Over the past week, my heart has been heavy, weighed down with the pain of loved ones. For the pain of those in Haiti, for those who lost beloved friends and family in the earthquake, like our friends L & S and their four children. And for my friend S---- about whom I wrote a poem yesterday. And a dear lady from our church "went home" to the Lord this morning. Yes, a heavy, heavy heart.
As I knelt down to pray this morning (I still would *adore* having a real prie dieu like the one above to pray on!), I found myself especially moved by the words of John Baillie in his classic book A Diary of Private Prayer, a book I use on a daily basis as part of my devotion to prayer.
From the Twenty-Seventh Day, Morning:
O Lord my God, who dwellest in pure and blessed serenity beyond the reach of mortal pain, yet lookest down in unspeakable love and tenderness upon the sorrowsof earth, give me grace, I beseech Thee, to understand the meaning of such afflictions and disappointments as I myself am called upon to endure. Deliver me from all fretfulness. Let me be wise to draw from every dispensation of Thy providence the lesson Thou art minded to teach me. Give me a stout heart to bear my own burdens. Give me a willing heart to bear the burdens of others. Give me a believing heart to cast all burdens upon Thee.
Glory be to Thee, O Father, and to Thee, O Christ, and to Thee, O Holy Spirit, for ever and ever. Amen.