Mid-Life, middle-aged mediocrity

This year, perhaps more than ever before, we have been conscious of your love and prayers. There have been so many encouragements along the way, and yet, we have also been more aware of the battle. How we continue to need a renewed and deeper sense of the nearness of our God.

I’m reminded of lines from a hymn by Philip Bliss… you may remember his name. I grew up singing many of his hymns including “I am so glad that my Father in heaven,” and the Gospel Hall favourite “Almost persuaded!” But the line that is in my heart is simply a 2 word couplet – “Striving within…”

I couldn’t place the hymn, and was sure that the ‘strivings within’ referred to the ongoing struggles that we each face every day, sometimes with a greater awareness than others. However, those are not the strivings that Bliss writes about. Here is the verse of the hymn where they are found…

More holiness give me, More striving within; More patience in suff’ring, More sorrow for sin; More faith in my Savior, More sense of His care. More joy in His service, More purpose in prayer.

I am challenged by those words. I often sang, as a young man, with gusto “Take my life and let it be consecrated Lord to Thee.” But, to be honest, life gets in the way of my commitment. I looked around the church where I grew up, whilst still in my teens, and asked that God would save me from mid-life, middle aged, mediocrity!

The earnest desire I had in my teens can so easily be dissipated as the ‘cares of this world’ press in around me! Do you feel the same?

So, today, I want to make the prayer of Philip Bliss my own. I want to recommit to the yearning and passion I had as a younger man. I want to be more like Jesus!

Will you join me in praying this prayer for 2015?

More gratitude give me, More trust in the Lord; More pride in His glory, More hope in His word; More tears for His sorrows, More pain at His grief; More meekness in trial, More praise for relief.

More purity give me, More strength to o’ercome; More freedom from earth-stains, More longings for home; More fit for the kingdom, More used would I be; More blessèd and holy, More, Savior, like Thee.

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