Challenged by a hymn
Here's a hymn I was reading this morning:
Norwegian Folk Melody
Behold, they stand in robes of white
Who out of tribulation came,
With songs of joy upon their heads,
They praise His holy name.
O these are they whose hearts are pure,
And free from sin or any stain,
They stand before the throne of light,
Their joy shall never wane.
They worship Him in spirit new,
God's messengers of Love and Life,
They do His will, they speak His Word,
That stills all pain and strife.
They show an ever clearer light,
Like stars they shall forever shine;
They witness truly to His Word,
And God saith, These are Mine.
I've loved this hymn for years. It was sung by a dear friend at my wedding 25 years ago. I felt at that time that my marriage represented the reorienting of my life from walking on the wild side to embracing righteousness, and this hymn said it all for me. I felt welcomed by God.
The marriage didn't last, however, and the wild side called to me again. And I came out of it again after many trials into righteousness. I was able to fulfill my responsibilities with the strength that righteousness gave me—I don't think I would have made it through otherwise.
Now I find my plate is clearing up, the responsibilities are finishing, and I'm again doing things like writing blistering fiction. I feel like the life coaching and other things are bringing me out of a self-imposed exile. I'm wondering if there's a middle ground somewhere where I can be both righteous and a little wild.
So the hymn is challenging me again with its message of purity. I know that lasting joy is spiritual, and that basking in God's glory is the highest reality. I mean, I've felt this. It's been a comfort and support through all the lonely years of fighting on my own. I owe my life and any achievements I've had to the spiritual truths that sustained me.
But I feel on the edge of my seat, like something's going to happen next when I turn the page on my own life. How will it all fit together?
Well, that's what's on my mind today. Thanks for listening! Any thoughts you have would be appreciated. How have you handled transitions in your own life?
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