“Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.” “Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you. Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world. And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you. To him be the dominion forever and ever. Amen.” Psalm 23:4; 1 Peter 5:6-11
Night extended into this morning as a thick curtain of storm cloud held back dawn’s light. Electricity flashed to give quick peaks into the view, thunder growled low and shaky, and then came the rain, ushering in a new day.
Some days begin this way– dark, dreaded, grumbly, untenable. Our cares and responsibilities, the realities of another rejection, an ill beloved life-partner, a wayward child, loneliness or an empty womb or uncertain future, realization that I no longer have (on this earth) a parent or close friend, may weigh heavy like these wet clouds. Yet the Lord is still nigh, ever present and bearing supernatural light even in the storm. He is our sun, the bridegroom striding from His chamber, leading in glory and joyful purpose, redeeming every wind that buffets, every storm that drenches with fear or despair. Beginning the day with Him washes us with hope and lifts the veil of darkness to give expectation for good in and from all things. (Psalm 19:4-6; Romans 8:28)
When I am overcome by the noise and pressure from storms– raucous and crushing from without, or taunting and pestering from within– do I, in my fear, or exhaustion, or dismay, remember the light? Will I by faith cling to the hope that the sun still rises and brilliantly shines behind the clouds, the earth still spins on its axis, and God reigns? The valley of the shadow must be walked, there is no escaping; yet it does not go on forever. And my Sovereign walks beside me all the way.
“O worship the King all-glorious above,
O gratefully sing his power and his love:
our shield and defender, the Ancient of Days,
pavilioned in splendor and girded with praise.
O tell of his might and sing of his grace,
whose robe is the light, whose canopy space.
His chariots of wrath the deep thunderclouds form,
and dark is his path on the wings of the storm.
Frail children of dust, and feeble as frail,
in you do we trust, nor find you to fail.
Your mercies, how tender, how firm to the end,
our Maker, Defender, Redeemer, and Friend!” ~Robert Grant (1833)
Lord on high, in the morning when I rise, may I rise with You, fixing my gaze on the One Who rules above and below.