Clearly I'm not alone.

The enemy prowls around, and it can feel - in my self-centered soul - that I'm the single focus of his evil intentions. I can also feel - in my self-centered soul - that I'm the only one who names the name of Christ who gropes through such dreadfully dark places from time to time. So now I give thanks to God for the encouragement of brothers and sisters in Christ(those dead and those still living) as we walk through our "dark night of the soul". Today Tim Challies posted this prayer from the Valley of Vision:


O Lord,

Bend my hands and cut them off, for I have often struck thee with a wayward will, when these fingers should embrace thee by faith.

I am not yet weaned from all created glory, honour, wisdom, and esteem of others, for I have a secret motive to eye my name in all I do.

Let me not only speak the word sin, but see the thing itself.

Give me to view a discovered sinfulness, to know that though my sins are crucified they are never wholly mortified.

Hatred, malice, ill-will,vain-glory that hungers for and hunts after man’s approval and applause, all are crucified, forgiven, but they rise again in my sinful heart.

O my crucified but never wholly mortified sinfulness!
O my life-long damage and daily shame!
O my indwelling and besetting sins!
O the tormenting slavery of a sinful heart!

Destroy, O God, the dark guest within whose hidden presence makes my life a hell.

Yet thou hast not left me here without grace; The cross still stands and meets my needs in the deepest straits of the soul.

I thank thee that my remembrance of it is like David’s sight of Goliath’s sword which preached forth thy deliverance.

The memory of my great sins, my many temptations, my falls, bring afresh into my mind the remembrance of thy great help, of thy support from heaven, of the great grace that saved such a wretch as I am.

There is no treasure so wonderful as that continuous experience of thy grace toward me which alone can subdue the risings of sin within:

Give me more of it.


And to this I can add my hearfelt, "Amen".

Comments

Jess said…
Hi! I thought I would drop by and visit your blog. I love the name. I was just meditating on the verse in Isaiah where it comes from. My husband is teaching a class on the Beatitudes and this is the OT version of 'Blessed are they that mourn, for they will be comforted."
I'm also fascinated by the book collection that you refer to in your "about me" section. What a charmed life you lead! Even if they are not all yours to keep, I can't imagine living among books all day long. Ahh...
barrywallace said…
Prayers like that are too rare. They expose our wicked hearts, and drive us to the only one can cleanse us and free us from "the dark guest within."
Laurie M. said…
Jess,
Thanks for stopping by.
Our church has been studying through Matthew for the past year (which is also how long we've been a church), so the Beatitudes are still pretty fresh in my mind. It's been a challenging time, to say the least.
As for all those books, they serve to remind me of how short our time on earth really is. I know I won't live to read all the ones I'd like to. I also don't want to waste time with bad ones.

Barry,
I think I want to blog more about "the dark guest" someday, when there's time...

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