“As a deer longs for flowing streams, so my soul longs for you, O God.” – Psalm 42:1 GOD’S WORD translation
“For apart from me, you can do nothing.” – John 15:5 ESV
“I need Thee every hour, in joy or pain; Come quickly and abide, or life is vain. I need Thee, O I need Thee; Every hour I need Thee; O bless me now, my Savior, I come to Thee.” – Lyrics from “I Need Thee Every Hour” by Annie Sherwood Hawks in 1872.
Last week I reached a milestone: Six long decades of life on this planet 😊 In celebration, I decided to take a ride in the high country of Zion National Park along the Kolob Terrace. I wanted to hike the cliffs near the Wildcat Canyon trail – heading toward Northgate Peaks. The views there are spectacular and serene. The smell of arid mountain pines, the hue of the wildflowers that seem to scan the entire color spectrum, and the valley breezes that gently caress your face as you walk along were all part of a self-given birthday present – one I just couldn’t pass up.
As I rounded one of the curves, the two fellows pictured below were slowly lumbering across the road. After I stopped to let them pass, I grabbed my cell phone, lowered the passenger side window, and took that photo. Good thing mule deer are more inquisitive than skittish. Their curiosity disguised itself as a purposeful pose 😊
The hike along the cliffs was filled with reflection – looking back on the fleeting sixty years of life that seemed to have passed in the blink of an eye. I thought a lot about the accomplishments and the disappointments – the events that filled a joyful heart and those that emptied and shattered it into a million pieces.
As I walked along, I thought about those deer and the Bible verse I listed above. How much of my life was spent longing for God’s presence and involvement? How many years did I spend thirsty for His direction, wisdom, and guidance and how many of them were spent trying to satisfy my own soul? If every aspect of my life had been God-centered, would the accomplishments have had a greater and a deeper purpose to them? How many heartaches would have been avoided? More importantly, would I have added more value and goodness to the life of others?
Too many years were spent working a plan that was meant to satisfy my own soul. How foolish when it takes decades to finally embrace the Scripture verse “Apart from me you can do nothing.”
Yet in my own egotistical way, I thought I could. In many ways that lie continues to invade my thinking and permeate the events and circumstances of my life.
The truth is centered in this: God needs to be a part of every aspect of life for it to thrive with purpose and to accomplish deeper meaning. We might think we only need Him in the rough years, but we need Him every year! Not only every year, but every month, every day and every hour 😊
In a very sobering way, I thought about the hours found within sixty years of life and how many of them were spent apart from God – not in disbelief or in a denouncing fashion, but in an apathetic, aloof, and unconscious sort of way. If apart from God we can do nothing, then no wonder I can look back on too many things left undone, unsaid, and are fraught with mistakes and errors that cannot be reversed.
How about you, my friend?
Think about a life where God is ACTIVELY SEEN and ACTIVELY PURSUED every hour. What kind of wisdom would we acquire? What kind of peace would fill each circumstance and event that unfolded? Would the guidance and direction we need come more easily and clearly? Would the twists and turns of this life take on a deeper meaning and purpose? Would the blessings come with greater gratitude and the hardships with stronger resolve in the sovereignty and deeper purposes of God?
Would those hours ever be a waste? Think my friend of how the hours make up days, and how those days make up months and years so quickly!
Time is of the essence! In fact, this very hour and the next is vital. Don’t allow 60 years to come and go before you see that apart from God nothing can be accomplished with any kind of purpose or longevity.
Think about what it means to the quality of your life moving forward – both now and in the world to come. May each of us see Him and pursue His presence in EVERY HOUR of our lives!
God bless you my friend 😊
“I need Thee every hour, teach me Thy will; And Thy rich promises in me fulfill! I need Thee, O I need Thee; Every hour I need Thee; O bless me now, my Savior, I come to Thee!