“So I lay my head back down,
and I lift my hands and pray
to be only Yours
I pray to be only Yours.
I know now you're my only hope...”
Mandy Moore's "Only Hope" perfectly characterizes a shift in my heart.
Without realizing it, I think I've often put my hopes in people, circumstances, hard-work. In a particular person's track record of kindness or reliability, a clear-cut strategy for success, a willingness to "put in the time" as a means-to-an-end. But this summer I started to see a change in the basis of my hopes, at the deepest level.
And by August, I'd begun to notice that this scripture, from Psalms, was returning to me, repeatedly, throughout my days...and nights:"Why art thou cast down, O my soul?
and why art thou disquieted in me?
hope thou in God..."
But I wasn't cast down, or disquieted...at all. I was more peaceful than I could remember being...ever.
One night, as I lay in the dark listening to psalm looping through my heart...over-and-over-again...I started to make a connection. Instead of thinking of it as a encouragement, an admonition, to "hope thou in God," I realized that God was telling me why I felt so deeply peaceful. At some point, without being conscious of it, I had given up all hope in anything but God.
Somewhere along the way, I'd stopped thinking that if I made the right choices in companions, found myself perfectly poised on the right thought, in just the right "place" for reaping the benefits of goodness, worked harder than ever before...at relationships, projects, prayers...my hopes had a better chance of working out.
I remember one beautiful Colorado sunshine-on-my-shoulders day when a friend said, "I sure hope "mutual friend A" is going to come through on their promise to "mutual friend B." And thinking, quite dispassionately, "I don't..." My hope wasn't founded on a knowledge of the situation, of either friend's reliability, or the history of their relationship. All my hopes were planted firmly in God. My only hope was that God's plan would be clear to everyone. or as Isaiah promised:"The glory of the Lord shall be revealed,
and all flesh shall see it together:
for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it."It wasn't that I'd stopped thinking that man was good, faithful, loving, obedient...no, it was that I realized that my only hope in man, came from an understanding of God, and His character, nature, faithfulness. And this "hope in Him," is the golden thread of peace that has woven itself through the tapestry of my every thought, prayer, desire.
It is what makes Mary Baker Eddy's "Daily Prayer" so practical and worthy of compete trust and surrender:
"Thy kingdom come,
let the reign of divine Truth, Life, and Love
be established in me,
and rule out of me all sin.
And may Thy Word,
enrich the affections of all mankind,
and govern them."It doesn't matter whether it is my best friend, or a stranger. A perfect place ripe with promise, or a barren desert of human desires, whether I'm working hard, or unconscious in a fetal position alone in the middle of the woods. As Eddy encourages in her poem, Satisfied:
"It matters not
what be thy lot,
so Love doth guide.
For storm or shine,
pure peace is thine,
whate'er betime...."Storm or shine, I have the right to be at peace. I am not waiting for...hoping for...a promising weather pattern, or a better forecast. All that matters is my understanding of Him. Of God. He is governing the universe with precision, moving all things into place, enriching our affections according to His perfect plan.
This is my only hope. This is my resting place. This is my land of peace. This is the kingdom of heaven I live in. This is the Truth that lives in me. It is the song that has been re-written on the tablet of my being.
"I know now
You're my only hope."
Wednesday, August 29, 2012
"You're my only hope...."
“So I lay my head back down,