Of all the instances that could have turned a difficult night into one of encouragement, there were two which the Lord pretty obviously set in place. For one thing, my boyfriend was very honest and gracious in his words, but also harsh when he was telling me the truth of the situation. And let's be really candid here--I need brutal honesty sometimes, and last night in the bathroom was one of those times. It was one of those key moments in which the Lord showed me a measure of His grace when He didn't have to. He didn't have to bless my life, bring me encouragement during times when my own sinful responses are exposed, but He did. And He does so everyday--oh, how often I miss it and go about without a thankful heart.
Even before the breakdown, I was blessed with a rather unexpected surprise. My dear friend Gretchen suddenly stopped by my apartment on her way to the grocery store. She came by with the most thoughtful gift I could have imagined--a copy of Valley of Vision. Not only had she bought herself a copy, but she intentionally purchased one for me with the hopes that we could read through some of the prayers and petitions therein together. I really almost started crying, and in fact, had the setting been a little different (standing in the entryway of my apartment with the dogs trying to knock us over), I probably would have responded much more emotionally than I did. I am overwhelmed by the grace given through friends sometimes. What made the gift funny was that I had just been thinking of buying the book yesterday as well, and I DID just minutes before Gretchen. I had even looked for her when I initially went into the bookstore, but forgot that she was working in the back. So when she showed up at my doorstep with something so meaningful, I was almost speechless at the goodness of the Lord shown through such dear kindred spirits. As I was going to sleep last night, after the priceless gift, after the harsh comments I was dealt, after having to endure the surprise on my shoe, after crying all over myself, after hearing the words of truth from my boyfriend, I put my head down on the pillow and was thankful. I asked the Lord's forgiveness for the ways in which I had sinned, the thoughts that were reactionary rather than edifying, and I was thankful. He is good and His mercy endures forever. How easy it is to sing or speak these, yet how unfathomable they really are.
Give me a deeper trust,
that I may lose myself to find myself in Thee, the ground of my rest, the spring
of my being. Give me a deeper knowledge of Thyself as saviour, master, lord, and
king. Give me deeper power in private prayer, more sweetness in Thy Word, more
steadfast grip on its truth. Give me deeper holiness in speech, thought, action,
and let me not seek moral virtue apart from Thee.
Plough deep in me, great
Lord, heavenly husbandman, that my being may be a tilled field, the roots of
grace spreading far and wide, until Thou alone art seen in me, Thy beauty golden
like summer harvest, Thy fruitfulness as autumn plenty.
I have no master but
Thee, no law but Thy will, no delight but Thyself, no wealth but that Thou
givest, no good but that Thou blessest, no peace but that Thou bestowest. I am
nothing but that Thou makest me. I have nothing but that I receive from Thee. I
can be nothing but that grace adorns me.~from Valley of Vision,