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The Bedrock

O God, my heart is quiet and confident.
No wonder I can sing Your praises!
Rouse yourself, my soul!
Arise, O harp and lyre!
Let us greet the dawn with song!
I will thank You publicly throughout the land.
I will sing Your praises among the nations.
Your kindness and love are as vast as the heavens.
Your faithfulness is higher than the skies.
Yes, be exalted, O God, above the heavens.
May your glory shine throughout the earth.
Psalm 57:7-11 tlb

It was probably about this time twenty years ago. . . .

We were in the process of building a house, and please notice that I didn’t say “having a house built”! We were building this house–the Gillham brood: Bill, Pres, Will, Wade, and Anabel.

I would be ready to “go out to the lot” every morning when the men in the family went their separate ways, and I would work there all day by myself. No fear involved. Just quietness and the sound of my hammer and my slightly off-key, tremolo voice singing songs of praise.

Sometimes I would tack a verse up on a tree or a wall and memorize while I was playing carpenter. How well I remember the morning I was working on Psalm 57:7-11. I had written the verse on a yellow sheet of paper with purple ink and had tacked it on the center brace in the living area. Every time I needed to check and see what came next, I would go by the post.

That’s a pleasant memory for me.

I was enjoying the quietness and the solitude of the woods. I was pleased with our progress on the massive project that we had undertaken, and we were growing closer as a family. Sawing. Hammering. Clearing the lot. Planning. Standing back and looking at our handiwork. Getting dirty and sweaty and having picnic lunches. Comparing muscles that were puffing up from hauling the heavy pinta-treated pecan boards. Finding all sorts of surprises, like little snakes and BIG snakes. Spiders and toad frogs. Learning the different trees. Listening to the songs that the birds shared with us. Oh, it was a good time.

My world was turning much slower then.

My stress level was much lower then.

Things are different now, but “my heart is still quiet and confident within me.”

What does that mean, Anabel? How can you separate your heart from the thoughts that shock you and flit back and forth across your mind? How can you separate your heart from the throbbing, undulating emotions that force you onto this giant roller-coaster ride? How can you separate your heart from your inconsistent, inconsiderate, sometimes downright mean actions?

Well, when all else is peeled away like the layers on an onion–every layer of doubt and confusion, every layer of flesh, every layer of emotions, disappointments, hurt, resentment, discontent, loneliness, and despondency–there is a bedrock there. That bedrock, that solid foundation, says, “My commitment to You, dear Lord, is unaltered. There is a confidence, a quietness, a steadfastness.”

* * *

This deepest part of my being becomes so evident to me when I’m alone with You, Lord, especially as I was that day at the lot so many years ago–out in Your world of solitude and quietness. So I’m still singing. (He likes to hear me sing.)

I still give thanks.
I still praise. Why?
Not because of my circumstances, but because
“Your kindness and Your love are as vast as the heavens.
Your faithfulness is higher than the skies.”
My stress level and my circumstances,
where I am and what I’m doing,
do not change You, Lord.
Please, don’t let them change me.

About the Author

Anabel spent decades teaching in many contexts through Lifetime Guarantee Ministries. She has taught countless others how to have a genuine intimate faith and a sound marriage. She shared from her heart about living from the heart. Lifetime’s beloved founder and mentor passed away November 7, 2010. Her legacy and influence are timeless and priceless.