Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Hide and Seek (08/07/08)
TITLE: Heart Cry - A Contemporary Psalm
By Beth Muehlhausen
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O Lord of all Creation, You loved me sacrificially so I could love You; so I could offer my entire heart, soul, mind, and strength in return. You sought me, wooed me, and won me. You called me into an intimate relationship with Yourself.
Now I am hidden in You, Lord … in Your humility, shame, rejection … Your anguish, pain, suffering … Your glorification and holiness and perfection. I have died. My life is now in You.
Somehow I am still in the world, and yet You are my hiding place, my refuge.
All else has become obscure and meaningless. The fiery darts of the Adversary cannot obliterate me here. The rejection of scoffers, the despair of loneliness, the frustration of disappointment, the disabling of wounds and disease … they are limited and bow to Your will.
I am safe because You love me. You are my God.
Death slashes its knives and bares its teeth in an attempt to threaten me. But it lives in darkness; it cannot see me. It cannot approach You, for You are Light.
Rebellion plots to deceive me, but is cast into the fiery flames of consequence.
Sadness stalks me; it snarls and nips vengefully. You hold it at bay.
Anger rallies its demonic armies as if to strike a disabling blow to my soul, but You are my shield.
Fear taunts me, hoping to manipulate my emotions, waiting for a port of entry. It cannot find a way past the guardian of my heart: the Holy Spirit.
Resentment throws missals of agony. They self-extinguish.
And yet the threat and reality of evil mysteriously wars within and without, hoping to confound my faith and trust in You. Like Job, I wrestle with various measures of pain, and yet am not crushed or forsaken. I am not driven to despair. I am not destroyed.
For this reason I rejoice in my physical and spiritual battles and the knowledge that Paradise must wait. For suffering requires persistence in grace, and such doggedness yields an honorable character producing an unshakable hope that anchors my soul.
You suffered voluntarily and innocently as the ultimate act of sacrificial love; why should not I? If I am hidden in You can I somehow share in Your suffering and thus also share in Your glory?
This is my quest: a holistic identity with You.
And so I praise You in the midst of both adversity and victory as I crouch in the cool shadow of your wings; as I bow in the shelter of your tabernacle.
You are my hiding place. It is a holy place. I am here only because You are here.
Others may join us, and yet You are the only one I seek with every breath, every step, and every thought.
The sun, wind, and rain warm, nourish, energize and enable earthly life - and yet I trust You to supernaturally meet both my obvious and unknown needs. This is because I am hidden with You in a different dimension.
I reach out my hand, an extension of my heart, and You touch it so gently, so mercifully - leaving a dusty guarantee, the pollinization of hope. Dust to dust … it promises to blossom and bear fruit before I return to You permanently for all eternity.
My heart rejoices, for it is full. I have sought and found You. My search for You has matched Yours for me. I have been rewarded.
Your grace covers me. I rest secure.
I accept my place in the world; I accept my place in You. All else is untamed wilderness - stormy seas, thorny ground, and winds of chance or delusion that sweep through the darkened valleys of my heart to raze the countryside and distract me from the clarity of the mountaintop.
I expect You to hold me, shield me, provide for me, and challenge me to greater depths of submission, faith and love. I am content here.
One day I will exit this cocoon. I will tear through the parched shell of earthly life and find myself transformed.
This is true not because I seek my own destiny, but because You sought me and hid me in Yourself for eternity. My fate is sealed.
You have searched me; You know me. Your love endures forever.
All praise and honor are Yours, O Lord.
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