I have noticed there’s a difference between seasons of testing based, in part, on what sin’s the Holy Spirit is dealing with in me. Recently I went through a trial in which God showed me how helpless I am without Him — how much I need Him to deal with the fears within my heart, that His love might affect me more. In that time God made me so aware of His presence, so satisfied by who He is rather than what He was so graciously withholding for my good. Joy came with the morning, but it also went to bed with me at night. God let me float in the arms of His perfect love, when I should have despaired with any less of Him.
So, in that I experienced a spiritual high while physically constrained to “the valley.” I learned, in one sense, what it means to “not want” as David says in Psalm 23; I walked through the valley of the shadow, spooky with my own weakness, yet passable because His strength never left me; I feared no evil, for He was (ever) with me.
It is still amazing, to look back at what the Lord did with me not even two months ago. Yet, since then it has been as the wonderful Daddy I have come to know has set me down on the ground again, and I have to learn to walk again; walk though it still does not feel safe to move again. I am not my eager, let-me-run-ahead-and-play-while-You-watch -Father self. I don’t want to stand on the ground; I could have stayed at His breast forever. I got such a glimpse of heaven while I was up there, so high above the world. But now, we walk along in the sand together again.
After learning to live according to His perfect gait propelling me along, I am now sorely frustrated with my own, stilted steps. Progress is excessively tedious. I wish I could “rise on the wings of the dawn…[to] settle on the far side of the sea,” rather than accept my position somewhere in the middle of that journey home.
What has earth to compare with the place to which I go;
Yet, how do I keep on till fine’ly there?
But He catch me, but He raise me — His love to show,
How shall I believe what’s seems so rare?
God, investigate my life; get all the facts firsthand.
I’m an open book to you;
even from a distance, you know what I’m thinking.
You know when I leave and when I get back;
I’m never out of your sight.
You know everything I’m going to say
before I start the first sentence.
I look behind me and you’re there,
then up ahead and you’re there, too—
your reassuring presence, coming and going.
This is too much, too wonderful—
I can’t take it all in!
Is there anyplace I can go to avoid your Spirit?
to be out of your sight?
If I climb to the sky, you’re there!
If I go underground, you’re there!
If I flew on morning’s wings
to the far western horizon,
You’d find me in a minute—
you’re already there waiting!
Then I said to myself, “Oh, he even sees me in the dark!
At night I’m immersed in the light!”
It’s a fact: darkness isn’t dark to you;
night and day, darkness and light, they’re all the same to you.
Oh yes, you shaped me first inside, then out;
you formed me in my mother’s womb.
I thank you, High God—you’re breathtaking!
Body and soul, I am marvelously made!
I worship in adoration—what a creation!
You know me inside and out,
you know every bone in my body;
You know exactly how I was made, bit by bit,
how I was sculpted from nothing into something.
Like an open book, you watched me grow from conception to birth;
all the stages of my life were spread out before you,
The days of my life all prepared
before I’d even lived one day.
Your thoughts—how rare, how beautiful!
God, I’ll never comprehend them!
I couldn’t even begin to count them—
any more than I could count the sand of the sea.
Oh, let me rise in the morning and live always with you!
And please, God, do away with wickedness for good!
And you murderers—out of here!—
all the men and women who belittle you, God,
infatuated with cheap god-imitations.
See how I hate those who hate you, God,
see how I loathe all this godless arrogance;
I hate it with pure, unadulterated hatred.
Your enemies are my enemies!
Investigate my life, O God,
find out everything about me;
Cross-examine and test me,
get a clear picture of what I’m about;
See for yourself whether I’ve done anything wrong—
then guide me on the road to eternal life.