Saturday, March 22, 2008

All of us, like sheep, have strayed away.
We have left God's path to follow our own.

Yet the Lord laid on him the sins of us all.
He was oppressed and treated harshly, yet he never said a word.

Isaiah 53:6-7a

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

What a friend...

A couple of weeks ago I went on ES (EU no longer!) Commencement Camp to kick off the year.
A camp of many highlights, one of the biggest for me was being involved with the music. Singing together with passion and conviction to our God - it's hard to top!
One of the great things about ES music is that, because we have people from all sorts of backgrounds, we have great mix of songs from different backgrounds.
It often surprised me that the words of the hymns we sang always particularly stayed with me. Boring old hymns? Goobery sickly sweet tunes? Not at all- the ones we sang anyway were packed with insightful and profound words and concepts.

This verse from good ol 'What a Friend We Have in Jesus' has kept on lingering since camp.

What a friend we have in Jesus,
all our sins and griefs to bear!
What a privilege to carry
everything to God in prayer!
O what peace we often forfeit,
O what needless pain we bear,

all because we do not carry
everything to God in prayer.

One thing I've learnt about myself, and which I suspect I might not be alone in, is that I over-complicate things. I'll overthink something, letting my thoughts jump way ahead and so reach unrealistic conclusions. Something that's simple I'll try too hard to solve myself and just complicate unecessarily. So the words 'what peace we often forfeit, o what needless pain we bear, all because we do not carry everything to God in prayer' really got to me.

God is there, arms open and waiting for us to come to him with all of our junk, our burdens, our worries, our pain - but we hang on to them ourselves, trying to solve them through our own power and maybe indulging in a nice dose of self pity. And to be able to bring those things to God in prayer isn't a right - it's a privilege. Something we don't deserve, but that God holds out to us.

Even though I'm pretty thick sometimes and need to learn the lesson about bringing everything to God over and over and over again, in my experience there's no other peace - that strange and wonderful release and relief - that I can try and produce, to even try to compare to the peace that God brings. It's just so ... right.
Now the challenge is to actually bring 'everything to God in prayer' for him to bear!