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Friday, December 26, 2008

Friday Freelance: RESPITE

Friday Freelance: RESPITE

What a wonderful Christmas! I spent little time shopping-decorating-baking, and much time at various celebrations and church family activities.

Though the big day is now past I'm not quite finished. Half my holiday cards went out last week (into church mailboxes), and half go out in today or tomorrow's postal mail. Joining a big church doubled the quantity to well over two hundred! I've tried to trim that list, but there's too many people whom we genuinely love to send any fewer.

Next week's respite from Christmas activities is nothing compared to the respite of Isaiah chapter 26. I've read Isaiah numerous times, but never before tried to share messages from this book. WHEW! Time spent on these posts has tripled and quadrupled as I've tackled prophecy.

The Gospels, epistles, Old Testament history and Psalms easily lend themselves to inspirational messages. But chapter after chapter of prophecy warning of punishment? Are all of you as weary of fire and brimstone as me? What a delight to hit Isaiah 26. I plan to camp here for a bit before moving on.

Back in the days when I climbed mountains, respites were always short. Steep trails and forty-plus-pound frame backpacks quickly weary a body. The flat places in the trail were few and far between, and actual rest stops along ascents were necessarily brief before muscles were allowed to freeze up. Shedding camping gear for a day pack to climb a peak changed the challenge to life or death. Once above timberline, one must reach the peak and dodge back into trees by noon or so, or risk being caught in a fast rising lightning storm and being the tallest target for large bolts of electricity.

The late Rich Mullins sang, "And on this road to righteousness, sometimes the climb can be so steep; I may falter in my steps, but never beyond Your reach."

Our Christian walk is arduous. Yet the good Lord can be relied upon to provide perfectly timed respites. They may come as encouraging words in the exact hour needed, as a Bible verse that speaks so loudly our soul finds release, or as the tangible presence of God when we bow broken and bleeding from the heart.

Never lose heart. The climatic view from atop a 14,000' peak is nothing compared to the climax awaiting at the end of life's climb. There will be no hurry to retreat to safety then, for our respite will become permanent—and much more precious because of the climb to reach it.

Lyrics of SOMETIMES BY STEP by Rich Mullins, Beaker © 1992 BMG Songs, Inc. (ASCAP)

Feedback invited. Post to "Comments" or e-mail to © 2008, Anne Lang Bundy


  1. Your writing is strong and evocative always, dear Anne. When I read about the mountains you love, I almost catch the scent of them. Above the tree line...really and truly? 14.000 feet? WOW.

    What a blessing you are. God has used your gifts and experiences in such a mighty way. Thank you for blessing me every day with your excellent posts.

  2. You make me smile, Gwen, both when you call me evocative and when I read Singer-Scribe—posts so lyrical your singing is audible.

    Denise, thank you for your faithful comments. I continue to pray as you await news from the MD's.


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