When You Get to the End of Yourself…
Last week, I listened to a Tim Mackie talk where he taught about reading the Psalms prayerfully and meditating on them by reading them slowly and quietly out loud by yourself. Below is a screen shot from the video, which I saved to remind myself about it. Click the pic to watch the full teaching on YouTube. I’ve been doing this the past several nights and it has been so good!
It’s a wonderful way to experience the Psalms and I encourage you to give it a try! So I guess it has been this practice of prayerfully reading the Psalms that inspired me to write this… poem?
Okay… deep breath… here goes! Nothing like baring your innermost thoughts to the whole of the interwebz!
On the Edge of the Cliff by Sue Chastain
When you get to the end of yourself,
It’s like standing on the edge of a cliff.
There are two ways you can go—no, three.
You can lift your arms to God.
Admit you can’t do it by yourself.
Ask him to help you, to rescue you.
He will gently lift you from the edge,
Carry you to safer ground.
He will be your strength. He will be your friend.
Or you can try to keep going on your own,
Which will surely lead to a downfall.
You may get buried in rubble.
There will be brokenness, hurt, and despair.
Alone in that pit, it will only lead to death.
But even if you took one more step—
Tried to do it on your own,
And found yourself broken and buried—
It’s not too late to call on Him there.
He will come down with you.
He will be there with you. As long as it takes.
And when you’re ready to lean on Him,
He’ll pull you out of the rubble;
Give you the strength to climb out,
Or carry you when you’re too weak to move.
He will restore you to the solid ground,
Better than you were before.
The scripture art below was something I had done several years ago for my sister’s verse of the day series. I have always liked it, but I had no idea how much this image would come to mean to me later on.
Here are more scriptures that have brought me peace and strength in my trials and suffering.
Romans 5:3-5 (ESV)
…we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.
1 Peter 4:19 (ESV)
Therefore let those who suffer according to God’s will entrust their souls to a faithful Creator while doing good.
1 Peter 5:10 (ESV)
And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you.
Psalms 42:11 (ESV)
Why are you cast down, O my soul,
and why are you in turmoil within me?
Hope in God; for I shall again praise him,
my salvation and my God.
I pray these scriptures and my poem can remind you what to do the next time you are at the end of yourself on the edge of a cliff.