Stroke. MS. Cancer. Hospitals. Storms. Death. Funeral. More cancer. More storms. Unplanned pregnancy. Counseling the lost, hurting and searching.
This is the week that was for our little church family and some of the other folks I’ve been hopefully ministering to. I keep reminding myself that I’m not the one who got the diagnosis; I’m not the one lying in the hospital bed or the coffin. But it all does still get to me.
I struggle with the brokenness all around me, and it forces me to see the brokenness in me as well. My own fears and anxieties like to creep up in the midst of all these other things.
And so for myself, and for all those dealing with struggles of your own, brokenness and anxiety, I simply offer this prayer. It’s from a familiar source to anyone who’s read here before. I’m rather fond of The Valley of Vision collection of prayers. And this one is quite helpful for a time like this. It’s called “Peril”, but I’m moved by one of the final lines: “Give me the name Naphtali – ‘satisfied with favour.” That’s the heart of my prayer. In spite of all, make me satisfied in the favour of God!
Sovereign Commander of the Universe,
I am sadly harassed by doubts, fears, unbelief,
in a felt spiritual darkness.
My heart is full of evil surmisings and disquietude,
and I cannot act faith at all.
My heavenly Pilot has disappeard,
and I have lost my hold on the Rock of Ages;
I sink in deep mire beneath storms and waves,
in horror and distress unutterable.
Help me, O Lord,
to throw myself absolutely and wholly on thee,
for better, for worse, without comfort,
and all but hopeless.
Give me peace of soul, confidence, enlargement of mind,
morning joy that comes after night heaviness;
Water my soul with divine blessings;
Grant that I may welcome that humbling in private
so that I might enjoy thee in public;
Give me a mountain top as high as the valley is low.
Thy grace can melt the worst sinner, and I am as vile as he;
Yet thou hast made me a monument of mercy,
a trophy of redeeming power;
In my distress let me not forget this.
Thy never-failing providence orders every event,
sweetens every fear,
reveals evil’s presence lurking in seeming good,
brings real good out of seeming evil,
makes unsatisfactory what I set my heart upon,
to show me what a short-sighted creature I am,
and to teach me to live by faith upon
thy blessed self.
Out of sorrow and night
give me the name Naphtali -
‘satisfied with favour’ -
help me to love thee as thy child,
and to walk worthy of my heavenly pedigree.