Saturday, 18 August 2012

Peaks and troughs

Less than 2 weeks ago, I was standing on top of Helvellyn mountain in the Lake District, experiencing such a closeness with the Lord and the wonder of His creation. The words of Isaiah 40 sprang to life in my heart, as the sheer grandness of the Lord spoke to my heart, together with His nearness, the fact that such an awesome Creator would stoop to deposit in my heart His Holy Spirit, through the blood of His Son. I had no words to express my joy.

This week, I have found myself at the bottom of a pit, berating myself for failing to keep my footing secure on the Rock, allowing myself to be cast asunder. I have had no words to express my emptiness. 

Today I found this hymn by John Newton, tucked away inside the Olney Hymns which he wrote with his friend, William Cowper. His words speak for me. 

Return to bless my waiting eyes,
And cheer my mourning heart, O LORD!
Without thee, all beneath the skies
No real pleasure can afford.

When thy loved presence meets my sight,
It softens care, and sweetens toil;
The sun shines forth with double light,
The whole creation wears a smile.

Upon thine arm of love I rest,
Thy gracious voice forbids my fear;
No storms disturb my peaceful breast,
No foes assault when thou art near.

But ah! since thou hast been away,
Nothing but trouble have I known;
And Satan marks me for his prey
Because he sees me left alone.

My sun is hid, my comforts lost,
My graces droop, my sins revive;
Distressed, dismayed, and tempest–tossed,
My soul is only just alive!

LORD, hear my cry and come again!
Put all mine enemies to shame,
And let them see, ’tis not in vain
That I have trusted in thy name.

Feelings come and go. The word of the Lord endures forever. He is my Rock. He is my stronghold. He never changes. 

I sought the LORD, and he answered me; he delivered me from all my fears.
Psalm 34:4


  1. Oh, Diana... what a blessing you are to me, my dear friend. Thank you for sharing this and for pointing me here today. "Feelings come and go. The word of the LORD endures forever. He is my Rock. He is my stronghold. He never changes." Amen, amen, sister. Much love to you in Christ, always.

    I sought the LORD, and he answered me; he delivered me from all my fears. Psalm 34:4

    1. My dear Ruthie....I'm sure you remember where we were a year ago today ♥ No matter how circumstances may change, whether we are sitting together in a hotel foyer in Washington DC, or sitting at our computer screens over 3,000 miles apart...we are bound by the blood of Christ....and NOTHING will ever change the fact that we have peace with God, no matter what our feelings may tell us. My feelings have been telling me this week that I deserve no part in these friendships I share with you and others - but these are lies, well, the truth is I deserve nothing at all...but God, in His grace, has given me all things in Christ (Rom 8:32). Including your friendship ♥ Love you, my friend. He is our Rock.

    2. Amen and ditto to all you shared. Again I say, amen, amen.

      Yes, I remember with great joy and deep gratitude that precious and blessed time we shared in DC, one short year ago today. You are correct, dear friend, for which I am very thankful, that neither time nor distance matters when the bond we share is the blood of Christ.

      Thank you, Diana. The beautiful truths you've shared have ministered to me well today and I thank you for the encouragement as I found myself struggling, too, this week. As I read Ecclesiastes this evening, I found comfort there, too, with the reminder that our good days and bad are intermingled by God's own design and Sovereign plan (Eccles.7:14). I am grateful for the many reminders of the same that I find throughout His Word, throughout my walk, and the understanding that comes, by the grace of God and the power of the Holy Spirit, that helps me grow more patient still, to persevere with each new trial, to not despair nor look to self, but to rely on Him and Him alone.

      Love you, dearly, D. Thank you, my friend. Yes, indeed. He is our Rock.

    3. Ruthie - I appreciate you so much. I confess I've only now just looked up the verse you shared from Ecclesiastes...thanks for that verse, it's true. You are a great encouragement, if it wasn't for your comments yesterday I would never have publicised this blog post. May my weakness glorify Him still.

  2. Dearest D~
    We may be thousands of miles apart, but I consider you the bonds of Christ is what secures our friendship! You are soo right in that our feelings will one day lift us up and the next moment drop us far down -- precisely why we do not rely on our feelings in our relationship to the Lord. For He has promised He will never leave or forsake us! He also tells us we are blessed in believing without seeing. I love the name of your blog "Waiting for Our Blessed Hope" -- for we are aliens in this world and we set our sights on our blessed hope, Jesus Christ. The ugliness of this world, the lukewarmness of the "church", the falling away of family and friends can be such a cause of discouragement to me...but thank the Lord, He always redirects my eyes toward Him and His promises.

    You are right, we deserve nothing. We deserve hell...BUT God! And He indeed gives us friendships to weep, laugh, correct and encourage each of us in the sheepfold. I daresay, even the ladyship endeavors are a source of knitting together sisters in Christ.

    "You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You" Is 26:3

    1. Bless you, Marianne. Thank you for your words...and friendship. You reminded me of Heb 12:2 - looking away to Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, the only place to look to. And yes, those ladyship endeavours have been great fun ♥ God bless you!

  3. "Without thee, all beneath the skies
    No real pleasure can afford."


    The poem you shared reminded me of this passage from Psalm 104:

    "These all look to you to give them their food at the proper time.
    When you give it to them,
    they gather it up;
    when you open your hand,
    they are satisfied with good things.
    When you hide your face,
    they are terrified;
    when you take away their breath,
    they die and return to the dust.
    When you send your Spirit,
    they are created,
    and you renew the face of the earth."


    "...He himself gives to all people life and breath and all things."- Acts 17:25b

    The steepest valley is no threat to God. It is where He brings forth the sweetest fruit in due time.

    Much love,

    1. "The steepest valley is no threat to God. It is where He brings forth the sweetest fruit in due time." May these words prove true, Liz. May He not waste anything. Love you!

  4. Diana - the verses that always bring me hope and comfort when I'm in the slough of despond are

    Psalm 27:13: "I would have despaired unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the LORD In the land of the living."

    & Psalm 51:12 -"Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and uphold me with a willing spirit."

    Hugs from afar my friend.

    1. Diane, thanks for those verses and hugs. Even across the miles, I feel them ♥

  5. Diana,

    A second look at this post and I realized (granted, I'm a bit more awake now) that this is, no doubt, a photo you took on your recent holiday...


    No coincidence that He brought you to such a magnificent vista. Take heart, my friend. Just look at that reservoir!