Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Descend upon my heart

The music we sing at my church is hip and cool.  It's at the forefront of the worship music scene.  It's loud, and different, and people respond to it.  I love it!  
I also attend a weekly Bible study (BSF) where we do things a little more traditionally.  Every week we bust out those old red hymnals and sing along with words written hundreds of years ago.  
I love the contrast of the two groups for more than just the differences in music.  Maybe I'll tell you about that sometime.

Tonight at BSF, we sang a song called Spirit of God, Descend Upon My Heart.  It was written by George Croley in 1867.  Here is the fourth verse of that hymn:

Teach me to feel that Thou art always nigh
Teach me the struggles of the soul to bear
To check the rising doubt, the restless sigh
Teach me the patience of unanswered prayer

Seriously... Who asks for God to teach them patience through unanswered prayer?  That is crazy talk! But that verse jumped out and smacked me in the face because I've been spending a lot of my time in prayer lately asking God "what the HECK are you doing?!?"  I've been dealing with some hard things lately, and I don't anticipate them going away any time soon.  How might those trials be lifted if I were to learn to bear the struggles of the soul?  And how does one learn to do that?? What does that even mean???  The answer is there in the title / first verse of the song.  Spirit of God, descend upon my heart.  The rational part of my brain can identify when I'm acting like a crazy person.  I know when I'm without the Spirit, and acting on my own self centered fears.  And I've experienced moments - brief though they may be - when I rely on the Spirit and can respond out of that reality instead of my broken self. 
I guess all I can do is keep going, and thank God for those moments when his Spirit is in me, and pray that he continues to descend upon my heart.

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