Thursday, 17 June 2010

waiting and resting vs/and ministering?

16 June 2010

This poem was posted this morning on an e-group I belong to. I first encountered the poem about 10 years ago, and reading it again today brought back many memories, and reflections...

Sit still, my daughter! Just sit calmly still!
Nor deem these days--these waiting days--as ill!

The One who loves thee best, who plans thy way,
Hath not forgotten thy great need today!
And, if He waits, 'tis sure He waits to prove
To thee, His tender child, His heart's deep love.

Sit still, my daughter! Just sit calmly still!
Thou longest much to know thy dear Lord's will!
While anxious thoughts would almost steal their way
Corrodingly within, because of His delay
Persuade thyself in simple faith to rest
That He, who knows and loves, will do the best.

Sit still, my daughter! Just sit calmly still!
Nor move one step, not even one, until
His way hath opened. Then, ah then, how sweet!
How glad thy heart, and then how swift thy feet

Thy inner being then, ah then, how strong!
And waiting days not counted then too long.
Sit still, my daughter! Just sit calmly still!
What higher service could'st thou for Him fill?

'Tis hard! ah yes! But choicest things must cost!
For lack of losing all how much is lost!
'Tis hard, 'tis true! But then--He giveth grace
To count the hardest spot the sweetest place.
--J. D. Smith

I first ran into this poem when I had 5 teenagers at home, and my husband worked out in logging camp. He would be gone for many weeks at a time, so I really had a houseful of teenagers (and, for a time, one grandchild, and his daddy, and sometimes other teenagers who needed a place to stay…) all living together in a double-wide trailer… and I felt as though I had no opportunity to do “ministry” for the Lord … of course I was thinking that “ministry” and “God’s will for me” was something “important” like being on a “church worship team” (which isn’t even biblical, lol… neither the worship team, nor that particular concept of “ministry”…). Looking back, I realize that of course I had a huge ministry right there in my little home. (The few times I kind of realized it, though, at the time, I felt like I was a terrible failure… perhaps a “controllable ministry” like “leading worship” – which I now know only the Spirit can “lead” – seemed more appealing, oh dear).

Anyway, the Lord sent that poem along at that time, and I clung to it for a long time. Now I only have my husband and son at home … and I expect son will be moving out soon… and here again I find myself wondering about what “ministry” He might have for me, what “His will” for me might be… And the poem comes along again. Again He calls me to sit still… And I have come to realize that the “sitting still” is part and parcel of His will. That “His will” is not something future to strive for, but is whatever He places in my path this very moment, every moment. That “ministry” is really “service” … service to My God, to His family, and to all He has created – service that is Him reaching out to me and through me to others. And that service involves regularly sitting quietly at His feet, adoring Him, listening to Him, coming to KNOW HIM, abiding quietly in Him and opening my heart to allow Him to abide in me. To be Mary rather than busy Martha. Because Mary’s way is the foundation, the “better way” – the only way, really. If I have not spent much time in the Mary mode, then all the hustle and bustle of the Martha mode, however well intentioned, however much admired by others, is ME operating. And I want nothing to do with that. I have to give up all that is from ME. I want to come to a place where I am truly ABIDING IN HIM. And then whatever I do WILL BE HIS WILL.

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