An excerpt from the prayer “My God, I thank thee, who hast made” by Adelaide Proctor.
I thank thee more that all our joy is touched with pain,
that shadows fall on brightest hours, that thorns remain;
so that earth’s bliss may be our guide and not our chain.
I thank thee, Lord, that here our souls, though amply blessed,
can never find, although they seek, a perfect rest;
nor ever shall, until they lean on Jesus’ breast. Amen.
Fitting that I should find this turned down corner today when I am feeling rather turned down myself.
Thank you Lord that I can’t always rely on my brain chemicals or mind management skills to keep me going. Thank you Lord that I can’t rely on my children to make me feel loved and worthy of love. Thank you Lord that I can’t rely on the church where I serve to want me or to give me strength to keep going.
Lord these things are there to drive me to your breast in trusting lament, but instead I have let them chase me into a cave of practical unbelief.
Forgive me Lord that, despite my relatively strong theology in this area, practically I hold you accountable for these things. It is not just that I do not enjoy The One and Only Daughter’s rudeness, but that I ‘judge’ how good and trustworthy you are by it. Oh, forgive me my patient Father. Forgive me for responding to yet another ministry criticism with practical unbelief in you. I have measured you with these fallen markers Lord. I don’t realise that I do – I think it is the rudeness or the criticism that is crushing me, but the real wound is self-inflicted. The real punch in the gut comes from the sub-conscious conclusions that I foolishly and sinfully take from life’s rubbishness about you. And the result? I become bitter and I turn tail and run, longing to find comfort and peace, but despairing of success.
Thank you for rescuing me from myself. Thank you for this prayer, for your daughter Adelaide Proctor. Thank you for taking me from my cave of practical unbelief to your merciful breast.
Right now all I can do is weep there, to sigh and tremble in depression and exhaustion, but I’m there and that is just how it should be today. In your timing help me to start to look up and see where I am, to behold you more consciously. Help me to gently start bringing these things to you in articulated prayers, may your Spirit work in me to bring your word to bear in these situations and lead me into godliness. And thank you that there is no rush, that all is well as I rest on you in quiet and stillness. Amen.