Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Covenants

Covenants. Some are beautiful and promising like the gracious covenant God has made with His people through the atoning work of Christ on the cross. Or, like the hopeful binding of two souls becoming one in sickness and in health, forsaking all others. But some are devastating. Some rob us more than they serve us. The "I will never let that happen to me..." or "I will never be like that..." covenants are simply dangerous. They fetter us to our own pride and self-reliance. Who has successfully kept these covenants with themselves without deep-seated resentment or just plain exhaustion?

I haven't. And let me tell you, I have made covenants. In fact, I made one such covenant about a month ago just after my second miscarriage. To give you some history, a month after my first miscarriage (this past November) I entered into a spiritual numbness. The numbness eventually melted but only after coming to terms with the utter depravity in my heart: the fact that I wanted to rule my universe and everyone else's around me.

So my covenant looked something like this: I will not let myself enter into a spiritual coma this time.

I was determined to keep my spiritual senses alive and sharp. Though this desire seemed right and good, the Lord revealed its true root: pride. I could go on and describe in detail how He graciously answered my covenant but the Puritan John Newton does a much better job. Thank you to my sweet, dear friend who gifted me with these verses.

I Asked The Lord

I asked the Lord that I might grow
In faith and love and every grace
Might more of His salvation know
And seek more earnestly His face

Twas He who taught me thus to pray
And He I trust has answered prayer
But it has been in such a way
As almost drove me to despair

I hoped that in some favored hour
At once He'd answer my request
And by His love's constraining power
Subdue my sins and give me rest

Instead of this He made me feel
The hidden evils of my heart
And let the angry powers of Hell
Assault my soul in every part

Yea more with His own hand He seemed
Intent to aggravate my woe
Crossed all the fair designs I schemed,
Cast out my feelings, laid me low

Lord why is this, I trembling cried
Wilt Thou pursue thy worm to death?
"Tis in this way" The Lord replied
"I answer prayer for grace and faith"

"These inward trials I employ
From self and pride to set thee free
And break thy schemes of earthly joy
That thou mayest seek thy all in me,
That thou mayest seek thy all in me."

15 comments:

Abby said...

I lurk on your blog, I hope you don't mind me commenting. Thank you so much for this post, I needed it today. I am in a season of greif and it's overwhelming...this is just what I needed. Thank you so much, and I'm praying for you.

Jaime said...

Inward trials indeed. Pride in wanting to please is such a tricky thing. I can completely relate. I have so wanted to "suffer well" (pride). Through this trial the Lord has uncovered such a different vision for what I thought suffering well looked like. We are so not strong. The good news is- He is.

Thanks for sharing your heart. It does not appear that you are in as much of a spiritual coma as you may have thought. :)

Kristyn said...

He's doing a beautiful work in you Lauren!!

BrooksFamily said...

This so speaks to my heart on such an awesome level! Thank you for sharing and bringing light to a dark spot in my life....I am praying for you....

thosetonnes said...

I agree with Kristyn, the Lord is doing something beautiful in you. Prides sucks, but the Lord is gracious.

GloryandGrace said...

That is one of my favorite songs. Are you familiar with Indelible Grace? They sing that song, and because of that, I've heard it at several of the churches here in Louisville.

I regularly stop by your blog, and I'm continually praying for you!

The Durham's said...

Again, what a beautiful writing to share your heart:) You are so gifted, my friend...in so many ways. Think of you often. Love you.

The Kaufmann Krew said...

Lauren, I am encouraged and enlightened as I read your blog. Thanks for your honesty. Praying for you in this trial. Praying that the Lord will do his work. Bless you heart.

The Mays Family said...

Thank you for being so honest when you blog. Your blog touches many peoples hearts. I continue to pray for you.

The Lancasters said...

Love you Lauren :)
-From The Covenant Queen

Magen said...

What a great post. I can totally relate and I don't know that I could have put my struggle with pride into better words. My defense mechanism when things go wrong is to run around, clamoring to control. What you wrote resonated in me. Thanks for sharing it on your blog. :)

The Faris Fam said...

I am in the thick of spiritual numbness myself currently, so I can relate as we speak. Of which came after a devestating heartbreak in my life as well.

I'm still wrestling with shame, pride,etc. I just feel like a mess right now. I don't know why I'm telling you all this, but thank you for being so honest about your heart. You are a blessing to every woman out there Lauren.

ashleeann said...

Thanks Lauren. Your humility is much more beautiful than the pride or bitterness you could embrace. The Lord is so glorified in your surrender! God bless.

Dawntoya and Adam said...

An older lady shared this with me once who I believe really GOT this poem. It was a great reminder to see it again.

Ms. Jenny B Pants said...

Hi :) Google reader directed me to your blog today, but I really think it was God. :)

I had a miscarriage last July and another in October, and have been walking in this numbness...your words this morning described exactly what I have been walking through and I DIDN'T EVEN REALIZE it until I read it here. Thanks for sharing, it's blessed me! I will be praying for you and your family!