My heart has heard you say,
“Come and talk with me.”
And my heart responds,
“LORD, I am coming.”
When our kids were in first and second grade, we attended a Joe Scruggs children’s folk music concert—and were hooked. Dan and I loved the songs as much as the kids did. That was prior to our Internet access, and I don’t recall how I’d hear about a new release, but would order it just as soon as I knew. We kept all the cassette tapes in the mini-van and they were practically the only music we ever played.
I was a little sad when the kids grew past them—because I don’t think I ever did. The lyrics were timeless in so many ways and I was thrilled to discover last year that they’re still available on CD. So I ordered Faith Cora AND myself each a set. Ostensibly mine were to play when she’s with me—but who’s to say what I can or can’t listen to when I’m alone 🙂 ; and it amused me to no end when my sister, whose kids had also listened to them years ago, wanted a set for herself. They are, as she said, reminders of happy times.
In the years between back then and now, Joe continued to produce music; and my new current favorite CD is “Garden of the Lord”. If I were musically inclined, and anybody who has ever stood beside me in congregational singing knows that I AM NOT, but if I were, “New Day” could have been written and sung by me.
By Joe Scruggs
“I have always loved the early morning time.
It’s quiet and I talk to God and pray what’s on my mind.
It’s the time of day just before the stars have all gone dim.
I think He’s smiling down on us and I’m just smiling back at Him.
And I love to sing in the morning
When the sun is just below the horizon line
Because I know in the glow that a New Day is coming.
And there is joy in this heart of mine.
Heaven it would be if joy were all I had to know
But in this earthly life that’s not how it goes.
His abiding love helps me live this life’s reality.
Joy and sorrow know each other, and joy and sorrow both know me.
But I will sing His praises in the morning.
Though sorrow might be my company.
Because His love is so great
And through my heartache,
I see his New Day just waiting there for me.
Through mountaintops and valleys this life seems to go.
And all the blessings I’ve received I’m sure I’ll never know.
And with this song I honor God for all that He has done.
I turn my face to feel His grace
With every New Day’s sun…”
I suspect it’s the intent of folk music to touch the heart, I don’t really know; I just know that it touches something deep inside of me. The words about joy and sorrow knowing each other; and joy and sorrow both knowing me are so true.
During the first few years following Dan’s death, everywhere I looked I saw bittersweet; nothing, it seemed, was purely happy. In times like that it’s surely best to trust the wisdom of the Bright Morning Star who inspired these words:
…Weeping may last through the night,
but joy comes with the morning.
What a difference clouds make. When I fly, I like to sit by the window and take pictures of the cloud formations from above. It’s amazing how something made of mist can appear so solid and substantial from a distance.
The 2014 – 2015 tetrad of four blood moons has been so interesting to follow. I was totally awed by the first one—and very disappointed when clouds blocked my view of the last three.
Sitting outside with my camera last night, I knew the moon’s location because I could see a diffused bright area behind the clouds—I just couldn’t see the moon. Even though I’ve seen the moon in that particular place thousands of times, and knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that it was there—I still couldn’t see or take a picture of it.
However, my sister in Maryland had an un-obscured view of the moon and got some gorgeous pictures.
As I waited last night, I thought about God and how it’s sometimes hard to see him; especially when clouds of life block my view. Even when I’ve seen him in my life thousands of times, and know beyond a shadow of a doubt that he’s there—it’s still hard sometimes to see him.
But thank the LORD, his presence is totally unaffected by my ability or inability to see him.
And if I can believe there was a gorgeous blood moon displayed in the heavens last night—even though I didn’t see any part of it—then how much more can I believe he’s here—even when I don’t see him.
Your unfailing love, O LORD,
is as vast as the heavens;
your faithfulness reaches beyond the clouds.
The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.
He maketh me to lie down in green pastures:
he leadeth me beside the still waters.
He restoreth my soul:
he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness
for his name’s sake.
Yea, though I walk through
the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil:
for thou art with me;
thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.
Thou preparest a table before me
in the presence of mine enemies:
thou anointest my head with oil;
my cup runneth over.
Surely goodness and mercy
shall follow me all the days of my life:
and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.
Feeling the presence of God is wonderful, but what about the times that you don’t? What about the dreary dark days when you remember how it used to feel, but if your very existence depended upon it, you couldn’t regenerate the feelings?
A good friend gave me a copy of “Streams in the Desert” at the gathering following my husband’s funeral almost four years ago. The first year’s readings seemed harsh; they expected more of me than I had left inside. The next year somehow lighter; and each reading since has grown sweeter.
This year’s September 6th reading intrigued me. It talked about the difference between realizing and recognizing God’s unseen presence.
In order to realize and feel God’s unseen presence, something has to prompt me—a feeling, a physical condition or possibly even the weather.
But independent of all that, I can recognize and acknowledge God’s unseen presence simply by choosing to do so.
And what a powerful difference that makes.
God’s words to Jesus:
He also says to the Son,
“In the beginning, Lord,
you laid the foundation of the earth
and made the heavens with your hands.
They will perish, but you remain forever.
They will wear out like old clothing.
You will fold them up like a cloak
and discard them like old clothing.
But you are always the same;
you will live forever.”
So He remains—forever and always.
The heavens proclaim the glory of God.
The skies display his craftsmanship.
Day after day they continue to speak;
night after night they make him known.
They speak without a sound or word;
this voice is never heard.
Yet their message has gone throughout the earth,
and their words to all the world.