“Consolations of The Lord” is an interesting and somewhat quaint expression and it has given me cause to stop and ponder about what it means.
While recovering from a major illness a few years ago, I used to try to notice something small each day that was beautiful. A flower, a tree, the sun shining, a mother with her child, a white teapot filled with white sweet peas. Over time, noticing these small things made a difference to how I felt.
This habit has stayed with me, but a few weeks ago, I realised I had stopped noticing small things, so I consciously started doing it again. The reflections on the pond in Victoria Park, an avenue of trees in Hyde Park – so splendid and majestic. I have stopped to look, marvel and notice.
Yesterday I found this collage of photos I made late last year. They are random things that I saw at the end of last year that don’t really go together but collectively they capture small happy moments.
Noticing small things of beauty is one of the consolations of The Lord that have helped me this year to “taste and see that The Lord is good”. (Psalm 34:8).
I will share two other consolations that have cheered my soul.
1. A book: “Delighting in the Trinity: An introduction to the Christian Faith” by Michael Reeves, IVP Academic, 2012
A confession: I don’t often finish Christian books – I get bogged down and they sit beside my bed gathering dust until Keith finally puts it away. This one is different. Michael Reeves knows a lot about God and wisdom and church history who is an academic but he writes in a way that I felt as if he was talking to me in a language I could understand. It is warm and inviting and it made me fall in love with God all over again. In fact, I couldn’t put the book down and read it from cover to cover in a surprisingly short time. Our copy is filled with Keith’s underlinings and my post it notes. I have decided to re-read it again, a little more slowly.
Let me whet your appetite:
“‘God is love'”: those three words could hardly be more bouncy. They seem lively, lovely and as warming as a crackling fire. But ‘God is Trinity?’ No, hardly the same effect: that just sounds cold and stodgy. All quite understandable, but the aim of this book is to stop the madness. Yes the Trinity can be presented as a fusty and irrelevant dogma, but the truth is that God is love because God is a Trinity.
This book, then, will simply be about growing in our enjoyment of God and seeing how God’s triune being makes all his ways beautiful.” from the introduction
Reading this little gem certainly did this for me.
2. A cd: Bird in a Winter Storm by Garage Hymnal – Pip in my Bible study group played “You are the water” from this album – based on Psalm 84: “How lovely is the place where you dwell, I’m thirsty and I’m longing to rest as well. Here is where the sparrow finds a nest. Happy are those who dwell with you and praise you without rest.” The music is soft, melodic and enticing. There are four songs on this album, and I bought it for $6 and have listened to it so often that I almost know it by heart! Each song is quietly soothing and calming.
This morning I read this verse:
“When I thought, ‘My foot slips,’
your steadfast love, O Lord, held me up.
When the cares of my heart are many,
your consolations cheer my soul.” Psalm 94:18-19
The consolations of The Lord have indeed cheered my soul. What consolations of The Lord have cheered your soul lately?