Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Encouragement from a Dusty Old Hymnal

When my husband and I bought our first house fifteen years ago, my parents quickly hired a moving company to bring me my piano (more out of their desire to get it out of their house than my desire to have it in mine!).  Since then we've moved the piano four times.  Every time, my husband asked if we could sell it and every time I adamantly said no.  Fingers rarely graced those keys until our daughter began taking piano lessons two years ago. 

This past weekend my level of stress and worry were so great that I wished I could just disappear (no judging - you know you've had those moments!).  It is impossible to be prepared for how much fear and anxiety comes with being a parent.  And when I got married being a caregiver at the age of 40 was not in  the plans.  Work . . . money . . . house repairs . . . check engine lights . . . it felt like the list of worries was never-ending.  The weight of sadness made me so tired it took all my energy to not crawl back into bed.  At the same time the jitters of anxiety made it impossible to sit still.  I found myself sorting through bins in our overstuffed garage.  In one bin filled with random items of mine, I found an old Presbyterian hymn book given to me by my grandma. 

Wandering up to my beloved out-of-tune piano, I began to leaf through the book pausing to peck away at the keys when I came across a more familiar tune.  I eventually came to one of my all-time favorites - He Leadeth Me.  I propped the book on the piano and began to play.

As I finished the song, I noticed the hymn on the next page.  It was one I did not recall ever having seen or heard before -- Far Off I See the Goal

Far off I see the goal - O Savior guide me;
I feel my strength is small - Be thou beside me;
With vision ever clear, with love that conquers fear,
And grace to persevere, O Lord provide me.
I set personal goals for all areas of my life - my kids, my house, my job, my health . . .  In this moment, though, my goals felt impossible.  It was too much.  Too hard.  Too overwhelming.  
I found comfort in this old hymn written back in 1925.  My goals felt extremely far off, but I could still SEE them.  They hadn't disappeared.  I hadn't given up on them.  And who is there to walk beside me and guide me?  My Savior.  How encouraging! 
Should earthly pleasures wane, and joy forsake me,
and lonely hours of pain at length o'er take me,
My hand in thine hold fast, till sorrow be o'er the past. 
Finding this prayerful hymn of guidance was just what I needed to regain my focus and be ready to jump back into life.  The moment of sorrow has passed . . . Let's go!

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