Wednesday, 6 February 2013

Praise From The Valley

We did not lose our house. Unlike so many others we did not lose any possessions. Unlike so many others we only had an hour without electricity. The supermarket shelves are quite bare in places but we still have food on our plates and in our bellies. We have each other. We are blessed.

Why then is my soul so heavy?  Why have I found myself weeping in the quiet at night?

In the lead up to Christmas I felt so utterly overwhelmed. I needed a holiday from life. Instead we hosted my family Christmas at our house and by the time we were done partying, we had spent three days straight either hosting or attending family functions. It was good but exhausting. New Years came and went in a rather nondescript fashion as we threw ourselves into the renovating like tomorrow may never show up.  

All too quickly time came for my husband to return to work. The renovating is far from finished. So much of the house is waiting patiently to have items returned to where they ought to be - or installed for the very first time. I have surrendered to the plasterboard dust trekked throughout the place. Quite simply, it is an uphill battle that can only really be won when the final lick of fresh paint is clinging to the new walls…

Bush fires on the news. Smoke catching in our throats at night. Desperate prayers for rain…

Floods. So much water. Such a mess. All a vivid portrait of my messy feelings. It is one thing to feel overwhelmed. It is another to have it unwittingly played out before you, like a bizarre production, making it so horribly real.

On Tuesday I stood on the hilltop by the swollen river and gazed in awe at what was still visible of two buildings. I was grateful for my sunglasses to hide the emotion welling up. I was not alone. Many others had come to see too. Nobody spoke. We just looked and looked some more. Not quite believing and yet knowing that this was nothing compared to what other towns were experiencing.

Yes, that is a hill I'm standing on. The roof to the rear belongs to a two storey building.

Insomnia has returned in all its glory. I have not felt much like praising lately. Sitting here waiting to be sleepy, it occurs to me I have not bathed my soul in music for a while. Solo acoustic piano hymns are my medicine of choice.

The music speaks to my heart; whispers to my soul that all will be well. It points me to my Saviour; all the wonders He has done. The heavy boggy mud drowning my heart shifts and hope draws a shaky breath. More tears slowly begin to wash the tension away. My spirit knows full well that the song I am humming along to must be sung; truly believed and with gusto.

 Praise to the Lord, the Almighty, the King of creation!
O my soul, praise Him, for He is thy health and salvation!
All ye who hear, now to His temple draw near;
Praise Him in glad adoration.
Praise to the Lord, who o’er all things so wondrously reigneth,
Shelters thee under His wings, yea, so gently sustaineth!
Hast thou not seen how thy desires e’er have been
Granted in what He ordaineth?
Praise to the Lord, who doth prosper thy work and defend thee;
Surely His goodness and mercy here daily attend thee;
Ponder anew what the Almighty can do,
If with His love He befriend thee.
Praise to the Lord, who, when tempests their warfare are waging,
Who, when the elements madly around thee are raging,
Biddeth them cease, turneth their fury to peace,
Whirlwinds and waters assuaging.
Praise to the Lord, who, when darkness of sin is abounding,
Who, when the godless do triumph, all virtue confounding,
Sheddeth His light, chaseth the horrors of night,
Saints with His mercy surrounding.
Praise to the Lord, O let all that is in me adore Him!
All that hath life and breath, come now with praises before Him;
Let the Amen sound from His people again,
Gladly for aye we adore Him.
Joachim Neander, 1665

PS – Since writing this post I have discovered that I am not alone in having been personally spared loss -yet feeling numb and teary around the edges. Please continue to pray for the people affected by the natural disasters. There is much healing to be done. Thank you. 


  1. Oh, friend. Praying for you right now!

  2. Praying for you Lizzy xx Meg

  3. Sorry you have been having a rough time of it. I still need to email you! We are alike in that when having the insomnia and tears, we both turned on piano hymns :D I always smile at how many times when I read something you write, it is something I would do or have done too. It's nice to know a kindred spirit. I will continue to pray. I just prayed for the people a couple nights ago again, but will do it today as well. I can't believe that is a hill you were standing on! Take care and lots of hugs and blessings to you!

    1. Thank you Rebekah! I have been feeling better since writing this post and just getting it out. Love solo acoustic piano. Really love. Especially hymns! Blessings to you :o)


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