I Need Thee Every Hour is one of my favorite hymns. It’s also a concept I believe. Really believe.
Like I need air to breathe, I need the Lord’s loving tending. In thinking about that, I’ve had three thoughts – well quotations, actually – come to mind . They concern growing my faith and building my trust in God.
Because growing faith is a lifelong process, it seems that the more I understand, the more I realize I don’t know. If that makes sense. My gratitude grows and my ability to lean on the loving arm of Christ does, too. Most times.
Have you ever wrestled with turning things over to our Father in heaven? For me, it’s kind of like being a student driver:
I’ll steer. I know what I’m doing.
Here – You take the wheel. I’m scared.
Nope- I’ll take it back. I got it.
Acckkk – I can’t do this. Oops -I just ran over some orange cones…..
This scenario is one I’ve played out a few too many times. It seems like He gently allows me to learn for myself- no matter how many loops around the driving circle we take – that I should never even think about steering wholly on my own, for He knows exactly what position that wheel should be in, all the time.
Here are three of my favorite thoughts regarding faith and leaning on the Lord:
1. A ship in harbor is safe – but that is not what ships are for.
John Shedd is the author of the words. They’re magnificent. A ship is built to withstand tough storms and high waves, and to venture far out into the ocean. Only then do we know she is seaworthy. How would she show her good craftsmanship and design if she remained tied to the dock, in the harbor?
Same with us. When we are willing to venture away from the safety of the harbor, and take our journey – relying on faith and the determination that God made us worthy of the trip – we find out what we’re made of. We learn where we need to patch or polish. We understand that the Master of the seas is watching and is over all.
2. A wise man will make more opportunities than he finds.
It was Francis Bacon who said this! It’s a great concept, worth applying in personal ways. For me, it reiterated the importance of doing my part. Of stepping outside the comfort zone when needed, stretching myself.
It’s one thing for me to dig around for a lucky break, or sit around and pray for one. But we’ve been counseled to pray as though everything depends on God, and act as though everything depends on us.
If I’m actively working to create opportunities, I’ll also be more ready to use them to best advantage to be a better ‘me’ and make the world a better place. It’s a faith builder for me – because it gives me more pause to recognize I am a child of God. He placed in me a divine spark that will let me do great things, if I remember who and whose I am. And if I’m working on the most righteous way to create and utilize opportunities.
3. Behold I have refined thee…I have chosen thee in the furnace of affliction. Isaiah 48: 10, 39.
I love the words of Isaiah. He was a prophet’s prophet. His declaration of the coming Messiah – hundreds of years before Christ’s birth – were on point, powerful, and filled with love. This particular section is tender to me. I have a laundry list of times I’ve felt to be in the furnace of affliction. Maybe you have, too.
I find such strength in the words of the scriptures. In the furnace of our afflictions, where we may be polished and refined and become strong as steel, we also become more malleable and more willing to do our Father’s will. He knows what I need. His tutoring, while sometimes painful for the moment, gives me so very much depth of faith. So much more trust in His goodness. Less desire to grab the wheel, and more yearning to say, “Thy will be done.”
I have a long way to go. There have been – and will probably continue to be- dark corners to round, and stormy roadways to walk. But if I have Him with me, I need not fear. Sounds simple. It’s harder to infuse into my soul. But I’ll get there. I need Him every hour. . .