But let all who take refuge in you be glad;
let them ever sing for joy.
Spread your protection over them,
that those who love your name may rejoice in you.
Surely, Lord, you bless the righteous;
you surround them with your favor as with a shield.
- Psalm 5:11-12
“I pray for you a sigh when you need one, for a sigh clears the heart, as a cough clears the throat, and with a sigh comes acceptance of what we cannot change.”
- Brian Morgan, The Legend of the Christmas Prayer
As I mentioned a few days ago, this Brian Morgan book establishes that the poor man with a big heart needed nothing and set out to give his friends what he had in abundance. He does so by giving his friends twelve prayers. The first is a prayer for Joy, a natural at the Christmas season. This prayer for a sigh is the prayer for the second day of Christmas.
I need a grand sigh about now. With everything that has gone on in my family, some yet untold, I need to hit the reset button. Have you ever wanted to do that? But we are not granted ‘do-overs.’
When my sons and I played golf, it was a grand exercise, a means of a good walk spoiled. By the way, Mark Twain is attributed this quote, but more careful research thinks William Gladstone said it. Who knows? Now, who said that a lost golf ball should not be picked up and placed in your pocket, until after it quits rolling? Yes, my sons and I had that kind of golf outings. There was little reason for keeping score. We often used mulligans, ‘do-overs,’ to keep the play moving. We laughed; we groaned; and hopefully we each had fun, but our younger son never seemed to enjoy any sports outing of any kind.
But in life, the ‘do-over’ is allusive if not totally extinct. But we can have a sigh. We can clear the heart of the clutter. We can do as the ‘Anonymous’ groups, like AA, do when they slip up. We can take that first step of faith in Jesus once more and start counting from there. Sure, we have grown in faith. We aren’t starting over from the beginning. We may not have even questioned our faith. But Peter had a personal encounter with Jesus at the end of the Gospel of John. Three times Peter says that he loves Jesus. Three times Jesus responds for Peter to feed or tend His sheep. Peter had denied Jesus and then did more than sigh. Peter wept. Afterwards, he was insecure. He needed reassurance of forgiveness from Jesus.
But each time we go through a trial, a test of faith, we need a sigh to clear the heart, even when we stayed faithful to God. We suffered pain. We questioned why. We kept our eyes on Jesus, though sometimes our eyes were full of tears.
Then, a sigh.
Afterwards, a prayer to glorify the risen Savior, who we never doubted, although we had no idea how this latest test of faith would end. For our family, the test of faith continues, but that is a story for another day.
For as of this weekend, we are sighing and hitting that reset button – not to start over, but to note that today is the first day of the rest of our lives. We shall rejoice and glorify our Lord and Savior, not in spite of circumstances, but because of our circumstances.
Soli Deo Gloria. Only to God be the Glory.