I walked down the aisle to “O God Beyond All Praising,” a magnificent poem by Michael Perry, set to Holtst’s magnificent “Jupiter” theme.
The second verse says:
Then hear, O gracious Savior, accept the love we bring,
That we, who know your favor, may serve you as our King.
And whether our tomorrows be filled with good or ill,
We’ll triumph through our sorrows and rise to bless you still,
To marvel at your beauty, and glory in your ways,
And make a joyful duty our sacrifice of praise.
“Our tomorrows.” I worry about those. On our first date, my man told me of his rather audacious dream to move one day to a place that terrifies me. I prayed and questioned and said “yes,” and walked down the aisle to sing that song. But I still worry.
And when I imagine various futures, they don’t look like triumphing through sorrows — the potential sorrows are much much too large for me to envision any triumphs this side of glory. Isn’t that the point, though, in Hebrews 11? “These all died in faith, not having received the things promised, but having seen them and greeted them from afar . . . they desire a better country, that is a heavenly one.”
There is triumph in that better country, surely. But also grace in the here and now. Not yet for any imagined sorrows, but grace enough for every sorrow that becomes a reality.
A friend recently told me how she wants to live “an impossible life.” To be able to look back and say that she could never ever have done it apart from the grace of God.
I like to live comfortably within my own perceived abilities, with that grace as a safety net, but unnecessary. Foolish me! As if apart from grace I could accomplish one heartbeat of my own making.
But His grace is sufficient. He makes His beauty shine through the sorrows, so that we may marvel at ways higher and more glorious than ours, so that He, “the King of the ages, immortal, invisible, the only God,” receives “honor and glory forever and ever.” (1 Tim. 1:17)
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©2017 by Stacy Crouch