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The Gentle God

August 17, 2010 Leave a comment

“Your gentleness made me great.” Psalm 18:35 (parallel with 2 Sam 22:36) A mystery here against which I am scratching, trying to understand. The one whose greatness is unsearchable (Psalm 145:3) is also gentle and as He stoops down” (NIV translation) He makes me great.

From the New International Dictionary of Old Testament Theology,

(ii) Psalm 18:27 [28]. David praises God for the victory going to the afflicted, while the proud are afflicted in this typical divine reversal of circumstances. In 18:35 [36], in the third part of the verse, we have “and your humility has made me great” (NIV you stoop down to make me great; note 2 Sam 22:36, “and your help has made me great”). Many conjectures have been proposed for the unusual form, but the sense of divine humility in 18:35 [36] is not impossible (Ps 113:6). God’s condescension has saved David. God had stooped to conquer David’s enemies. The divine character had been exhibited in seeking and promoting the welfare of David. There seems to be no incompatibility between humility of this character and the exercise of God’s controlled power (Dawes, 46).

The Splendor of Your Presence

April 23, 2007 Leave a comment

Here is a poem from Practicing the Prayer of Presence by Adrian van Kaam and Susan Muto that I read last week. I have been anything but gentle of late and there is a restlessness within me that I don’t like these days. As a new journey lies ahead, the following line is one that I need to pray every day! “Free me from the need for achievement. Make my life less forceful, more gentle, Centered in you alone.”

The Splendor of Your Presence
by Susan Muto and Adrian van Kaam

Lord,
You want me to learn from you
Gentleness of heart.
No matter how I fail you,
Your gentleness never fails me.
You are slow to anger;
Your kindness is without limit.
You tell me not to be distressed,
To make your gentleness my own
So that my soul may find rest.
Give me the wisdom to make time in my day
For a gentle nursing of my soul.
Free me from arrogance,
From goals too sublime for me.
Still and quiet my soul
As a mother quiets the little ones on her lap.
Free me from the need for achievement.
Make my life less forceful, more gentle,
Centered in you alone.
Let the splendor of your presence
Light up my everydayness.
Make me a smooth channel for the outflow
Of your Divine Will in this world.
Let me move gently
In the omnipresence of the Divine.
Harmonize my frail spirit with the Infinite Spirit
Who fills the universe and its history.
Love of my Lord,
Invade my soul and melt away any trace of vehemence.

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