The St Bene’t’s Advent Calendar: a reflection for each day of Advent, by members of the congregation.
The picture for today is a waterfall.
Not a cold, glaciated, ‘in the bleak mid winter’ kind of waterfall, with icicles hanging from rock ledges,
but a bursting its banks, abundant, tumbling waterfall, refreshing on a hot day.
This is the grace of God, always being poured out for me, moment by moment.
I realised this picture with a joyful sense of recognition during a recent period of anxiety. My thoughts and fears for my friend’s situation seemed to be holding me captive. It felt as if I was at the vortex of a constantly swirling whirlpool. It kept me awake at night. I knew I needed to pray, but anxious thoughts kept getting in the way. Then I remembered a book title ‘The Power of Praise’ – read long ago – but now the only thing I could remember was the title, and the conviction that it contained a truth.
Over the next few days, I developed a prayer of saying the word ‘grace’ on a calm in breath, and the word ‘praise’ on a calm out breath, every time I thought of my friend or I seemed agitated. The whirlpool picture changed to a waterfall. I continued this practice anytime I felt the anxiety returning – and in a few days my friend’s situation had been brought to a much calmer conclusion.
Now, to do this experience justice, I would, if I could, like to create a picture of a two way waterfall – God’s grace pouring down on me, and my praise pouring up to God. But that would defy gravity!
Perhaps I really need the calmer words of Isaiah:
‘You shall be like a watered garden, and like a spring of water whose waters never fail’ (Isaiah 58 v.11)
I can be watered by grace today and be a source of endless praise as well.
And I give thanks for that book title long ago.