Tag Archives: hesed

midnight prayer

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Jesus

There’s no real place to begin. You are great. Thank you for reminding me of your unfailing love; love this isn’t determined by my performance, or even my attitude in approaching or obeying. I feel so inadequate, but I know that’s a lie. I am inadequate, but I’m also dead. You are the One alive in me; I have been crucified and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. You have blessed me with every spiritual blessing, including the strength to obey when I’m out of my league (because you are never out of Yours), and the Spirit to align my heart with yours. Holy Spirit, please do so. In my innermost being I long to worship Jesus in Spirit and Truth. Pierce through the division of soul and spirit, of joints and marrow; discern the thoughts and intentions of my heart. Search me, O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts! See if there be any grievous way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting! O God, how I need you. I need you for survival. I need you for satisfaction. I have tasted and seen, and now where else can I go? Thank you for never giving up on me, for never relenting in your pursuit of my heart. You have captured me, and your fetters of love will never let me go, no matter how hard I fight against and no matter how passive I become. You are the one who is holding me. It’s amazing. It’s my only hope. And, because of this, I will be singing of You forever. Forever.

I lay my prideful obsession with others’ approval at your feet. It’s all the same war, which you have already won, and yet I still try to pick up my wooden sword and flirt with the sin that only has my death intended. Help me to remember that amplification of myself is only resulting in death. Give me spiritual discipline and endurance to fight against this body of death and walk in newness of life, in step with Your Spirit.

I trust you have gone before me and I know you go with me.

maranatha: Hesed, Day 7

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“’Here is my servant, whom I uphold, my chosen one in whom I delight; I will put my Spirit on him, and he will bring justice to the nations. He will not shout or cry out, or raise his voice in the streets. A bruised reed he will not break, and a smoldering wick he will not snuff out. In faithfulness he will bring forth justice; he will not falter or be discouraged till he establishes justice on earth. In his teaching the islands will put their hope.’” Is 42.1-4

A woman in my church has asked me to put together my testimony to share as part of the next women’s retreat, and whenever I look back on the 21+ years I’ve lived so far, one of the very first things that comes to mind is one of my favorite truth’s about God: Hesed, the love that will not let me go. I see the Lord’s Hesed everywhere in my life; in the fact that after being accepted into nursing school I have successfully finished the third of four semesters (of the hardest scholastic challenge I’ve ever faced); in the blessing of having a beautiful studio apartment provided for me for the past 1.5 years, made affordable by the enduring love of consistently self-sacrificing friends; in the ever-deepening friendship that’s developing between my best friend/sister and I. And I see it in this Advent passage as well. In faithfulness he will bring forth justice… he will not falter or be discouraged… So often, so so often I have felt like an island. Distant. Helpless. Too far away for hope of contact, much less intervention. But He is Hesed, and He is my source of hope.

maranatha: Immanuel means Faithful, Day 2

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“The Lord himself will give you the sign. Look! The virgin will conceive a child! She will give birth to a son and will call him Immanuel (which means “God is with us”). By the time this child is old enough to choose what is right and reject what is wrong, he will be eating yogurt and honey.” Isaiah 7.14-15

Inserted in a stream of prophecy concerning the coming destruction of the nation of Israel, this little Messianic promise is read much like a back-handed compliment. Israel’s King Ahaz has been disobeying the Lord, and when confronted with his disbelief, he fakes piety by refusing to “test the Lord like that” (v. 12). Bible commentator Matthew Henry writes this concerning the passage:

“The unbelief of man shall not make the promise of God no effect; the Lord himself shall give a sign. Despite your great distress and danger, of you the Messiah is to be born, and you cannot be destroyed while that blessing is in you. It shall be brought to pass in a glorious manner.”

Fully cognizant of the deep heart-rebellion that cannot be hidden, the all-seeing, all-knowing God remains faithful to his promise to Abraham: the whole world will be blessed through the fruit of the Jewish line (Gen 22:18). This idea of Hesed always brings my heart to its knees; God is faithful, no matter the outside circumstances that seem impossible, and regardless of my wandering-heart choices of pure rebellion. One of my favorite verses has been circulating in my mind recently:

“If we are unfaithful, he remains faithful, for he cannot deny who he is.” 2 Timothy 2.13

When I am once again brought face-to-face with the overwhelming grace of God’s unfailing faithfulness to me, my soul cannot help but echo the conclusion Matthew Henry proclaims:

“The strongest consolations in time of trouble are derived from Christ, our relation to him, our interest in him, our expectations of him and from him.”

“God with me” means his constant faithfulness in my life, and the ever-flowing promise of his continuous presence, bringing life, hope, identity and grace.