That line from the most recent cyberPsalm at Lingamish has been rumbling through my head since I read it.
When I recently learned some extremely difficult information with complicated implications for people I love deeply, I kept thinking about that plea for my surroundings to be redeemed.
When I sit surrounded by more “I don’t knows” than I do confidence in any form, my heart surges with a hopeful trust that my surroundings can be redeemed.
This morning I was in church. I didn’t really even want to be there. I’m weary. I have too much work, and I can’t seem to keep a good momentum going on it. I went to church anyway. I crept in a few minutes late, just as they started singing an opening compilation of choruses. The church I attend doesn’t usually sing choruses. And as I saw the list of songs, I was thinking about some of the dialogue going on in the blog circles I read about the quality of worship music. And I was thinking how these particular choruses could probably be seen and judged by many as having passed their prime: He is Lord. His Name is Wonderful. Majesty. I’ve been singing them for what, twenty years? Maybe longer.
But I was standing there, singing, and my heart was being strengthened. I was crying out, “O God, redeem my surroundings.” But I was also crying out in song, declaring affirmation after affirmation of what I believe to be true about the nature and character of this God I’m banking everything on. He is Lord. Wonderful. All glory, honor and praise is His. The Great Shepherd. Almighty God. The Rock of all Ages.
I’m counting on all those things to be true of the one I’m clinging to. Do I know without a shadow of a doubt that He will redeem my surroundings? No. But I realized again as I stood there and raised my voice in song and reaffirmed what I believe, that this really is my choice–to trust that He will. To wait on God. To hope in Him, without demands of how his redemption has to look, but with a confidence that says I will wait for that redemption and I will count on it. Because I believe and affirm and choose to follow this God. This Lord. This Wonderful and Majestic One. The God who has made Himself known. With words.
The written word. The Living Word. Jesus Christ, the same, yesterday, today and forever. The one who redeems. Me. My surroundings. Far as the curse is found. The curse is found pretty far and wide. I see it all around. My surroundings are touched by it in ways that make me want to cringe and close my eyes. But, in every part of my surroundings where the curse and the fall touches, His redemption also reaches there. I can open my eyes, weep for what I see around me, but still rejoice in the One I believe in. He is and will redeem my surroundings. His redemption reaches even here. More than that, He reaches here. He is here. Immanuel. God with us.
Even when I say that, I admit that I still feel discouraged. I still feel overwhelmed. I don’t know exactly what that means for me in this moment when the “I don’t knows” are still so numerous. When I’m still weary and overwhelmed and have piles of work to do. Affirming what I believe to be true about God and affirming my trust in Him does not mean it is easy. Like the various writers of the Psalms, my heart continues to cry out in anguish. But the cries are rooted in the realities touched on in the songs I sang this morning. And, somehow, that makes a difference.