Lake Isle of Innisfree

I WILL arise and go now, and go to Innisfree,
And a small cabin build there, of clay and wattles made;
Nine bean rows will I have there, a hive for the honey bee,
And live alone in the bee-loud glade.

And I shall have some peace there, for peace comes dropping slow,
Dropping from the veils of the morning to where the cricket sings;
There midnight’s all a glimmer, and noon a purple glow,
And evening full of the linnet’s wings.

I will arise and go now, for always night and day
I hear lake water lapping with low sounds by the shore;
While I stand on the roadway, or on the pavements gray,
I hear it in the deep heart’s core.

~ William Butler Yeats

Drop-off!

I was weighed down with two large bags of library books and DVD’s in one hand with Emmy’s hand in the other in the library parking lot yesterday.

After going clumsily, and for my arm, painfully, through two sets of doors, we finally arrived at the book and media drop. I felt the bags grow lighter with the removal of each item. What a relief it was to put the one empty bag inside the other and make my way with my daughter to the children’s room.

The thought struck me that I often carry bags of burdens with me unnecessarily. So many things to be concerned about, so little time, has been my life’s motto. Despite knowing intellectually that God has given me a way to lighten the load each day, I often carry them myself anyway.

The old song says, “…O what peace we often forfeit, O what needless pain we bear,
All because we do not carry everything to God in prayer.” It’s true. How many hours have I wasted and how much joy have I forfeited because I was brooding over what I couldn’t change anyway? Never once has a worry or concern that I carried ever gotten better because I had it in my possession. The heavy bags of care only sag my shoulders with the weight I am not equipped to handle.

But as we hand over each successive care to the Lord for His keeping, like my bags of library books, the weight grows lighter and lighter, and so does the state of our hearts.

We sometimes have to head repeatedly for the drop-off place for our burdens. Otherwise life will freshly load us down with troubling news or new developments. We have to refuse to carry them an inch. The drop-off slot is as near as God’s ear. In prayer, we can shift the burdens to the One who has promised us that His yoke is easy and his burden, light.

If you are carrying bags of care today, head for the drop-off spot in prayer, and enjoy the relief it can bring.

‘Pastures of Tender Grass and Waters of Rest’

This post is dedicated to all who are sad, exhausted, hurting, confused and grieving in what seems like an endless desert of pain.

He shall feed His flock like a shepherd; and He shall gather the lambs
with His arm, and carry them in His bosom, and gently lead those that are
with young. (Isaiah 40:11)

Come unto Him, all ye that labour, come unto Him that are heavy laden, and
He will give you rest. Take His yoke upon you, and learn of Him, for He
is meek and lowly of heart, and ye shall find rest unto your souls.
(Matthew 11:28-29)

Pastures Of Tender Grass And Waters Of Rest 

By F.B. Meyer, from The Shepherd Psalm

“He maketh me to lie down
In green pastures:
He leadeth me beside the still waters.”

In this sweet pastoral symphony, the first verse gives the air, when it tells us that there is no want to the man who lives under the shepherd care of God. In the succeeding verses the harmony is worked out, and the music in all its completeness is rendered effectively.

The first want which, according to this verse, he who belongs to Christ shall never know, is the want of rest. This verse breathes the very spirit of rest, as is even more apparent in a more literal rendering of the words. It may be rendered thus: “He maketh me to lie down in pastures of tender grass: He leadeth me beside the waters of rest.”

What a delightful scene is thus conjured up before our fancy! It is the scorching hour of an Eastern noon. The air is stifling with fever-heat, and all the landscape is baking in the awful glare. The very stones upon the hills burn the feet that touch them. At such a time woe be to the flock without a shepherd; and to the shepherd who cannot find the blue shade of some great rock, the shelter of some bushy dell, or the rich and luscious pasturage of some lowland vale!

But there is no such failure here. See where the pellucid stream is rolling its tide through the level plain. Higher upward in its bed, when it was starting on its course, it foamed and fretted over its rocky channel, leaped from ledge to ledge, chafed against its restraining banks, and dashed itself into a mass of froth and foam. No sheep would have drank of it then; for the flocks will never drink of turbid or ruffled streams. But now it sweeps quietly onward, as if it were asleep, there is hardly a ripple on its face; every flower, and tree, and sedge, as well as the overhanging banks, is clearly mirrored on its surface, and every stone in its bed may be clearly seen; on its banks the pasture is always green and luxuriant, carpeted in spring by a thousand flowers; the very air is cooled by its refreshing presence, and the ear is charmed by the music of its purling waters. No drought can come where that river flows; and the flocks, satisfied by browsing on the tender grass, lie down satisfied and at rest.

We All Need Rest

There must be pauses and parentheses in all our lives. The hand cannot ever be plying its toils. The brain cannot always be elaborating trains of thought. The faculties and senses cannot always be on the strain. To work without rest is like over winding a watch; the mainspring snaps, and the machinery stands still. There must be a pause frequently interposed in life’s busy rush wherein we can recuperate exhausted nerves and lowered vitality. There is more permanence than many think in the commandment which bids us rest one day in seven.

But there is no part of our nature that cries more urgently for rest than our spiritual life. The spirit of man, like the dove, cannot always be wandering with unresting wing; it must alight. We cannot ever be travelling up the rugged mountain pass of difficulty, or traversing the burning marl of discontent. We must be able to lie down in green pastures, or to pass gently along the waters of rest. There are three things needed ere sheep or human spirits can rest. Continue reading

Resting…

I have just received a biography of the beloved Christian hymnwriter and sister in Christ from the 19th century, Frances Ridley Havergal. I will be sharing more about the biography later, but I wanted to share this poem from Havergal’s book, Loyal Responses.

Resting on the faithfulness of Christ our Lord
Resting on the fulness of His own sure word,
Resting on His power on His love untold;
Resting on His covenant secured of old.

Resting and believing, let us unward press;
Resting in Himself, the Lord our Righteousness;
Resting and rejoicing, let His saved ones sing,
Glory, glory, glory be to Christ our King.

–Frances Ridley Havergal