Tuesday, April 9, 2013

When I am afraid...

My Grandson, Jack... Receiving sage advice!
When I was just a wee little lad of 5, I would ride down the neighborhood hill on my brother's 10 speed by stepping UNDER the cross bar... I remember feeling pretty cool, fearlessly speeding down the gravel hill with arms and legs over, under, and through an adult-sized bike frame... foolishly without brakes!

Fast forward 50 years... I've slowed down dramatically... and my ability to do anything "fast" or "fearless" has all but vanished.  I find myself retreating from conversations because it's just so difficult to talk these days... and when I do try to say anything, I'm either not understood or misunderstood... I often feel locked up inside, wanting to escape this prison called Parkinson's Disease...

I long to give a word of encouragement (or correction) to those closest to me, but the words get all jumbled up inside. My physical body along with it's physical senses and abilities (which I've relied on for 55 years) cannot be trusted to deliver...

And yet, as I decline, a greater expectation and hope emerges before me... God's promises are true, and there is nowhere that my failing body, nor my weakening mind, can take me that's outside of His presence and His kindness... (Psalm 139:7-8)

Frustrating, painful, confusing... and yet, somehow mysteriously peaceful... 
My sweet mom taught me the following song when I was very young...

When I am afraid, 
I will trust in You, 
I will trust in You,
I will trust in You.
When I am afraid, 
I will trust in You,
In God's Word I trust.

I find it thot-provoking that something I learned at 5 is still true at 55!  My worst fears may lie ahead, but not without a greater, richer, and ever more joyful life in Christ!

The watches of the night (Kristyn Getty)
I look towards the wintering trees
To hush my fretful soul
As they rise to face the icy sky
And hold fast beneath the snow
Their rings grow wide, their roots go deep
That they might hold their height
And stand like valiant soldiers
Through the watches of the night

No human shoulder ever bears
The weight of all the world
But hearts can sink beneath the ache
Of trouble's sudden surge
Yet far beyond full knowing
There's a strong unsleeping light
That reaches round to hold me
Through the watches of the night

I have cried upon the steps that seem
Too steep for me to climb
And I've prayed against a burden
I did not want to be mine
But here I am and this is where
You're calling me to fight
And You I will remember
Through the watches of the night
You I will remember
Through the watches of the night


  1. Thank you Merv! You have been a great friend and companion in the fight through the night. I love you dear friend.

  2. Thanks for encouraging me today! Love you!

  3. Thanks Uncle Merv. We need you and we love you greatly. You truly are one of my heroes.

  4. My husband of Enduring Faith...I am so blessed to walk this painful path with you. Not that the path is of our choosing but I am glad it is with you that I travel. No one else in this world I'd rather be with.

  5. Thank you, Merv, for your always-encouraging insights into your every-day challenges.

    As “trapped” as you may feel, the heart of Jesus is reaching out to others through the prison bars.

    You are a good brother, Merv, and God is using your unique circumstances to uplift His body.

    Thank you.

  6. Bless you Merv. You are the example that I want to emulate through my tough times. May God continue to bless you and encourage you and deepen your walk with him.

    Your sis in Christ,

  7. Thanks for teaching me this song when I was young, and showing me what it means again now that I'm grown. I hope I can be faithful to teach my kids too.