Allay your fears, be still, concentrate

Hermese

Jah Give I Strength

Jah give I strength
Never let I fail
To live out the greater part of my days
Give I strength
Jah give I strength
Never let I fail
To live out the greater part of my days
Give I strength

Buju Banton sang these words in 1997, and boy, are they poignantly relevant today, in this season.

For some time now, I’ve observed that my weekly messages foretell my personal journey for the week. So, when I said, ‘Into the Deep Water‘, I was pushed to take my weekly pieces in a direction which I’d been avoiding – that of not concealing the link between my pieces and Scripture readings for the Sunday of the week. When I declared, ‘Happy are They [who trust in the Lord]’ that week tested me so that I would believe the truth of those words. Last week, when I encouraged you, ‘Doh Take It On‘, I was confronted with the truth of my own unforgiveness and I had to make some critical decisions to release hurts so that I could forgive.

This week, as I go to Scripture for my weekly inspiration, my eyes are drawn to the words in our collect (week’s prayer) for the last Sunday after Epiphany: ‘Grant to us that we, […], may be strengthened to bear our cross […]’. Imagine my inordinate discomfort in reading those words. I ask, almost in disbelief, ‘Wait, you mean there’s more?’

After the uncomfortable gulp of those words, I go on to complete the readings for the day and, trying to avoid the potency and weight of those words asking for strength, I pray, ‘Lord, show me the message for this week.’ I hear that still, small voice come back to me, ‘You already have them.’ The truth of that response is staggering. [Heavy sigh] ‘All right then,’ I concede. I concede for, at this point, that is as much as it makes sense to do. Why resist? Why object? Why protest? It would only be to waste the strength I’m supposed to be gathering to bear my cross. And note, this is not just any cross. No! This is my cross. This cross has been made for no one else but me. If I choose not to bear it at this point, no one else will bear it for me. It has been custom-designed for me. It has been shaped for me – given my challenges, my gifts, my potential and, most importantly, my purpose. Without this cross, I cannot step into my purpose. My cross is the bridge to my purpose.

Jah give I strength
Never let I fail
To live out the greater part of my days
Give I strength

The strength I need is to live out the ‘greater part of my days’. I choose to interpret ‘greater’ here, not in terms of quantity, but in terms of more significant and impactful. The greater part of my days is that part that HEWs me into the likeness of Christ, as I behold in faith the light of His countenance (as the collect also states). The greater part of my days is the part of my days that allow me to live as He did – loving His neighbour, whatever that meant for Him in His day, and now, whatever that means for me in my life.

Jah give I strength
Never let I fail

Jah give I strength, never let I fail’. This is the purpose behind bearing the cross – that I will not fail. And, by ‘never fail’, I don’t mean never to make a mistake, for that’s not possible, but rather, never let me fail, Lord, to live out my purpose. Never let me fail to be the person You have created me to be, impacting lives the way You intend for me, serving others the way You have purposed, giving to others just as You give to me.

Jah give I strength
Never let I fail
To live out the greater part of my days
Give I strength.
Jah give I strength
Never let I fail
To live out the greater part of my days
Give I strength.

Give me strength, Lord, to bear the cross that, in love, You have created for me. Give me strength, Lord, to submit myself to Your HEWing of me so that I might be more like You. Jah, give I strength, for I can’t do this on my own.

Jah, give me strength. Jah, give you strength. Jah, give us all strength.

Until next time,

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