Joni and Friends Blog

He Stoops Down

“You make your saving help my shield, and your right hand sustains me; your help has made me great. You provide a broad path for my feet, so that my ankles do not give way.”

Psalm 18:35-36

Last Sunday after church, I wheeled up front to ask for prayer. Sometimes quadriplegia coupled with pain becomes simply too much to bear. After prayer, I left church surprised by a strange, wonderful feeling of detachment from my hardships. I thought, I can do this. It reminded me of Patricia St. John’s words:

Stooping very low engraves with care

His Name, indelible, upon our dust;

And from the ashes of our self-despair, Kindles a flame of hope and humble trust.

He seeks no second site on which to build,

But on the old foundation, stone by stone,

Cementing sad experience with grace,

Fashions a stronger temple of His own.”*

As discouraging as pain can be—so discouraging you can feel your face on the cold, unyielding floor—God has His face on the floor next to you. It’s what Immanuel means: God with us. God with you.

Lord, I pray with David, “You give me your shield of victory, and your right hand sustains me; you stoop down to make me great.” (Psalm 18:35). How moving, how humbling, to know You stoop down to be near me in my need. 

*Patricia St. John, “The Alchemist,” in An Ordinary Woman’s Extraordinary Faith: The Autobiography of Patricia St. John (Wheaton, Ill.; Shaw, 1993), 298.


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