Sunday, September 9, 2012

How Can I Keep From Singing? (Psalms 100:1-5)

I haven't posted in a long time. Too long in fact. I now have heard rumors that I haven't posted because supposedly I "saw the light" and abandoned my "foolish Mormonism." Not so. If my Mormonism is my foolishness, I am more foolish than ever.

That said, the last 4 months have been an interesting emotional journey. I've learned a lot of critical lessons about managing my attractions and about the power and value of positive friendships in various forms. I cannot condense the last 4 months into a single post, so I won't even try. But I have been through one of the darkest periods of depression in my life to a current position of greater renewed faith than I have ever known. And I am happy. Very happy. I have seen the Hand of God very clearly in recent days and have now been blessed to have my eyes opened to see that Hand very evident throughout the events of this summer, even when I couldn't see it at the time.

Being humbled is hard. But worth it. That's what I learned this summer. I learned also above all to trust God above the opinions and half-truths of man. I'm always amazed at how gently and gracefully He can perform such intensive and delicate soul-surgery as He often does on us, eradicating the tumors of imperfection and personality flaw. I know I have many more such tumors to be worked out, but the schedule for the operations is always in His hands, not mine. Perfection requires patience and surrendering our time-tables to his.

When I heard that many were doubting my continued faithfulness, I could not sit back and fail to declare the truth: that I am still on the Lord's side and have to intent of leaving. For He has been so kind to me; so patient with me in my imperfections. I am filled with astonishment at His rich blessings. Two things come to mind: a psalm and a hymn.

First, the 100th Psalm:

Make a joyful noise unto the Lord, all ye lands.
 Serve the Lord with gladness: come before his presence with singing.
 Know ye that the Lord he is God: it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.
 Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name.
 For the Lord is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations.

The third verse is my favorite. It is easy to fall into a trap of self-worship, patting ourselves on the back for all our own accomplishments. We forget that He is the One who made us, and who remakes us again and again, continually perfecting us. He is our shepherd, we are the sheep. Sometimes I'm not a very good sheep, but He doesn't decrease the efficacy of His shepherding towards me. In fact, He increases it in our behalf when we are the ones needing attention. 

One of the blessings I had over this summer was a set of stellar roommates. They were guys I knew before I moved in with them and they became wonderful friends. The one with whom I actually shared a room knew about my SSA before I even moved in and was always so supportive and kind. Then, a few weeks ago the security I had in those roommates got thrown in the air when I had to move unexpectedly due to a contract mix-up. I was thrown into a new apartments with unknown roommates. I was not excited about it at all, and in fact quite worried. But you know what? It has been fantastic. It is what the Lord knew I needed. My random set of roommates has been an unexpected blessing I not only didn't ask for, but even resisted. In fact, I felt prompted and comfortable telling the roommate I actually share my room with about my attractions on the fourth day I knew him. He was not weirded out at all. In fact, he was very understanding. This was a huge relief. Over the summer for the first time ever I grew accustom to having a roommate who knew about me who I could confide in and talk about things with. That roommate was a remarkable help to me. I was very worried about not having that support anymore after growing used to it. And so I was blessed to be given a great roommate who is equally understanding, and I was blessed to be able to discern it within the first week of knowing him. None of my other roommates know, but they are all fantastic, wonderful guys as well. I've also been blessed to not find myself becoming too attached to or infatuated with any of them despite the strong friendships we are all building and the fact that they all generally happen to be rather good looking. None of that has been even the slightest problem. 

Other parts of my life, including my new semester, etc. are also all falling into place and the direction of the Lord is very clear. I am amazed looking at all the blessings He is pouring on me, far more than I deserve. The world still has a lot of problems and I am not exempt. I still have trials I'm managing, and my attractions are still a consideration. But despite all the things I face, I am happy and amazed at God's love. That's where a great traditional Protestant hymn comes to mind that has always been one of my favorites. It is not found in our hymnal, but I wish it was. It is called, "How Can I Keep From Singing?" This is how I feel. The Lord has been so good amidst my trials, that I can't hold back from sharing that message. And that has brought me back my blog after my summer hiatus. (I guess you could say I am personally feeling like, "How Can I Keep from Blogging?"). Anyway, I'll leave you with the beautiful lyrics from that wonderful hymn:

My life flows on in endless song;
Above earth's lamentation,
I hear the sweet, tho' far-off hymn
That hails a new creation;
Thro' all the tumult and the strife
I hear the music ringing;
It finds an echo in my soul--
How can I keep from singing?
What tho' my joys and comforts die?
The Lord my Saviour liveth;
What tho' the darkness gather round?
Songs in the night he giveth.
No storm can shake my inmost calm
While to that refuge clinging;
Since Christ is Lord of heaven and earth,
How can I keep from singing?
I lift my eyes; the cloud grows thin;
I see the blue above it;
And day by day this pathway smooths,
Since first I learned to love it;
The peace of Christ makes fresh my heart,
A fountain ever springing;
All things are mine since I am his--
How can I keep from singing?
My best,


  1. Good to hear from you again, Obadiah! We've missed you.

  2. How Can I Keep from Singing is one of my favorites. I'm so glad you are getting good support from your roommates. I had wonderful roommates who were a great help and support for me when I was in college (although I never came out to them).


Please feel free to comment or leave questions. Just be aware that I moderate all comments before posting. I won't post things that are offensive. I will post controversial comments and questions so long as they aren't mean-spirited. I'd love to hear your comments and answer questions; just play nice! :)