until I was pushed into an ante-room and quickly, skilfully anaesthetised. 

That evening, after the surgery, I wept again. I felt as if I had experienced something of what Christ suffered in Gethsemane, just as those gazing at a representation of Jesus on the cross occasionally undergo the pain and utter powerlessness of his crucifixion. 

Next day, however, I realised that rather than we ordinary mortals sometimes sharing what Jesus experienced, it was, in fact, he who fully shared our primeval, human terror in the face of imminent suffering and death.

Of course, there are major differences between my experience and his. I was confronting my profound fear of anaesthesia and surgery solely for my own benefit. Jesus, on the other hand, was facing betrayal, torture and death so our sins could be forgiven. I pray that I will never cease to thank him for what he faced and endured for our sake.

 

References

My heart pounds in my chest. The terror of death assaults me. Fear and trembling overwhelm me, and I can’t stop shaking (Psalm 55:4-5; NLT).

They went to the olive grove called Gethsemane, and Jesus said, “Sit here while I go and pray.” He took Peter, James and John with him, and he became deeply troubled and distressed. He told them, “My soul is crushed with grief to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me.” He went on a little further and fell to the ground. He prayed that, if it were possible, the awful hour awaiting him might pass him by (Mark 14:32-5; NLT).  

Then an angel from heaven appeared and strengthened him. He prayed more fervently, and he was in such agony of spirit that his sweat fell to the ground like great drops of blood (Luke 22:43-4; NLT).

In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace (Ephesians 1:7; NIV).

God proves his love for us in that while we were still sinners Christ died for us (Romans 5:8, NRSV).