It is Well with my Soul BYU Vocal Point

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

The Winter of my Faith

Moments ago, I was reading through some of my more recent blogs and thinking over the fact of my faith....and I found that some of the Habits of Holiness have fallen by the wayside here in my room, from which I seldom am able to leave. I don't do "church talk" very well anymore. And whether or not I say "damn" has become less and less important....But some things have remained. Important things. And they are being drilled deeper and deeper into my soul like an oil well coring the center of the earth.


The following is a quote from Richard Foster's book: Prayer: Finding the Heart's True Home.

Winter preserves and strengthens a tree. Rather than expending its strength on the exterior surface, its sap is forced deeper and deeper into its interior depth. In winter, a tougher, more resilient life is firmly established.....So often we hide our true condition with the surface virtues of pious activity, but, once the leaves of our frantic pace drop away, the transforming power of a wintery spirituality can have effect.

To the outward eye everything looks barren and unsightly. Our many defects, flaws, weaknesses, and imperfections stand out in bold relief. But only the outward virtues have collapsed; the principle of virtue is actually being strengthened. The soul is venturing forth into the interior. Real, solid, enduring virtues begin to develop deep within. Pure love is being birthed.

I just read this ....and thought. "Wow. This is exactly what I was just worried about moments earlier;" --the fact that I can no longer "DO"....I have to just "BE"....and I'm finding that I have less and less time for those "exterior virtues" Foster mentioned. This is meat and guts. I'm stripped of my leaves....all that I am I let hang out for you to see...the good, the bad , and the ugly. I cannot buy my holiness with service. It has to be carved from the faith and hope and love born of suffering. It isn't always pretty or what you might consider "religious"...but it's real.

Pain is the chisel.
And I have endured both physical and mental agonies. And last night I was crying out to Jesus in the midst of that, and a song came on from my playlist. Here are the words to that song (sung and written by Ginny Owens, a blind musician)

If You Want Me To"

The pathway is broken
And The signs are unclear
And I don't know the reason why You brought me here
But just because You love me the way that You do
I'm gonna walk through the valley
If You want me to

Cause I'm not who I was
When I took my first step
And I'm clinging to the promise You're not through with me yet
so if all of these trials bring me closer to you
Then I will walk through the fire
If You want me to

It may not be the way I would have chosen
When you lead me through a world that's not my home
But You never said it would be easy
You only said I'd never go alone

So When the whole world turns against me
And I'm all by myself
And I can't hear You answer my cries for help
I'll remember the suffering Your love put You through
And I will go through the valley If You want me to

And I cried.
Because that is exactly the song my heart was singing....but I just had forgotten the words.
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