Deeper and Deeper

When someone talks about spirituality or being spiritual, what do you think of?  What do you think the other person is thinking of?

Before you read further, please click on the link below to access some J. S. Bach performed on classical guitar (!!!) while you read this, if you would like. Oh, I think you would!

This is my first post of 2019. My last post discussed light. Energy. “Let there be light.” And before that, I wrote a series of posts about my father, since my father’s 100th birthday was in the fall. I doubt he celebrated it, but we did! He’s been in heaven since 2004.

Last January, I made one resolution. (Note the January 1 and January 11, 2018 posts.) I resolved to keep on keeping on. I have. Enabled by the energy God has given me daily. Yes, I’m still tired. But I’ve not given up! I’ve not given in!  It was a huge year for us — moving in the summer from Prescott Valley, Arizona to Fort Wayne, Indiana! Oh, my! A whirlwind year. (I’m writing this in Florida, where we’re spending a month with dear friends from the Good Samaritan Mission, happily avoiding below zero temperatures in Indiana!)

So, now a new resolve to make for 2019 and a new series to start:

I resolve to push deeper into life. What? Or, to lean deeper into life. Hmm. How should I word this? Wording will impact the aim of my arrow.

Life can be so overwhelming that it becomes paralyzing. I am aware that my spirit, in the context of countless joys (thank You, Lord!), has responded with a dull numbness to much of my chronic sorrow and some of my chronic pain and fatigue. Do you ever feel paralyzed inwardly? Shallow? You go through the motions of life, doing what you need to do, but inwardly, there’s this numbness, a dullness, a clouded sadness. Sometimes, the light of some beauty, order, or love penetrates the dullness, lifting the dark, at least for a while and to varying degrees. Jesus is the Light…. You know this.

I want to explore themes of spiritual change, spirituality, pushing beyond paralysis, living in the Light. To push or lean deeper into life/Life. Let’s do some biblical research by starting with a study of some key words (spirit, spiritual, transform, light, image, heart, mind) and key passages in the New Testament.

For today, I’d like to share some lovely music you can access below (connecting you to this YouTube site). I love classical guitar. Combine classical guitar with J. S. Bach, and your auditory sense plunges deep into a pool of exquisite delight. Let the beauty of it wash through you.

Below the clip are the words to an Isaac Watts hymn, expressing humble worship of the Creator God. The hymn contrasts this world’s best offerings of but withered flowers to the enduring hope of God who is our eternal home. Sacred thoughts to pray while you listen to sacred music. You may want to let the music continue while you do whatever it is you are doing — working, reading, praying.

Our God, Our Help

Our God, our help in ages past,
   Our hope for years to come,
Our shelter from the stormy blast,
   And our eternal home:
Under the shadow of thy throne
   Thy saints have dwelt secure;
Sufficient is thine arm alone,
   And our defense is sure.
Before the hills in order stood
   Or earth received her frame,
From everlasting thou art God,
   To endless years the same.
Thy word commands our flesh to dust,
   “Return, ye sons of men”;
All nations rose from earth at first,
   And turn to earth again.
A thousand ages in thy sight
   Are like an evening gone;
Short as the watch that ends the night
   Before the rising sun.
The busy tribes of flesh and blood,
   With all their lives and cares,
Are carried downwards by thy flood,
   And lost in following years.
Time, like an ever-rolling stream,
   Bears all its sons away;
They fly forgotten, as a dream
   Dies at the opening day.
Like flowery fields the nations stand,
   Pleased with the morning light;
The flowers beneath the mower’s hand
   Lie withering e’er ’tis night.
Our God, our help in ages past,
   Our hope for years to come,
Be thou our guard while troubles last,
   And our eternal home.
Keeping on keeping on – to our eternal home.
Pushing deeper. Often, I can’t push. Hmm. I don’t know that I’ve been asked to push, except in opposition to the enemy of my soul and my soul’s tempting, old ways! I think I’m invited to lean in deeper (Prov. 3:5-6), and that requires a yielding will, not a pushing will.
So, I need to revise my 2019 resolve. Not “to push deeper into life” but “to lean deeper into Jesus.”
The more I do, the more He will heal the pockets of paralysis within my spirit that make me shallow and restrain me within shallow waters. As I yield to Him, the more light and life He will pour into me, and I’ll grow deeper and bigger, which is what I need if I am to experience anything of what is described in the Ephesians passage below. Deeper. Enlarge my heart, Lord. Deeper and wider and all round bigger until I nearly burst!
Ephesians 3:14-21 (ESV)

 For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named, that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith—that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.

Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.

Categories: Spiritual Growth | Tags: , , | 9 Comments

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9 thoughts on “Deeper and Deeper

  1. Debra

    Thank you 🙂

  2. Anonymous

    “Not to push deeper into life, but to lean deeper into Jesus.” Why is it, when God has told us and shown us that His hand is mighty, powerful and holds all the universe and life together, we still think we have some major part in it? There is such freedom in yielding and leaning. Thank you once again for that reminder. Now I’m off to write some of those thoughts in my journal.

    • kltolsen

      Yes, so true. Irony. To trust Him (to lean on Him) is the most sane thing to do, but it doesn’t come naturally, because it is a supernatural response energized by our new nature in Christ. So glad that He holds all things together ( Col. 1:17)! Thanks for your input and encouragement!!

      • Anonymous

        Wonder why I am anonymous?

      • kltolsen

        Sorry to take a day to reply. I had to look into this and conferred with a friend. I had to look into my “dashboard” to find you, and you are a set of numbers there with no name. Then I saw that the numbers matched numbers under the name of Carolyn W. So, this is you, Carolyn? I am guessing that your name is included in your comments when you reply from your computer, but when you reply from your i-phone, you come up as “anonymous”. Am I on the right track? I would never reveal a name without the commenter’s permission, and when occasional comments comes in as “anonymous”, I assume the person wants it that way. If I’m on the right track here, you may want to add your name at the end of the comment when you reply by i-phone.

  3. Theresa L Cruz

    Hello Karen,
    Please continue to put background music in as it adds a new dimension. Wonderful music to accompany wonder-full words!

  4. Rick Shepherd

    Good Morning, Karen…..Deeper and deeper into life…..What does that mean to me?…..Do we let go or do we hang on tighter to achieve it?…..I think it is a combining of both as in the ingredients of a marvelous cake in the making…..Ahhh, but now it takes heat and cooling to achieve the crowning glory…..So to me deeper and deeper into life acknowledging and glorifying God in daily gratitude in all we do is key…..But wait, are we missing, even still, another main ingredient?…..God our Creator saw in His wisdom that His Creation, man and woman, after the creation of all that is, needed His help to survive and thrive…..So, He sent us Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior…..What?…..Mankind in all its intelligence needs help?…..Yes, it does!….Just as our youth in all their brash glory who think they know it all in their young boldness find eventually that they need help whether they stubbornly acknowledge it or not…..Ahhh, but when they finally do, just exactly like us, we find we can go….Deeper and deeper into Life!

    So, as a person of far more understanding than I once told me, now put all your books of learning back on the shelf to be referred to another time and start living your life…..And so I do!

    Peace and Light to you, Karen……Thank You for today’s lesson…..Combining it with the background music as I studied what you wrote was a new experience…..Usually I read in silence after I wake or in the evening when I choose…..I had to double focus at first but it helped make a new clarity in understanding by supplanting other crowding thoughts that I am grateful for…..Rick Shepherd

    On Mon, Jan 21, 2019 at 15:00 Journey North Character wrote:

    > kltolsen posted: “When someone talks about spirituality or being > spiritual, what do you think of? What do you think the other person is > thinking of? Before you read further, please click on the link below to > access some J. S. Bach performed on classical guitar (!!!) wh” >

    • kltolsen

      Thank you, Rick, for your insights. I’m glad you tried the music! I’m delighted that you did not turn it off when you saw you had to “double focus” but instead discovered a “new clarity” that helped you to concentrate in a new way. I’ve experienced the same thing with background music. I often read and write in silence, but when I choose music for the background, I prefer instrumental, and I can control the volume. It can help relaxation and my concentration can increase. Hope you and Mary are staying warm!!

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