Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Midnight Cry

O God, be not far from me;
O my God, make haste to help me!
Psalm 70:12, ESV
Can you find the real animal here?

Thunk. "Eeyowww!"

Heart pounding, I jolt awake. Steinway, that's Steinway's cry. Feeling my way through the bed linens at my feet where he was, where he should be, I can't find that 3-month old ball of fur.

My eyes adjust to the reading light and I scan the daybed. The whimpering seems to be coming from inside, no, under something. Is he under the bed?

Kneeling, I raise the dust ruffle to search, but I need a flashlight to locate him, against the wall behind the milk crates full of books and out-of-season clothes.

"Shhh, shhh. Hey, baby. It's okay. I'm here. Just come on out now. It's all right. It's me. You're going to be all right."

Still he whimpers, too scared and disoriented to come to my voice.

One box slides out, two. I reach under the bed to scoop him out, but he's just that wee bit too far for me to do more than brush his fur with my fingertips.

Three boxes slide out, four. Crawling under the bed, still talking to him, trying to soothe, I gather him in the crook of my arm and back out.

"Poor little fellow. That must have been frightening to fall off the bed in your sleep. It's okay now. I've got you. There, there, you're safe now."

Sitting amidst the boxes, we rock, I coo, he settles down at last. We nestle back into the bed and sleep, him breathing ragged against my chest.

If I respond so quickly to the midnight cry of my puppy, how can I expect that God would do any less for me, His blood-bought child? When I feel like I'm in that scary, under the bed darkness at 2 a.m., sometimes the essence of faith is to cry to Him and wait for Him to come and comfort with His presence. When His Spirit comes alongside, the darkness becomes a tabernacle full of Him, my cries the incense prayers.

We are poorest when we think we have it made and on the brink of true riches when we realize our helplessness and cry out to Jesus knowing His very name is Savior.

If this finds you feeling alone and helpless in the darkness of affliction, dear Crumble, call out to God. May He draw very near to you and give you peace, the assurance of His nearness and promises to all who are His children through faith in Christ Jesus. Even if your circumstances do not change, may you know with confidence that your Father from whom darkness flees is under the bed with you.

The eyes of the LORD are towards the righteous
and his ears towards their cry.
When the righteous cry for help, the LORD hears
and delivers them out of all their troubles.
The Lord is near to the broken-hearted
and saves the crushed in spirit.

The LORD is near to all who call on him,
to all who call on him in truth.
Psalms 34:15, 17-18; 145:18, ESV

Pondering faith today with the folks at Ann's and Emily's:



33 comments:

  1. Yes, He hears. He hears our faintest cry, the longings of our hearts, the pain in our spirits, and He answers with Himself. And we are so very thankful. :)

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  2. I manage to be poor more often than I manage to be rich, but it's coming... this poverty of self and richness in Jesus. Really enjoyed this.

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  3. When I remember how tuned my ears were to the sounds of my children in the night - hearing them breathe, how much more so does God hear me! I love your reminder - my boys would love to come over and help you with your reminder:)

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  4. Recognition is the first step, I think. Thank you. The grace of Christ be with you.

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  5. Thank you for your kind comment.

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  6. nice...oy do i remember those days...and they do make for a great metaphor in how he listens and looks out for us...nice assurance in this...

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  7. this is so very comforting. i love this. thank you.

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  8. the very day after our (older) daughter had brought home her guinea pigs Bonnie and Cinnamuffin fom the pet shop, she dropped Cinnamuffin bringing her in from the back yard, and Cinnamuffin made a beeline for the thick bushes growing next to the high wooden fence. since cats and foxes get into the yard, we couldn't take a "wait and see" approach, and it took us eight hours plus to coax poor Cinnamuffin out (she barely knew us then). So i can kind of imagine the panic your beloved Steinway must have felt...

    yes, when we are most helpless and afflicted, we're also on the brink of true comfort. As you say, it is a comfort that comes not from what is around us (the "circum-stances"), but from Who is (dwelling) within us, however dark it is around us...

    thank you for the post, and hoping that every blessing you wish on us crumbles covers you as well!

    --chris

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  9. I couldn't find the real animal in the picture! ha. Great shot.

    May I continue to learn how to call out to God, more and more, in the little stuff and big stuff. Thanks for faithfully shedding more light on my path, friend.

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  10. So grateful to hear that. Thank you, dear Emily.

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  11. "Sometimes the essence of faith is to cry to Him and wait for Him to come and comfort with His presence. When His Spirit comes alongside, the darkness becomes a tabernacle full of Him, my cries the incense prayers."
    So good, that definition and imagery. I want to keep this in my memory. Thank you for these very timely words. (And why did this come so late in my email... except God knew...?)

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  12. Thank you for the blessing. Thank you also for sharing a glimpse into your family life.

    Steinway actually "lost himself" in the bushes as a puppy also, but not the first day. We thought he had left the yard somehow and scavenged the neighborhood before my sister's dog found him for us, right there in the garden all the time. I'm glad you found poor Cinnamuffin and saved her from the Wild Things. Your daughter no doubt was relieved as well.

    Yes, true comfort is a Who. Absolutely.

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  13. Calling out to God more and more: Amen. You're welcome and thank *you.*

    Steinway is just above the light brown cocker spaniel stuffed animal in the picture. You can only see his head and one paw. He was a medium reddish brown with white markings on face and paws. Does that help?

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  14. Thank you, Sylvia. I'm so grateful this was the right post at the right time for you.

    The e-mail feed burns at a certain time every day, noon I think. If I publish the post after that cut-off, the e-mail subscribers receive it the following day. Timing is from the Lord, in any case.

    I'm sorry you're in need of the comfort and assurance the post discusses. May God make His love and presence known to you.

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  15. Actually, all is well now. Just one of those little down times. And God is so good! Thank you, friend. Hope you are having less struggle with the pain.

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  16. Good, I'm glad. This is the best pain day in a few weeks; thank you for checking. Yes, God is good, always.

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  17. Thank you, Tatie-girl. I hope y'all have a great weekend!

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  18. This post made me stop and think if all the times I did cry out and God did comfort me. It's so easy to dwell on the current problems that I forget the past victories.

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  19. Yes, it is easy to focus on present problems more than past deliverances. So glad this reminded you of your memorial stones! Grace to you in Jesus, Connie.

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  20. What a strong and comforting image your story provokes. Midnight cry response. . . beautiful. The Lord is near to all who call on Him! I appreciate how you illustrate this here.

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  21. Thank you... Generous words, as always. Love to you, friend.

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  22. What comfort you offer me. My hubby's been out of the country again training pastors. I miss him and am weary from holding down the fort alone. He does so much to help me. I have been lonely this week. Praise him that he answers midnight calls. I loved this Tinuviel. And I'm not even a cat person. Blessings, friend.

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  23. I'm so glad you found comfort here! Allen has taken ministry trips without me before, so I know a little of the missing and lonely weariness. May God make His nearness especially known to you in your husband's absence and renew your strength to do what He gives. Thank you so much for the kind comment, too.

    (We aren't cat people either. Steinway was a dog. There wasn't actually anything in this post to identify that. :-) I might have to rectify that with an edit.)

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  24. I love the image of you pulling out all the boxes in the middle of the night, wriggling your way under the bed to reach your sweet pup. I would have done the same! And why do I naturally assume that God isn't like that? Maybe I think because He's so great and powerful that He isn't subject to that same kind of heart-rending that we are when a loved one (human or animal) is in distress. Thank you for this clear reminder that all the compassion within me is a gift straight from Him--and as much as I hurt for those I love, a million times over does He hurt for me, too.

    www.GrowingIsBeautiful.com

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  25. What a beautiful comment. I am the same way, finding "God is great" easier to believe and dwell in than "God is good." Compassion...yes... Thank you for your words.

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Thank you for sharing your day with me! Your presence here is a gift. *You* are a gift. Right now I am unable to reply to every comment, but please know I read and pray for each and every commenter. Grace and peace to you in Christ.