Last night we went to an NHL hockey game. Deafening noise. Full house. Fast game with only a few fights and penalties, but lots of action and double-digit scores. Our home team didn’t play as well as they can, but the faithful fans raised their voices regardless. Each close shot, each call, each body check brought vibrations in waves from the stands. I felt strangely part of it and alone in it—at the same time.
Yesterday brought other noises that were far less like ‘team-support’ and far more disturbing. My husband spoke about feeling a “long-term fatigue.” This is a warning sign. His cancer is an attack to his immune system and his doctor said to beware of encroaching fatigue. Stress.
We also heard our granddaughter. She refuses to get what she calls a “no-end, part-time job,” saying that is beneath her. She wants to ‘start at the top’ and instead of making plans to get work, she has no plans, no purpose, therefore no hope, and sits around complaining about her no-end life. No one, not even her doctors, can convince her that her thinking needs updating. Stress.
Many people in this world live under far greater pressures, but for me, these two are very taxing. On one hand the future threatens. On the other, there seems to be no future.
Today, I ask the Lord what He wants of me. I cannot control my husband’s health. I seem to have no influence on our granddaughter’s decisions and choices. All I can do is what I can do, but what is that? I’m praying, taking care of my responsibilities, what else?
He sent me to this verse in Song of Solomon: “O my dove, in the clefts of the rock, in the secret places of the cliff, let me see your face, let me hear your voice; for your voice is sweet, and your face is lovely.”
This verse could mean that He is saying I am His dove with a sweet voice and a lovely face, but the opposite is certainly true; His voice is sweet, His face is lovely. Why is it then that spending face-to-face time with Jesus takes an enormous amount of personal discipline? I can pray, but this is different than just talking to Him. Those who pray know what I mean.
Even now, as I face the extremes of one situation with a frightening end in sight, and another with no end in sight, the thing on my mind is perhaps to offer my requests, but more to just simply hide. Something in me resists going to that secret place where Jesus can see my face and hear my voice, where I can see His face and hear His voice. This intimacy seems so dreadfully difficult.
Yet He bids me to come, to spend intimate time with Him. I need to draw near, to go where I can hear Him and He can hear me, without distraction, in that secret cleft in the rock, and remember again that He is my fortress and my hiding place.