You Talkin’ To Me?

yesLate for church today (again).  Couple of reasons: 1. sickness as the ivf drugs start leaving my system. 2. general rubbishness (I’m late every week). 3. baby/family squishiness.  4. fear of going Inappropriately Crazy.  (I’M SAD SO I NEED YOU ALL TO STOP SINGING).  I didn’t, (tho I didn’t sing either). And one of these days I’m gonna! Maybe…

Thing is, however bad it gets, there’s rarely a time when church isn’t right. And by ‘right’ I don’t mean “horrible but morally improving”.  ‘Right’ like a hug from someone you love. You don’t always want it, but when you get it, you don’t want to let go.

Anyway.  I did the shuffle of shame and got my coat off and bible open, just in time for the reading.

“There once was a man who lived in Ramathaim… He had two wives. The first was Hannah; the second was Peninnah. Peninnah had children; Hannah did not”.

 Because the Lord had closed Hannah’s womb, her rival kept provoking her in order to irritate her. This went on year after year. Whenever Hannah went up to the house of the Lord, her rival provoked her till she wept and would not eat.  Her husband Elkanah would say to her, ‘Hannah, why are you weeping? Why don’t you eat? Why are you downhearted? Don’t I mean more to you than ten sons?’

 In her deep anguish Hannah prayed to the Lord, weeping bitterly.  And she made a vow, saying, ‘Lord Almighty, if you will only look on your servant’s misery and remember me, and not forget your servant but give her a son, then I will give him to the Lord for all the days of his life, and no razor will ever be used on his head… in the course of time Hannah became pregnant and gave birth to a son. She named him Samuel, saying, ‘Because I asked the Lord for him.” (From 1 Sam 1)

‘Houston’, hissed my brain to my body, ‘we have a Situation’.

I scanned the exits.

My right eye was prickling but there was still time to slip out. Drop and roll during the announcements. Like a little human tumbleweed.

Except I didn’t want to go home.  And Glen was sitting on my coat.

And I didn’t have the energy to fight. Not Glen, (normally I can muster up my resources to fight him).  No – God. It’s not like He didn’t know we were coming.  So maybe there was something He wanted us – me – to hear. And maybe, like the unsolicited hug, it’s something I needed.

So I stayed and listened. Our vicar was very gentle.  He talked about a world where people and communities were broken.   Where there was no king and everyone did what seemed best– but it only made more mess.  He talked about a woman who was in pain – and who took her pain to the Almighty God, knowing He would answer.

This God loves his children and gives them only what is best. Sometimes this looks like ‘yes’.  And sometimes, it looks like ‘no’. But whether or not it seems good to us, it is good. Because He is kind and He is loving and He gives us Himself.

And then we sang, but this time, I joined in:

‘For the joys and for the sorrows,
The best and worst of times,~
For this moment, for tomorrow,
For all that lies behind;
Fears that crowd around me,
For the failure of my plans,
For the dreams of all I hope to be,
The truth of what I am:

For this I have Jesus,
For this I have Jesus,
For this I have Jesus,
I have Jesus. 

For the tears that flow in secret,
In the broken times,
For the moments of elation,
Or the troubled mind;
For all the disappointments,
Or the sting of old regrets,
All my prayers and longings
That seem unanswered yet:

For the weakness of my body,
The burdens of each day,
For the nights of doubt and worry,
When sleep has fled away;
Needing reassurance,
And the will to start again,
A steely-eyed endurance,
The strength to fight and win:

For this I have Jesus,
For this I have Jesus,
For this I have Jesus,
I have Jesus.

Graham Kendrick: Make Way Music

6 thoughts on “You Talkin’ To Me?

  1. it’s beautiful how God loves us… he gave me friends today where I’ve been lonely all week, and he’ll bring comfort to you where you have pain…and Jesus, lots of Jesus. x

  2. Hey Emma, thank you so much for your sweet honesty. As I read this tears poured down my cheeks. I recognise your pain and stand with you in it. Yes we have Jesus in this and he pours his bountiful grace upon us. I am always amazed how grace is apportioned as it is required… No more, no less. Life is sprinkled with suffering, and for some of us those sprinklings can feel like dumps of snow… But his grace hold us, lifts us and reminds us that this is not forever. One day every tear will be wiped away. Bless you both x x

  3. hey you! i have been really struck by your recent posts and updates – we are praying for you. Never give up being as honest as you are – in your time of darkness, the everlasting light you hold onto is a witness for us all. Remember He is faithful and unchanging and will always be your rock x

  4. Hi Emma, I had a similar experience yesterday…I did walk out of the room but a woman that I hadn’t met before came towards me as I was approaching the door and said she felt like she needed to give me a hug. She hugged me for a while and then prayed for me. It was so weird and nice…and then weird again…

    I’m glad I was there although I spent most of the time either crying or trying not to cry.

    When I got back home I wrote about it on my blog as well, haha!

    Anyway, I can’t imagine how you feel but our Father in heaven knows. So I will pray for you. xx

  5. Thanks RT and Kate. S and Yessica: a great encouragement to hear of how God has comforted you too.

  6. Hello Emma – Yes, my heart was feeling for you & Glen in your pain on Sunday morning ..but as Mark reminded us – “God the Almighty is in the midst of every situation….or something to that effect”…

    Even doing the refreshments after church wasn’t easy for me as I felt quite emotional for you both. Also about the song – “For this I have Jesus”. That was my song in 1997 when I was going into hospital for a mastectomy…but I remembered that “God the Almighty was in the midst of my situation then and He still is” so the coffee/tea making wasn’t so difficult after all….sorry you got the last of the coffee jar though…it was quite strong…hopefully better next time.!
    “For this I have Jesus”

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