[CF Devotionals] 2008-05-22 - Fold Me Closer

Rom 12:2b ... so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect. (NAS)

I have been captivated by a lyric for a few months now. The song is a trove of insight. I encourage everyone to look up the lyrics and think them over. Let me share the following chorus:

Sweet Will of God - chorus
- Leila N. Morris, 1900

Sweet Will of God, Still fold me closer, 'till I am wholly lost in Thee.
Sweet Will of God, Still fold me closer, 'till I am wholly lost in Thee.

When I first heard the song performed, I thought the lyric was "still hold me closer". It would be one thought to be hidden in the hollow of God's hand - protected from the blows and storms of this world. But the word is fold. But this is very different. To fold - to manipulate. If you've ever done or seen origami done - the swan is a very complex folding. A flat sheet of paper, in the hands of someone more skilled than I, is conformed to the shape of an elegant bird. There are places where the folds or the turning of the paper is not easy as though the paper would consciously fight against its reconfiguration.

What Leila Morris is proposing is to have God reshape her. Not her body, but the essence of who she is - her spirit. In to what shape? 'Till I am wholly lost in Thee.", until she, or anyone who sings this song with the intent of the author, becomes more and more conformed to the shape, or the will, of God until he or she becomes imperceptible within that shape. What an amazing expression of what is the ultimate goal of our faith, to be so completely conformed to God and His perfect will as to become invisible that we would perfectly reflect the Lord we serve.

One facet of the will of God is that we would become more and more like Jesus Christ. How do we do that? It is a life long journey. There are awards given that mean more than others. Not to diminish any effort, but there are recognitions like the lifetime accomplishment awards that are given near the end of the Academy Awards as an example. The people who are given these awards are can only be considered after decades of work in the field of film making. This is an example of a very special moment in someone's life. To receive this kind of recognition must be both heartwarming and very humbling.

The most humbling moment I can think of will be to hear Jesus say, "Well done, good and faithful servant." (Matt 25:20-23) There are so many times when it will not be deserved. None of us deserve it. If Jesus were to appear to us as we are today, I doubt any of us would be standing. We would be face down in the blinding light of His glory. But, with His patience and my slow surrender, my hope is to be conformed to His will. Even that will only be perfected when I shed this mortal, fallible flesh and I see His face. And the life journey to understand the will of God will be complete. It is a journey of a thousand miles taken one step at a time. Our part is to keep walking toward home following the Shepherd's voice and trusting in His strength, grace and mercy.


Grace & Peace,

[email mike] jmhoskins@gmail.com