Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Here's My Heart, O Take And Seal It, Seal It For Thy Courts Above...

The 3 of us together for the first time in 3 years
   For the past month or so my life has been impacted most by the lyrics of one of my favorite hymns, Come Thou Fount. Even though the words to this beloved hymn are over 200 years old they still hold a very important message, and lately, the message of my heart that I couldn't find the words to communicate.
    As the holiday season is upon us I have been blessed to have my entire family here for Thanksgiving over the past week. My brother and his girlfriend arrived from NY about 2 weeks ago and the day my sister, her husband, and my adorable little niece arrived was the first time in 3 years that all 3 of us siblings have been in the same place together. It was wonderful to have both of my siblings, and their families, around the table and was my first Thanksgiving home since I left for the apprentice program back in 2008. Through all the joy, laughter, wedding preparations for Sammi, and adjusting to this new family dynamic of having 8 instead of 5 one thing kept nagging at me, a feeling of discontentment, a feeling that something was missing because I didn't have that extra someone to share the holiday with. I know none of the comments made over the week everyone was here were intentional, but I took each one personally. Comments like "we'll send everyone out in couples for pictures" and the fact that I was the only one who didn't have someone to sit next to at Thanksgiving dinner. But in my quiet moments alone reading, or enjoying singing my way through an old hymnal, I've been hearing my Heavenly Lover speaking to me clearer than ever before.
    The best way to describe how I've been feeling lately is a hunger I can't fulfill, an ache I can't heal, and a void I can't fill. A longing to know a young man and be loved and wanted by him like my sister and her husband, or my brother and his girl, that I must patiently sit and wait to be fulfilled in God's timing, however long that may be. Recently I have been reading my battle worn copy of Passion and Purity by Elizabeth Elliot. During her struggle of waiting for Jim she wrote this quote in her journal, it's originally from S.D. Gordon's Quiet Talks On Prayer and goes like this; "Steadfastness, that is holding on; patience, that is holding back; expectancy, that is holding the face up; obedience, that is holding one's self in readiness to go or do; listening, that is holding quiet and still so as to hear." There isn't one character quality there that I haven't been struggling with immensely lately.
    Through this struggle I have to see a "snowflake" on the horizon in a beautiful picture I have never imagined before, the picture of what it means to "hunger and thirst after God". I should have this same ache and longing to spend time with my Creator, Abba, and Lord. Matthew 5:6 says "Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be filled." Paired with Psalms 107:9 "He satisfies the longing soul, and fills the hungry soul with goodness." I have a new promise to stand on. A promise that I've known for a long time, but one that never had "flesh on it" so to speak. My wandering heart, looking for fulfillment in a relationship with a young man, a human relationship that will never truly fill my soul, needs to be bound to my God with a hunger and longing for Him.

O to grace how great a debtor daily I'm constrained to be!
Let thy goodness, like a fetter, bind my wandering heart to thee:
Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it, prone to leave the God I love;
Here's my heart, O take and seal it; seal it for they courts above.