Saturday, November 26, 2016

In that Secret Place & why I do not write so often

As a new Christian, a young teenager, I was allowed to lead the opening services for my church’s vacation Bible school. In this little store front Southern Baptist church, that position meant telling stories about different Christians and their lives and witness. One, for example was about John Newton, his life, and his song, Amazing Grace. One story that particularly impressed me was the story of a woman who had raised her family leaning heavily on Psalm 91. The one that begins, “He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will abide in the shadow of the Almighty.”

When my husband and I were married we had a picture taken of our hands together over that Psalms.  It is the first picture in our wedding album.

Recently, at Fremont Presbyterian Church in Sacramento, which we have once again been attending, the choir sang an anthem that uses that Psalm as its focus. The music and words were so beautiful. And as I sat listening to the refrain I felt myself lifted into the presence of the Almighty, I felt myself in that place which is, as the song states, “the shadow of our mighty King” the “dwelling place where angels cry.”

Who dwells within His most secret place
Is never far from His blessed grace
'Neath His great shadow all will be well
No better place now for us to dwell


The secret place of God Most High
The shadow of our mighty King
The dwelling place where angels cry
Is where our praise will forever ring

Fear not the terror that comes at night
Nor flaming arrows by morning light
His truth is always our sword and shield
Against His power, all foes must yield


A thousand fall now at ev'ry side
Ten thousand more may have yet to die
Yet plague and sword can
Ne'er kill the soul
His angels guard us now safe and whole


Refuge and fortress for all who trust
No safer pasture for men of dust
'Neath wings and feathers of Holy Lord
No greater comfort can He afford


I write this to try and explain a little about why I do not write as often as I used to write. It is hard. I wrote earlier, more than a year ago that my husband has what is called mild cognitive impairment. It is getting worse, he is slowly losing word usage and deep abstract thinking. There is so much I could say but I simply can’t. I would recommend, for those who are interested a book, Second Forgetting: Remembering the Power of the Gospel During Alzheimer’s Disease by Dr. Benjamin Mast.

To add to my sadness, I am experiencing absolute rejection from two people that I love dearly.  And I cannot write about that either, but I want to recommend another book, Ann Voskamp’s The Broken Way: A daring Path into the Abundant Life. It is about drawing close to Jesus and reaching out to others through our own brokenness.  I just finished it last week and it is so helpful.

But, needless to say, both the sadness and the interruptions of my days are keeping me away from writing. But it is that secret place that place under His shadow, that place where angels cry holy, holy that holds me in grief in peace and His comfort.


Dave Moody said...

Vi, thank you. Oh so many years ago, when I was blogging at blog 137 (from Psalm 137), we met virtually, and then actually. I think you and your hubby bought me some pie at Marie Calendars in Sacramento. All that to say, your writing has impacted- encouraged, enraged- heh- many, many folks, me being one of them. Not the enraged, part btw, the encouraged. Anyhow, thank you for your faithfulness to Jesus. For your tenacity, for raising truth above falsehood, and for being- well, you. God bless you on this next phase of the journey, and I'm getting those books. Thanks.

Viola Larson said...

Thank you Dave, and a batch of us (Toby and Chris as well)had dinner at Marie Calendars after a New Wine meeting. I will never forget: ) Your words are very encouraging.

Andy Vloedman said...

Like Dave your writing has both enlightened and encouraged me. I value your discernment and appreciate the clarity of your thoughts and voice. It is greatly needed in a time of so much foolishness. My Mom had Alzheimer's. What frightened me at the beginning was that even though she physically was in my sisters home she would be alone. Then I was reminded of the 23rd Psalm and realized at no time in her life had she walked as closely with Jesus as she did in those final years. May you experience God's grace and peace.