“Simply to Thy Cross I Cling”

I will confess right off the bat that this month has been a season of clinging to Jesus for me.  I think I might be part ostrich, because my natural tendency is to just stick my head in the sand whenever life gets ‘too tough’.  But whether I’ve allowed myself a little time in that soft, cool sand or been out in the thick of it, I’ve been clinging.  And not gracefully clinging, either.  I’m talking the fingernails dug in and feet dangling kind of clinging.  There is a battle raging, I have no energy to fight – and so I cling.

If I were to write about our family experiences with daily devotions, you would hear about the time when Kaiser was going to draw something about the Sabbath healing at the Pool of Bethesda.  He diligently hovered over his notebook adding precision details before proudly showing us a drawing of himself playing badminton.  I know that I’ll come across that picture one day and faintly remember the despairing of my heart as I wondered if my son would -ever- experience God intimately.

When I ask my son the leading questions in our devotions, his most common response is, “Uh, Peace! Love! Courage!”  (See, Wendy, I wasn’t joking)

So I’ll leave those stories for another day when my heart isn’t despairing quite so much.  And I’ll just say that the reading of Scripture every morning and every evening has been a form of clinging for me.  I loved Lacy’s post about eating the Book.  Yes, I have it with honey for breakfast (Psalm 119:103).  We do like honey in this house.  To prove my point, I’ll share just one more kid story. Kaiser smelled honey when we were living in the story of the feeding of the 4,000 (Mark 8:1-10).  Turns out he had some honey toast along with him.  He even shared some of his honey toast with Jesus.  And when Jesus stood and gave thanks, I leaned over and whispered, asking Kaiser who Jesus was thanking.  Loudly, he says, “Me!”  4,000 heads turned our way……..  *sigh

Lord, thank you for Your Word.

Another form of clinging for me has been found in a gift from my sister-in-law.  A book called “Then Sings My Soul” by Robert J. Morgan.  In it are 150 Hymns with descriptive narratives alongside each one about the life of the author.  I have an hour at taekwondo class where I sit in a cold office and read.  Since this book arrived, I’ve been reading and singing, reading and singing.  And I’ve even begun to sing some of these to Kaiser to put him to sleep at night.  These words are medicine.  Listen.

Rock of Ages

Rock of Ages cleft for me / Let me hide myself in Thee

Let the water and the blood / From Thy wounded side which flowed

Be of sin the double cure / Save from wrath and make me pure


Could my tears forever flow / Could my zeal no languor know

These for sin could not atone / Thou must save and Thou alone

In my hand no price I bring / Simply to thy cross I cling

 

While I draw this fleeting breath / When my eyes shall close in death

When I rise to worlds unknown / And behold Thee on Thy throne

Rock of Ages cleft for me / Let me hide myself in Thee

“Just As I Am” was written by a woman wrought with physical disabilities and angry to the brim because of them.  When she faced her own epiphany that Jesus bids us come just as we are, she gave herself, full of anger and distrust, to Him – and He received her (John 6:37).  Her story brings healing.

Just As I Am

Just as I am without one plea / But that Thy blood was shed for me

And that Thou bidst me come to Thee / O Lamb of God I come / I come

 

Just as I am and waiting not / to rid my soul of one dark blot

To Thee whose blood can cleanse each spot / O Lamb of God I come / I come

 

Just as I am though tossed about / With many a conflict many a doubt

Fightings and fears within, without / O Lamb of God I come / I come

 

Just as I am poor, wretched, blind / Sight, riches, healing of the mind

Yea all I need in Thee to find / O Lamb of God I come / I come

 

Just as I am Thou wilt receive / Wilt welcome, pardon, cleanse, relieve

Because Thy promise I believe / O Lamb of God I come / I come

Lord, we encounter you in all sorts of dusty regions.  We see you healing those who are sick and feeding those who are hungry.  We recognize your compassion.  As we cling to you, increase our faith.

 

-Tamara Liebenthal

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6 thoughts on ““Simply to Thy Cross I Cling”

  1. Thank you, Tamara. Your experience with your son is so common! I love hearing it. He will be one who expresses his love for God in out of the box ways, I am guessing, and it will be just right for him and those he’s around. I will pray for this dark place you are in. Know you are being lifted up. Thank you for sharing the words and stories to the hymns. I love hearing those; they minister, as you say. Such a comfort and hope.

  2. My Dear Friend Tamara, the example of your life is his means of grace. Keep singing.
    All to Jesus I surrender. I surrender all.

  3. Oh I love this! I feel the despairing of desperately wondering if my kids will know God intimately… Then I wonder if I will either! Haha love you T! And your boys!

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