Lord, you have always given bread for the coming day,
And though I am poor, today I believe.
I'm tired. Pregnancy does that, and allergies and waking up and not being able to go back to sleep. I stare at the ceiling, wondering if it's better for the baby if I take the medicine or if I don't get the rest that I need. I imagine horrible things in those dark hours, tragedy and loss and things getting worse for us and not better. And when I do sleep I dream, strange sagas that don't seem much better than lying awake.
Lord, you have always given strength for the coming day,
And though I am weak, today I believe.
Sometimes, it's hard for me to see any life for us but this one, this constant treading water, taking several steps forward only to take other ones back and find ourselves at the starting point once again. I trust, I grip God's hands when they're offered and pray, "Please, please, please," even when I don't know if it goes beyond the walls of my room.
Lord, you have always given peace for the coming day,
And though of anxious heart, today I believe.
I forget that we're fighting an enemy, that this life is a battle and every day, even the good ones, are days when we should be ready for attack. I forget, and I get weary, for carrying a sword is hard work. It looks glamorous on TV, I suppose, but the reality, this redeeming and transforming every moment that we're called to do, is a much more serious, mundane task than it appears.
Lord, you have always kept me safe in trials,
And now, tried as I am, today I believe.
This world is not my home. I know that now, in ways that I didn't know it before. It's not my home, and I don't want it to be. But that doesn't mean I shouldn't see the beauty, shouldn't love the stolen moments when my girlie smiles her toothy grin and he takes my hand across the table and we watch her, overcome with joy even though there's no good reason.
Lord, you have always marked the road for the coming day,
And though the way is hidden, today I believe.
And so I hope, not that it will be easy, but that we will learn to see beauty where we stand, wherever we stand. If I give my children nothing else, I want them to know that circumstances are just that: circumstances. They're not to be ignored or brushed over, but accepted and grieved and lived in and made meaningful, but they're not the end. Never, ever the end.
Lord, you have always lightened this darkness of mine,
And though the night is here, today I believe.
We can only embrace and transform our lives and our circumstances when we see them as part of the whole, when we remember how temporary and transitory they are. They form us, if we'll let ourselves be formed by them, but the end of the story is always the same. Joy.
Lord, you have always spoken when time was ripe,
And though you be silent now, today I believe.*
* The prayer is from Celtic Daily Prayer, the prayer book of the Northumbria Community.