May 6, 2012

glimmers of hope

Sometimes, when you're too weak to stand, when you're too weak even to ask for help, friends will come and put your arms around their shoulders and lift you up.

Those are God's shoulders.

Sometimes, when you're too tired to keep back the tears, and they fall to your shame, friends will see, and wipe them for you, with their own hands.

Those are God's hands.

Sometimes, when your own heart is too weary to know the way, friends will beg God on your behalf, pouring their hearts into their prayers.

That is God's heart.

"For this is what the Sovereign Lord says: I myself will search for my sheep and look after them.  As a shepherd looks after his scattered flock when he is with them, so will I look after my sheep. I will rescue them from all the places where they were scattered on a day of clouds and darkness.  
"I will search for the lost and bring back the strays. I will bind up the injured and strengthen the weak, but the sleek and the strong I will destroy.  I will shepherd the flock with justice.  I will make a covenant of peace with them and rid the land of savage beasts so that they may live in the wilderness and sleep in the forests in safety.  
"I will make them and the places surrounding my hill a blessing.  I will send down showers in season; there will be showers of blessing."  (from Ezekiel 34)

The quality of mercy is not strain'd,
It droppeth as the gentle rain from heaven
Upon the place beneath. It is twice blest:
It blesseth him that gives and him that takes.
(Shakespeare, Merchant of Venice)

For [God] says to Moses, “I will have mercy on whom I have mercy,  and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion.”  It does not, therefore, depend on human desire or effort, but on God’s mercy.               (Romans 9:15-16)

[words from an old hymn I remember my mother singing in church]

There shall be showers of blessing:  
This is the promise of love.
There shall be seasons refreshing,
Sent from the Savior above.

There shall be showers of blessing;
Send them upon us, O Lord.
Grant to us now a refreshing;
Come and now honor Your Word.

There shall be showers of blessing; 
O that today they might fall,
Now as to God we're confessing,
Now as on Jesus we call!

Showers of blessing,
Showers of blessing we need.
Mercydrops round us are falling,
But for the showers we plead.

(Daniel W. Whittle)

"Mercydrops 'round us are falling, but for the showers we plead ..."

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