It’s well past midnight, and sleep is elusive. I’ve come to embrace these hours when the Holy Spirit places someone on my heart, and we commune together as I pray for that person or situation. Sometimes I write in my prayer journal things that are only shared by myself and God alone. A good book often helps the hours pass as well. These midnight appointments are cherished occasions, with no distractions or demands on my time, and I am quiet before the Lord.
As a ‘sixty-something’ woman, I find myself reflecting on the goodness of God and how He has helped and guided me through the years. In days of struggle with lack of confidence or self worth, Scripture reminds me that I am loved and cherished. Zechariah 2:8 reminds us that we are “the apple of His eye.” Deuteronomy 32:10 says, “He guarded them (His people) as the apple of His eye.”
Often I experience indescribable longings, seemingly stronger in Autumn. I read in Ecclesiastes 3:11, “He has made everything beautiful in its time. He also has set eternity in their hearts.” What a beautiful description of those things we experience that take our breath away, that cause our hearts to overflow with joy and reverent worship. These are but glimpses of what God has in store for those who love and trust Him. “Eternity in their hearts” must refer to our hearts’ longing for God, to be in His presence forever, the One who created us and longs to be part of our lives.
As I continue to look back, there is one Scripture that has given much hope with regards to a stretch of 7 years that I sometimes wish I could go back and change, or at least forget. But the Lord is in the process of “restoring those years that the locusts have eaten,” (Joel 2:25) taking away the numbness, and giving me a heart that can once again sense and experience joy.
I have come to know the reality of Philippians 4:7. “And the peace of God which transcends all understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.” Throughout a recent health crisis, the Lord gave me, an uptight and fretful person, that peace that I cannot even begin to describe. My heart and mind remained calm and unafraid even though I didn’t know what the outcome would be. It was a wonderful gift for a stormy time.
Many blessings have come my way as I have grown older:
- I treasure morning walks with a good friend, and especially the serendipitous prayer times that sometimes occur before we go our separate ways for the day.
- I am so thankful my piano and music, which can calm a troubled soul or lift a tired and weary heart.
- I have the blessing of living in such a beautiful part of God’s creation.
- There is the blessing of friends in whom I can confide.
- Our children and their spouses have been a great source of ‘good’ pride.
- Some of our greatest blessings (7 of them) call us Nana & Papa 😊
- Being retired means I can connect with my blessings and enjoy them more often.
Although I am a behind-the-scenes person, my desire is to remain faithful and obedient, to give those cups of cold water in Jesus’ Name. (Mark 9:41)
Two favourite quotes that spur me on and shake away spiritual lethargy:
“The hands of the Almighty are often found at the ends of our arms.” – Sister Monica Joan in Call the Midwife
“When you are in a dark place,
you sometimes tend to think
you’ve been buried …
Perhaps you have been planted!
(from a Glass Sky post)
Looking to the future has a different slant these days. I want my senior years to be marked by the presence of Christ, and the Holy Spirit working in and through me. Then, I have learned, is when I am truly well.
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Debbie Michaud says
Excellent, very uplifting in this time of my life. Wonderful to know that I am not the only one with struggles and battles. In the dark and dry times special friends also lift me up in prayer and provide much needed encouragement. Claiming Gods word is so powerful when you are just hanging on 2 Samuel 22:31 “ Gods way is perfect. All the Lords promises prove true. He is a shield for all who look to Him for protection.”
Thank you Roxie for sharing.
Nancy DeMerchant says
Hi Roxie (I always called you Mrs. Cheney). What a beautiful and inspiring post. I appreciated each word. I’m only a few years behind you but share the same heart desires. Encouraging read for me today, Jan 2, 2019.