the constant and eternal yes…

In the last few years I have had the honor to walk alongside friends who are suffering and I have been graced with traveling partners myself through suffering, through doubt and fear, through the strangling effects of the unknown, the now and the not yet.

Each time I have been the “walk alongside” friend I find myself making the familiar offer of “let me know if there is anything I can do.” And each time, every single time, I mean it sincerely. The trouble is that in that moment very few people actually have a “do” for which they could ask. The “do” comes later, in the strangest times, in the middle of the night, in the middle of the work or school day, in the middle of the family dinner. They are things it is hard to ask of acquaintances or social media friends-trips to the doctor, watch the kids, clean the house, bring some groceries. I have determined that when I ask if there is anything I can “do” nine times out of ten it surfaces that all I can really do, as a homeschooling parent of 4 whose husband travels a great deal, is to pray.
And so I do.

I realize that not everyone subscribes to my faith narrative so rarely do I offer to pray for someone if they do not ask or if I do not know their faith choice. I will pray for you anyway but I won’t mention it. I pray because it is so often, all I can do. I will pray healing, I will pray peace, patience, companionship and comfort. But I will pray most sincerely for the constant and eternal “yes.”

We lose track of the “yes” in everyday life. We get stuck in the eventual “no” because we’re inclined toward excess. We drink too much coffee, we eat too much sugar, we have too much couch time and so we say “No.”  As parents we have to protect our children so we limit their television, we limit their game time, we limit their sweets consumption. I say “No” far more than I say “yes” at home. “No” isn’t’ a bad thing in this context. We have to limit ourselves where unhealthy things are concerned. We have to have limits. But lately I’ve been thinking that all that “no” only has impact if we live with an underlying stream of “yes.” “Yes” is the affirmation in the limitation, “yes” is the water underground, “yes” is where we’re headed no matter where we’ve been. “Yes” is constant and eternal. If I lose track of the “yes” then every struggle has no refrain. And this brings me to the Psalms. I find the constant and eternal “yes” in the Psalms, especially this one:

Psalm 136

1Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good.
His love endures forever.
2Give thanks to the God of gods.
His love endures forever.
3Give thanks to the Lord of lords:
His love endures forever.

4to him who alone does great wonders,
His love endures forever.

5who by his understanding made the heavens,
His love endures forever.

6who spread out the earth upon the waters,
His love endures forever.

7who made the great lights—
His love endures forever.

8the sun to govern the day,
His love endures forever.

9the moon and stars to govern the night;
His love endures forever.

10to him who struck down the firstborn of Egypt
His love endures forever.

11and brought Israel out from among them
His love endures forever.

12with a mighty hand and outstretched arm;
His love endures forever.

13to him who divided the Red Seaa asunder
His love endures forever.

14and brought Israel through the midst of it,
His love endures forever.

15but swept Pharaoh and his army into the Red Sea;
His love endures forever.

16to him who led his people through the desert,
His love endures forever.

17who struck down great kings,
His love endures forever.

18and killed mighty kings—
His love endures forever.

19Sihon king of the Amorites
His love endures forever.

20and Og king of Bashan—
His love endures forever.

21and gave their land as an inheritance,
His love endures forever.

22an inheritance to his servant Israel;
His love endures forever.

23to the One who remembered us in our low estate
His love endures forever.

24and freed us from our enemies,
His love endures forever.

25and who gives food to every creature.
His love endures forever.

26Give thanks to the God of heaven.
His love endures forever.

In the Psalms I find doubt and fear coupled with peace and patience, struggle and worry paired with trust and grace. The writer believes in this underlying current of “yes,” in the great “I AM.” The writer of this piece knows that no matter how difficult things are, will be, have been, that yes, “His love endures forever.”  The constant and eternal “yes” for me, as a Believer, is this….and more. For all of us there is a moment by moment representation of this “yes” in our lives if we are able to move past struggle long enough to welcome it. When I pray for someone in a hard situation I pray healing, yes…and patience, yes…and touch and soft embraces and sweet words, yes yes yes…I pray for a delicious meal, yes and deep breathing, amazing clouds caught in just the right moment, yes…and I pray daydreams about better days and night dreams about flying, yes and yes. I pray for laughing and cheesy movies and long hours of eyes open and deep gratitude, yes… yes… yes…always, the constant and eternal yes.

I pray this.

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One Response

  1. Beautiful post, Angela. Exactly what I needed to read today. Blessings to you!

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