“Let no unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.” Ephesians 4:29
A couple of weeks ago, we hiked Choquequirao. It was difficult. My muscles ached. It was a long way up and down and up and down on uneven rocky trails. I was in need of encouragement. Before we began the hike, God had been instructing me quietly in
I lift up my eyes to the mountains—
where does my help come from?
My help comes from the Lord,
the maker of heaven and earth.
He will not let your foot slip—
He who watches over you will not slumber;
indeed, he who watches over Israel
will neither slumber nor sleep.
The Lord watches over you—
the Lord is your shade at your right hand;
the sun will not harm you by day, nor the moon by night.
The Lord will keep you from all harm—
he will watch over your life;
the Lord will watch over your coming and going
both now and forevermore.
As Annie pointed out when I tried to quote these verses to her and Sarah, God did let our foot slip. True. But He was watching all our comings and goings. At one point, Will was walking alongside me, while I s-l-o-w-l-y made my way up the hill, having GI troubles and feeling dreadful, when we got word on the walkie-talkie that Sarah was feeling discouraged and tired up ahead. Will left me to go help Sarah and Peter, and I felt like God told me that He was my helper, that He would get me up the hill. I rested and prayed and then I got a miraculous second wind. He gave me fresh breezes, shade, and energy. I felt His accompaniment in tangible way.
The following week, we were driving through desert landscapes on the way to Lima, and I was looking out the window, wondering what the future holds for our family. Where would we be? What new challenges would we face? What would schooling be like for our kids? We were listening to John Mark McMillan (“Future/Past”):
You are my first
You are my last
You are my future and my past
My future is a PERSON, not a set of circumstances. That brought a wave of peace, cool peace.
A couple of days ago, Will linked to an article by David Brooks about Christian college education. Then he posted a section about love. I have been meditating on allowing God to unite Will and I into a single tree, letting go of my identity to become part of a greater whole.
This morning, I was cooking and listening to Josh Garrels’s “At the Table” and I got teary singing along:
Come on home, home to me
And I will hold you in my arms
and joyful be.
There will always, always be
a place for you at my table
Return to me
The purposes of this blog post are multiple: to thank and praise God for speaking to us. He does not leave us in silence. I hope you will be inspired to speak or write words of life. I want to be able to quote poetry, but song lyrics are as close as I get right now, so I celebrate the poetry of songwriters. Finally, I desire to give personal testimony to the power of specific words and to pass them along, lest you too should need the encouragement.