You who know our fears and sadness,This last weekend, I came across Marty Haugen's CD "Turn My Heart" again, and it seemed that every song had some powerful meaning for me as I listened. But this classic hymn - one that is sung by Lutherans and Catholics and Christians of every flavor - just seemed to be Monday's prayer, somehow.
grace us with Your peace and gladness.
Spirit of all comfort, fill our hearts...
Healer of our every ill,
Light of each tomorrow,
Give us peace beyond our fear,
and hope beyond our sorrow.
(Marty Haugen, "Healer of Our Every Ill," in the Gather and With One Voice hymnals)
So many people I know - myself included - face some significant uncertainty in their lives. Several of my friends are struggling with their physical health, and there are loads of very natural concern about how each of them will face the next steps in their treatment.
Other friends are facing dramatic changes in their employment, their housing, and their careers - and it's hard for them not to find fear and doubt about how they will survive financially. Still others are facing a long road back from mental illness, and trying to re-establish credibility in a world that doesn't tolerate weakness or imperfection well.
That's why saying, "Spirit of all comfort, fill our hearts" is a powerful idea for me this morning. Earlier on Sunday evening, I needed to be graced with the gift of hope and encouragement, and not very long after I asked for it, I got it - in a phone call with a person nearly a thousand miles away.
In fact, every time that the darkness of trouble or challenge are turned back, I have had to look back and see so clearly how God has blessed me (and continues to bless me!) in every moment, despite the challenges that seem foremost in my life at the time.
Trusting in the One who said, "I will never forsake you," we pray this morning from our pain and our despairing to You, God of healing and of hope. Rekindle the flame of hope in each of us who despair, and lift up the feet of every person who stumbles.