What are you waiting for?

Can I lick the bowl? How long until the cakes are ready? When can I eat one? Is it time yet? Are they cooked now? 


Not yet, not yet, and again darling, not quite yet. 

Whenever I get my apron on to bake, my younger daughter is the first to pipe up: ‘can I help?’. She loves the whole process. Getting her own apron, pressing the buttons on the scales, pouring the ingredients in ‘I can do it by myself’, mixing, spilling. She’s in her element. I’m sure it has something to do with baker’s prerogative to lick the bowl and of course the certain promise of a lot of cake at the end! 


My older daughter has more of a take it or leave it sort of approach. She’s more than happy to enjoy the fruits, or rather sugar rushes of our labour, but is not as fussed about the baking process. She knows the cakes are coming and she knows she’ll get to taste and enjoy them, but her waiting is less active then her sister’s. 


How do we wait for what is to come? How do we live now, whilst waiting for that which is not yet. Of course we’re talking about more than cakes. We know as Christians this world is our temporary home, that God is calling us to our eternal home. 


That promise is coming but it is not yet. How do we live for the ‘not yet’, in the ‘here and now’? How do we live now knowing what is to come?

Our waiting is far more frustrating, filled with far more longing than the hope of freshly baked cakes. There are times aren’t there when the present sufferings and pains of this world feel irredeemable. Situations filled with more tension and brokenness than we can muster hope for. Our relationship with God, with one another, even to creation itself can be places of grief, anxiety, guilt and despair. Human tendency when longing for change often spills out into nostalgic regret, a living in the past, a desire to go back in time and correct mistakes, to take back the words. 


As children of our heavenly Father though, we don’t long for what has happened, for a better time, even for Eden itself, glorious as it was. We long for what is to come. To fling our hope into the certainty of God’s promises for the future. For the time when all will  be fully redeemed, transformed, made gloriously perfect in heaven. The question is, am I waiting with an active anticipation and preparation? Is there hope to be found now? I know God’s kingdom is coming and yet I’m called to pray, ‘Let your kingdom come…. on earth as it is in heaven.’

Not then. Not at some point in the future. Now. 


Now in light of not yet. 


The light of God’s glory that will fill heaven, is given in part now. If the light of the world has come and has himself proclaimed to us, ‘You are the light of the world’, surely we can live in light of the not yet, allowing the certainty of God’s  promise of full glorious future transformation to transform our now. It will be partial, but it will still be partially glorious.

While the full light of God’s glory will fill and consume the world, we can seek to shine it in glimpses now. 


So, as God will establish perfect peace reigning as Prince of peace in heaven, He calls us to seek the welfare, the peace of the land in which we are living now. As we contend for the things that God contends for, speak out against injustice, as we responsibly rule and subdue, seek peace and order not chaos and destruction in our relationships with God, one another and creation, we are participating in building towards the kingdom that God will establish forever in heaven. 


Our desperate awareness of our fallen condition keeps us honest and humble of our capabilities, increasingly aware of our limitations and our own contribution to the failures and frustrations of this suffering world. Turn on the news, step out our front doors, start our first conversations in the morning before caffeine and the Lord’s word temper our snappiness, and we are fully aware that there is discord, friction, conflict and pain in relationships. We have turned God’s call to serve his world and rule over it, into a selfish excuse to domineer, to exploit, to satisfy our greed for more, whether that’s in our treatment of the earth, our disregard for habitat conservation, or our willful detachment and ignorance of how we fill our stomachs and homes with the resources of the world. In the fall, we truly fell to serving self, and the world and our relationships, our own hearts have been suffering ever since. 


But we do bear the image of our Creator, of our Father who pursued our hearts, turned them away from introspective, selfish inclination, and lifted them to the light of Jesus. Our Father whose pursuit of us didn’t end with the day of our salvation, but continues to pursue us all our days on this earth with his goodness and mercy. Our father who assures us he will bring to fulfillment the work he has begun in us, and at the same time has set his spirit within us to empower us to actively live for his praise and glory. 


As image bearers, as those who live now in the light of that which is to come, we can pursue all that our heavenly father pursues- love, reconciliation, justice and peace in this world. Have no doubt, it is He alone who will surely bring to an end all pain, all mourning, all sorrow and sin, all suffering, but until that day of his kingdom come, He calls us to participate in his kingdom building, kingdom renewing and transforming world now. He will show us the full extent of his glorious vision for the world in the future. For that we wait and the glory will far surpass anything we can imagine, but we wait with a passionate pursuit, not an idle apathy. 


In God’s new creation, all violence and exploitation, all conflict in humanity and creation will be no more. True peace will reign over all. This is the vision for which all creation longs. This is the vision that should inspire and motive the children of the King of Heaven and Earth to live with one foot in this world and another in the next, as redeemed images of our Creator, Father, God and King, serving and ruling for his praise and glory. All we hope for from God, in expectation and assurance, affects our living now.

Living while looking to heaven, to the certain hope of what is to come protects our interactions with others and our interests in advocating for causes in the world from become centered on self. What drives us to be a voice to the voiceless, to be an advocate for the powerless, the marginalised, the unborn, the neglected in the world is knowing that the earth and its fullness belong to the Lord. We serve a King and we serve the King who first served us, whose rule led to the cross, whose dominion over the world took him to the depths of death, whose lordship in heaven led to a life in human flesh, and whose sovereignty and majesty willingly determined the giving of that life as a ransom for many. 


We may live in the world of ‘not yet’. But our Father is calling us to wait in eager expectation of what he will certainly reveal. The ‘not yet’ of his promised restored creation, the ‘not yet’ he whispers to us as we long for an end to the suffering of this world, comes with a call, a demand from our Lord and King to commit to the work he is already doing, that he has begun. As with the child desperate to get involved in preparing for the feast, so we too long to be part of the restoring, renewing work that God will bring to fulfillment. 


Our child like offerings may not be perfect but we stand before our Father accepted on account of the perfect offering of the perfect Son. His death was certainly not in vain, and his kingdom will surely come. As we await his full perfect eternal reign, we do so living for his praise and glory, in the life he won for us, in active participation of the work he invites us to share in. 

Our heavenly Father says ‘not yet’ now, but oh how he invites us to be part of his kingdom building, his kingdom coming. He calls us to wait, and he calls us to work.

So, what are you waiting for?

The big reveal

What does your perfect Summer’s evening look like? Fish and chips on the beach, or drinks in a country pub, camping under the stars maybe, or an evening walk along the seafront? 


For me, it’s an evening with family, chimnea lit on a cooler evening in the garden, and listening to my husband and his family playing guitar together and singing old country tunes and hymns. I just love it. Not much has changed since I was a 17year old love struck teenager at her boyfriend’s gigs…. I still love watching the same boy play!


Last night, we were settling into such a summers’ evening at my parents in law’s house when my daughter got out of bed, pleading to watch and listen to the music.
Pefectly content to just sit and spectate, as I watched her watching her dad, I recognised that look on her face, the joy and wonder at the sight before her. Looking in complete love and awe.


For this girl before her Father, to spectate was sufficient. To behold was grace enough. 
So it is in the kingdom of God. To see and behold the glory of God the Father would be grace enough for us as his children. That was Moses’ cry: ‘show me your glory’, and he was blessed with the passing glory of the Lord, with a glimpse as he sheltered from a rock. A glimpse was grace enough.


The cry from the children of God to behold his glory, continued after Moses, and has been wonderfully heard and answered by our Heavenly Father with the giving of his Son.

 
And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth. John 1v14


Jesus is the revelation of God, the image of God, the revelation of his glory. We have seen God in the face of his Son Jesus Christ. We have received grace.


For my 6 year old, it was grace enough to be up late, to be with daddy, watching, adoring him, enjoying all the glory he displayed through his voice and guitar. That would be grace enough, for a Father’s child to be placed before him in that moment when she should have been in bed. That would have been grace enough but a Father’s love for his child always leads to giving in abundance. Why? Because we are made in the image of the One who, through his Son, gives his children more. 


From his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace John 1v16


To have seen the glory of God in the face of Jesus would have been grace enough. A child before her Father beholding him in love and adoration. That is grace enough.

And yet, our Heavenly Father is He who pours onto us through his Son, not only grace, but grace upon grace. And so, he promises us not just a passing glimpse, not merely a sight of God made man in history, but he promises us future revelation of his glory.

For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us. Romans 8v18


The glory to be revealed to us suggests the role of spectator doesn’t it. God will unveil, will show, will reveal to us his glory. That is grace enough. But In the kingdom of God, there is grace upon grace, and in the kingdom of God, the spectator becomes the partaker. ‘The glory that is to be revealed to us’ is a revelation that carries with it more than an allowance to spectate and behold. The glory that is to be revealed to us is a revealing that bestows, that shares, a revelation that doesn’t work upon us as spectators, but works in and through us as vessels. Spectators becoming partakers.


Grace upon grace from the Father to his children. 


So it was for my daughter, who was content to sit and spectate last night, received so much more from her Father. Soon her choice of song was asked for, and she began to sing along. A Father calling his child to come nearer, so the child is soon not just a spectator of the music, but a part of it; not just an audience to her daddy’s musical glory (my phrasing not his!) but a participant;  the spectating child becomes the partaker of her Father’s work, her Father’s ‘glory’.  


Every glorious spectacle, every grand unveiling, every revelation deserves an audience, and in our family summer evening get-togethers, I am always happy to play the role of spectator. In the final revelation of glory, the most glorious revelation of history, the spectators are the rest of creation who waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God.( Romans 8v19)


Creation will play the role of spectator. It will gaze in adoration and wonder at the most remarkable display of the glory of God, which is none less than the very children, the sons and daughters of God. We will be the revelation of the glory of God to the whole of creation, along with the risen Lord Jesus, the Son of God. He came as the revelation of the glory of God that we might partake of that same glory. that the glorious revelation of our fully sanctified perfected natures in Him will be the glorious revelation that creation cannot wait to behold. Just to be a spectator is grace indeed. 


But to be a partaker is grace upon grace. That is the most remarkable revelation of all, that in Jesus, we will be the beautiful revelation for the rest of creation to behold on the day and the eternal days after when we will see the Lord in all his glory, face to face.  


From his fullness, we have truly received grace upon grace.

Meaningful Mystery

Do you ever go through a day and wonder what you did, what actually happened? I used to blame it on baby brain fog but my children are 4 and 6 now so I think that excuse is wearing thin. Some days just go by so quietly don’t they. I wonder whether it has something to do with a tendency to look at things in isolation, in disjointed pieces, fixating on the detail in front without being aware of what else is going on.


Our lives from our perspective can feel disjointed, random, mundane, separate moments of inconsequence and insignificance. Whether it’s the conversations we have in the playground, the unexpected changes to our plans, the food shop, the time we get the train to work, days we’re ill and can’t go to work, we can go through these and not consider the relation that one isolated incident has to any other.


But God’s perspective is vastly different. He looks at all things at once, and not only sees perfectly the relation that one thing has to another, but perfectly plans them too, fashioning the links in the chain. He times and places the details of our days that to us pass by often unnoticed or unadmired. His providence gives meaning to the mundane, magnitude to the minutae and mystery to the mystifying (forgive me, my husband is now a preacher and the alliteration is part of the gig apparently!)


God uses the moments described as ‘chance encounters’ to lead to the birth of babies 10 years later. He allows the teenager suffering with eczema to endure that pain so he can in his twenties compassionately care for his sick children, children God will give him by the wife he met by the providence of God, through a mutual friendship that began at aged 6, in a school chosen for those children by their parents who themselves met at a particular moment in time.


When God has ordered a circumstance for the present to be so, there may well be work He will accomplish and bring to bear 10, 20, 30 years from now that depends on his providence of today. One chain may go on to a thousand strong link.

For there is beautiful magnitude in the providence of God


But maybe we can all too painfully identify with the image of God’s providence as links in a chain, but rather than see the intricate links and details, one event bound and tied to another, leading on in a progression of providential care, we see and feel the chains as those of a prisoner. We can feel constrained, trapped, imprisoned in the situation we haven’t asked for, we may not have first hand caused, but the situation that is nevertheless the present link in the chain. What if providence feels like prison? 


Well then we start hatching an escape plan.


We wrestle and wrench in an attempt to break this link of providence, to refashion the chain in another way. But while we seek to escape our circumstance, God may be calling us to remain, and to interpret them in light of who He is and His promises to us.


In light of the truth that by His providence, He rules the heavens and the earth, that is power and might extend to every sphere of the world, to every moment in time, to every detail of every day, to the rising and the setting of the sun, to every circumstance and every person, without exception.


Is the Lord calling us to understand Him and His ways better, rather than just go to him for a quick fix, seek from him a short term solution? I may be looking for escape, for deliverance, not realising God is calling me to look up to Him, to my deliverer.

There is always meaning in the providence of God and He means for his children to grow in knowledge and love and awe of Him, as he works in our lives to work change in our hearts. He leads us through times of transition, times of loss, through rich blessing and desperate pain, teaching us all the while who He is, working deeply in our hearts to fashion them after his likeness, renewing us increasingly in His image, sharpening our eyes of faith so we can see more clearly His work in our lives, always for our good and His glory, intricately bound, stronger than irons of a chain. 

There is always meaning in the providence of God, but there is also mystery, which means the meaning He is working out through every detail of our lives we may not comprehend, we may not see, we may not agree with. 


I am a problem fixer at heart and it’s a serious problem! For, in the heart of every problem fixer, aside from a fear of chaos and a need for order, lies a desire for explanation. We don’t like to be without answers do we? We hear it in a child’s incessant ‘why’s’, in our ‘I wonder whether’, our ‘how abouts’, in our bold verdicts on other’s decisions.


Sometimes our desire for explanation is a beautiful gift of grace from God, using our minds, our imaginations to explore and wonder at his creation, at his ways, at his providence in our own and others’ lives. 

Other times our willful wonderings slip into misguided interpretations of events. When looking at God’s ways, when His works in our lives and others bring out the whys, hows, and lead us to ask, ‘what is going on here?’ it can feel like we’re pointlessly searching around in the dark. We’re asking for the light of revelation to shine on this dark situation, for clarity, for perspective, for clear guidance. We ask for sight, and often the sense of blind searching in the dark remains. 


No explanation or reason comes to mind. No immediate relief. The decisions remain to be made, the pain is left to be endured. When God’s ways prove unsearchable, his judgements inscrutable, we may be called to remain in the dark, and spend our time less in searching, but in surrender.

Because while there is always meaning in the providence of God, there is also deep mystery.We may still be in the dark when it comes to our lack of clarity on the meaning behind his providence in this situation, but we can still worship in the dark, worship the one who promises the light of Himself, of His presence, promises to shine the light of the knowledge of his glory in the face of Jesus into our hearts.  

When I sit in darkness

The Lord is a light to me

Micah 7v8


The times we sit in darkness, we sit as friends of God, not strangers to him. We sit in darkness with our closest friend who knows us and whose judgments we may not be able to understand or interpret, but whose work in us and for us is of far greater magnitude than we can fathom, has far deeper meaning than we could offer in our explanations, and has a mystery that is worthy to be worshipped.

Our God is a God who works by mysterious providence, whose deliverance for those living in darkness is to send the very light of the world, who set the captives free by sending his Son to die on a cross.


Truly the providence of God is a providence of magnitude, meaning and mystery.

Am I enough?

Brown envelopes have a way of raising my heartbeat. With slight trepidation I unseal the tab and brace myself for the contents inside. Brown envelopes: the choice of the tax office, the student loans company, and school reports! 


For some pupils, the day of the school report is a day of confident anticipation. Proudly gathering the family to read over the words of praise, of encouragement, enjoying the nods and smiles over words like ‘good work ethic’ and ‘example to others’.


For others it’s a day of pure dread. Words of verdict, of ‘encouragement’, of veiled despair from the teacher, of mild disappointment. The crumpled letter, stuffed down in the depths of the schoolbag shoved into the parents’ hands before making a quick exit. 


I’m ashamed to say I fell into the smug first category. That is until the day I read ‘sufficient’ from my Art teacher. The end of Year 8 report strongly advised I not consider taking the subject onto GCSE. A completely fair assessment. If anything, sufficient was an ironically unsuitable word to describe my complete lack of artistic and woodwork ability. But it still lay there on the page, a verdict of sub standard, enough but certainly not good enough, a sense of lack, categorically average, ok, adequate but not amazing, distinctly uninspiring, certainly not sufficient to my standard. You get the picture. This word has stuck with me. 


School reports do contain words that can linger, repeat over in the mind, words that give us stories to tell, that can end up weighing us down, and trigger emotional responses later in life. Apologies to the teachers out there. I don’t mean to add weight to your workload. I’m one of you. I’m on your side and I have been there writing the reports. Writing words that are loaded with meaning and can be carried far into life.

Sufficient was such a word to me.

 
The problem is it’s a word that screams from every marketing campaign, every make up and car advert, even Disney films. It’s a word we’re told over and over to speak to ourselves, to boldly proclaim about ourselves. You are sufficient. You are wonderfully, gloriously self sufficient. Children are raised and educated on the strength of this world. You are enough, You can be enough. 


Be self sufficient. Rely on no one else. It’s all about me, myself and I. You, yourself, you. You are what you need. 


Our children are hearing this in Disney. Think of Elsa’s searching in Frozen 2 that leads her to herself, She is complete when she finds herself. She is what she needs. Don’t write it off though. Disney, and L’oreal, or Audi, have caught onto something worth considering. In proclaiming this message of sufficiency, they have reclaimed its positive connotations, the message of being enough, having plenty, of abundance. 


There is, in sufficiency, a promise of satisfaction, of being enough for someone, for myself, of having enough and so not craving elsewhere. The danger is we have insufficiently and inappropriately searched for sufficiency in the wrong place. The world has preached and proclaimed the wonder of beauty of sufficiency but has left us all feeling ironically unsuitable, inadequate, lost, weighed down by this impossible standard of being not only enough for others but also for myself as well. We have looked for sufficiency in self. We have said of self, whether that is yours or mine, you are sufficient. In and of yourself, you can be enough. And we have all been left feeling desperately lacking. 


I have worked hard to repreach the word sufficient to myself, not so I can change the verdict of my school report and become ‘more than’, become better than the negative ok and adequacy. Rather, God has re preached the word to me by the power of his Spirit in my heart, showing me that it is He, not I, who is wonderfully sufficient. Sufficient for all my needs. Not in the sense that he will do, he is adequate but not good or outstanding, not in the sense he is average. In the sense is he fully satisfyingly, abundantly enough for me. He is all I need and because of his sufficiency for me, I, along with every Christian in the world, can say, I not only have ‘enough’ but I have all. He is enough in the fullest sense possible. 
He is sufficient to forgive every sin. Enough to satisfy your weary soul. Abundant in his goodness and provision for us.Sufficient to save, to uphold, to keep us. Enough to fight our every fear. Sufficient to remove all shame, guilt and condemnation. Abundant in worth for us to give our lives in praise and worship to Him. 


We have all because we have God who has all things in himself, who gave himself for us. We have God for our portion, so we have enough. We are satisfied. 


This is true ‘self sufficiency’. 


The message of the world has a point. There is great news in the word of sufficiency. There is even truth in self sufficiency. However it can only be found when we seek first the kingdom of God, when we see that sufficiency is found in God, not in ourselves. When we see God as our all sufficiency, when we allow him, not ourselves, to fill our hearts, souls, minds, for him to equip us with all strength, rather than dig down deep into our ‘own’. He has filled us so sufficiently that he has placed the very kingdom of God within us. A heart filled with the kingdom of God has no need for the kingdom of the world. God has filled us with all the fullness of Christ. When God fills the heart with himself, there is no need for that heart to fill itself on disappointing temporary, far from perfect, distinctly average, and generically ‘ok’ satisfaction elsewhere. 


If we seek for sufficiency in and of ourselves, we will be desperately disappointed as we find nothing but insufficiency. Without God, we have nothing. We are nothing. There is no sense of any adequacy when we come before our all sufficient, all holy God. We are not found sufficient in ourselves in any way. 


But the message of true, powerful, wonderful, beautiful sufficiency is God’s to proclaim and preach to our hearts. Because He is self sufficient in himself, because he is sufficient for our every need, desire, and circumstance, because He himself is our sufficiency, we can say with all confidence, we have enough. We have all. We have received God himself.

Psalm 16v5: ‘The Lord is my chosen portion.’Jeremiah 31v5: I will refresh the weary and satisfy the faint

Psalm 81v10I am the Lord your God who brought you up out of Egypt. open your mouth wide and I will fill it

Jeremiah Burroughs, ‘A Christian can say I not only have enough but I have all. How did he have all? Because He had God who was all. God has all things in himself, and you have God for your portion, and in that you have all, and this is the mystery of contentment.’ The Rare Jewel of Christian Contentment

Setting the heart to work

Personality profile one: Professional procrastinator. Serial sidetracker. Disastrously distracted. 


Personality profile two: Focused, intense, constantly on-the-go, passionate and single minded. 

When it comes to putting my mind to the task of the moment, the duties of the day, I could easily fall into either category. Diligent and determined on the one hand; restless and distracted on the other. For me, it has less to do with my mood, or even the kind of day I’m having, but more so on the job that is required of me at the time. Planning and enjoying family trips, studying, meeting with friends and baking with the kids and I’m textbook number two profile. Any kind of life admin, cleaning, paying bills or doing the food shop and I will find anything else to do. 


The problem is, the task looms over me because like it or not, they are ways God requires me to spend some of my time. The more I put them off, the more my heart becomes restless and discontent. When I choose to pick up a book instead of the car keys to go to the supermarket (or vice versa), I actually rob myself of the joy of the moment. My mind is racing with the other thing I really should be doing. Distracted mind leads to distracted heart. 


Lockdown brought with it a change of routine and tasks for everyone. Usual activities and programmes at church, the way we fill our time in the week, has all been dramatically overturned. 


Maybe new responsibilities replaced old ones for you: bible study leading with home schooling; youth group with house chores. Maybe there wasn’t replacement, but only loss. Deep loss: time left blank, spaces in homes and hearts painfully empty, silence your companion for the day instead of people. 


Maybe a sense of helpfulness became helplessness in the face of so much need yet equal restriction. A sense of accomplishment became snatched moments and feelings of incompletion.Busy days on feet rushing from one place to another became times of desperation on knees in prayer.


What can I do? What is your plan for me? Why do I feel so useless?When will this end?


Those heartbreaking questions, that soul searching as we grieved the loss of church life and family affection, of touch, of words and affirmation, of gifts and acts of service in the ways we were used to. It was in those times, in those questions, in those moment of heart unrest and trouble that God’s grace was working. Bringing us to our knees, feeling the pain of our helplessness, acutely aware of our smallness in the face of such great problems, as we fought and grieved for our old routines and battled against the new tasks required of us. 


I battled hard in lockdown. I mourned deeply. I longed for coffee shop moments with friends instead of attending to my children’s home schooling. Too often my battling was against my circumstance of the day. Instead of fighting for my heart’s rest in God in the present situation, I fought for a return to the old life, and in my distraction and longing for old routines, my heart was left uneasy and resentful. The days were often more quiet but my heart was not.  


Whether it felt like replacement or loss, or both, God’s grace brought all his children to their knees in lockdown. Now we need his grace to teach our hearts to remember all we learned as we begin to emerge into the new normal. Those times our hearts rocked during the storms of our restlessness, when they grieved for the busyness and roles we once enjoyed, those were times that God’s grace was calling us to cry out to him in prayer. 


Stripped of all our secondary resources, all our church activity, we have been called to rely on the one resource we always have, to pray. Prayer is the pouring out of our hearts to God, that he may bring them to quiet and contentment, and teach them to still our distractions and be able to commit to the task of our present situation. 


Compared to a month ago, we may have more options now, more decisions to make as to which jobs God is asking us to do for him this day. God’s grace brought many of us to our knees in lockdown. By his grace, let’s start the day there, asking him what he requires of us, as the diary gradually begins to be filled, as we can enjoy spending more time with each other in person, let’s keep our hearts quiet amidst these changing times by setting them to work. As we gradually add in more work and jobs for the day, let’s set our hearts to work too.

Let’s set our hearts to work in honest prayer, in self reflection, aware of those things we’re putting off, of the jobs we’re fighting against doing. Let’s fight against distraction by simply asking our heavenly Father what he will have us to do this day.


Let’s set our hearts to work in praise and worship of who God is.


We can be free to be where we are, committed to the present circumstance, trusting God is everywhere so we don’t have to be, that he carries the burdens of all our pain, that to him alone belongs the power to change, to bring contentment amidst the affliction.

The restrictions may be lifted, the new normal may be faced, but the lessons God taught us on our knees in the school of lockdown suffering can be remembered. God’s grace upholds us from our rising to our resting, in our silence and in our work, on our knees and as we rise to run the race he has marked out for us this day.