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Devotion 8

Faint not!

I knew again last week — after I had started this "Heartbeat" — that I could lose Jim in the cath lab as they probed his heart — this was his third trip there within this year. What if he died? What would I do about the farm?

I even thought about how I'd get through the funeral arrangements. Wednesday night — the night before his catherization — , I returned to our daughter's condo exhausted. Flipping through the TV channels, I was arrested by a Gaither video special "Sweet, Sweet Spirit." The last song brought relief from my dark thoughts: "The love of God, how rich and pure, how measureless and strong. It shall forever more endure the saints' and angels' song." *

At three in the morning I awoke. I read again the verses God had brought to my attention as I waited in the Emergency Room chapel in May of 1992 — seven years earlier.

"The Lord is my light and my salvation: whom (what) shall I fear? The Lord is the strength of my life, of whom (of what) shall I be afraid." David ended the Psalm with these words: "I had fainted unless I had believed to see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Wait on the Lord; be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart; wait, I say, on the Lord." **

I had to give it all to Him — everything — including Jim's life and my unthinkable life without him.

Then He renewed my strength just as He promised in Isaiah 40:31: "They that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint."

My mother wrote the poem below years and years ago, but it also came to my mind as I thought about the reality of fainting under "the burden of the day."

For Lo, I Am With You Always

When I grow weary, I just pray

That God will cheer me on my way.

When weak I falter into sin,

Through Christ I can begin again;

And failing a most trying test,

I stop and ask God what is best.

And when my strength begins to wane,

I bow my head and call Christ's name.

And as cares dull and fill my mind,

I read the word and Jesus find.

When tried by trials through sin and wrong,

I ask the Lord to keep me strong.

And I can tell you that He hears,

He comforts, strengthens, and He cheers.

He is listening for your faintest cry;

Reach out your hand; He's standing by. ***

That's my testimony, too: "I can tell you that He hears, He comforts, strengthens, and He cheers…. He is listening for your faintest cry; Reach out your hand; He's standing by."

For Further Consideration:

Psalm 27

Isaiah 40:28-31

Matthew 15:29-39

Mark 8:1-8

I Corinthians 4:1,16

Galatians 6:9

Hebrews 12:1-2

* "The Love of God by F.M. Lehman (public domain), recorded in Sweet, Sweet Spirit with Bill and Gloria Gaither and their Homecoming Friends. Alexandria, Indiana, Spring House, Inc. 1999

** Psalm 27

*** "Teel, Dorothy Ruth Harris. "For Lo, I Am with You Always," in The

Crimson Tide ©1962.


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