Peterborough Salvation Army

With heart to God and hand to man

Joy

Many years ago I think it was a house-group leader suggested that we should find a verse of scripture to try and live by that would help us on our spiritual journey. Psalm 51 vs 10 “Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.” was my choice and has remained so. I thought that if my heart was clean and I had a right spirit I wouldn’t go far wrong. I have tried, although not always successfully, to do this.

David wrote this Psalm as a confession to God for all his sin and the reality of his hearts decay but he surrenders his heart back to God so that He could transform it and make it good again.
Last year my heart was physically a mess. It was enlarged had an irregular beat and valves needed replacing. It was described to me like a conductor standing in front of an orchestra where beats were missing, people coming in at the wrong time and nothing was coming together. It needed putting right hence my surgery.

These last 12 months of my life have been the hardest I’ve experienced as the condition of my heart deteriorated and my spirit was quite low but I tried to put a brave face on for my husband David and the family. At a very low ebb I began to think I wasn’t going to make it and began to plan my funeral. I prayed to God to help me – “I can’t do this anymore, I give it all to you”. Then a phrase kept echoing in my mind “My child I am with you”. When you hand over any situation to God he comes alongside and helps dispel the worries and anxieties. Gradually I felt a calmness of spirit. Its like the song says “When we have reached the end of our hoarded resources our Fathers full giving is only begun!”
On the day of my surgery the anaesthetist said to me “you are very calm”. So I told her I was in God’s hands as well as the surgeon and that lots of family and friends were praying for me. I knew nothing else then for 24 hours. When I was woken it was all a daze, funny images and strange noises, it was quite surreal. I didn’t know whether I was in Heaven or on earth!
The healing and recovery have been long and I was getting impatient to get on with things, but restricted to what I could do. I am grateful for all the help I had with shopping and ironing. David learned a new skill as he had to cook the meals and was very good with the hoover. I did ask him one day to wash my hair, but it was if he was stroking a cat!! The many cards, phone calls, visitors and good wishes have all helped with recovery.
So what now? When I was discharged I was told “all was well, keep taking the medication. You still have a big heart but there is nothing we can do about that”. I took that comment in its nicest way. The Registrar the said “go and do whatever you want to do.”
God has cleansed and healed my heart and my desire is that it is fit for His indwelling, and my commitment is also to try to live my life, led by His Holy Spirit that I might be aware of his leading, to serve Him and that God’s grace will be evident in my life. So, my aim, like all believers, is for His Holy Spirit to inspire me to worship, to glorify Father and Son, to thank God for all His goodness, and that He will guide all of us when facing challenges, decisions and difficulties which I have experienced. I know that God loves me and has been with me all the time and brought me to this moment of time. I now need to give back to Him in the way I serve. So for me with a renewed heart and a renewed spirit I feel energised and this verse of David’s psalm is still relevant to my life.
Now I am pleased to be part of the Songsters again which I have missed very much over the last 13 months. I need to start practising again so I am able to play my part. Music and song can heal and lift our spirit to help to feel Gods presence. We serve a great God!

“Strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow… All I have needed Thy hand hath provided. Great is thy faithfulness. Lord unto me…”