Between the Lines

The time I have is only mine
Because you give it to me, Lord

As I make a list of things to do,
Please place Your hand on mine.

Between the lines,
Write those things
You would have me do.
The things I don’t even know about yet
That will make today worth living.

by Nancy Parker Brummett

I found this piece on the wall in a music administration office on the campus of Vanguard University. I asked where she had gotten it. A friend had given it to her. It struck me as something I should think about daily.

I spent some time looking for it online but I couldn’t find it anywhere. I ended up going back to the office with a notebook to copy it down.

I try to remember to ask God every day to place his hand on mine. I ask him to help me choose the things I need to do that day to end up where he needs me to be.

I realize that sometimes my schedule seems overfull and interruptions are not welcome on those days. But it is those days of the many interruptions that provide the most opportunity for me to trust in him. On those days I can clear my mind and pause a moment for a breath. Then I say, ok Lord, what now?

Psalm 138:7-8 When I walk into the thick of trouble, keep me alive in the angry turmoil. With one hand strike my foes, With your other hand save me. Finish what you started in me, God. Your love is eternal—don’t quit on me now.

Psalm 57:1-3 Be good to me, God—and now! I’ve run to you for dear life. I’m hiding out under your wings until the hurricane blows over. I call out to High God, the God who holds me together. He sends orders from heaven and saves me; he humiliates those who kick me around. God delivers generous love, he makes good on his word.

My God is there for me on the darkest days. He holds my hand. He brings peace and light to my soul. He walks lovingly into my heart with his quiet joy. His peace outlasts all that this world will throw at me. He is there for me.

Philippians 1:6 There has never been the slightest doubt in my mind that the God who started this great work in you would keep at it and bring it to a flourishing finish on the very day Christ Jesus appears.

And for my friends, my family, for myself, there has never been the slightest doubt in my mind that God will keep us in his hand. He started this work in us and he will continue it in us.

For these things I am secure. But for this life, there is doubt. In this life there is not serenity or courage or even wisdom. I need you even more God to face the next thing that is coming. I need you to face the next opportunity to see your provision. I need you to make it through the next interruption to my day. I need you to help me help others. And so I pray:

The Full Original Copy of the Serenity Prayer
by Reinhold Niebuhr (1892-1971)

God, give us grace to accept with serenity
the things that cannot be changed,
Courage to change the things
which should be changed,
and the Wisdom to distinguish
the one from the other.

Living one day at a time,
Enjoying one moment at a time,
Accepting hardship as a pathway to peace,
Taking, as Jesus did,
This sinful world as it is,
Not as I would have it,
Trusting that You will make all things right,
If I surrender to Your will,
So that I may be reasonably happy in this life,
And supremely happy with You forever in the next.

Amen.

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