Sunday, April 20, 2008

Blessed Be Your Name

Blessed be your name, i the land that is plentiful,
Where your streams of abundance flow, blessed be your name.
And blessed be your name, when I'm found in the desert place,
Though I walk through the winderness, blessed be Your name.

Every blessing You pour out I'll tur back to praise,
And when the darkness close in, Lord, still I will say,

Blessed be the name of the Lord, blessed be Your name.
Blessed be the name of the Lord, blessed be Your glorious name.

Blessed be Your name when the su's shining down on me,
When the world's all as it shoudl be, blessed be Your name.
And blessed be your name on the road marked with suffering
Though there's pain in the offering, blessed be Your name.

You give and take away, You give and take away,
My heart will choose to say, Lord, blessed be Your name.

Blessed be the name of the Lord, blessed be Your name.
Blessed be the name of the Lord, blessed be Your glorious name.

I attended a Women's Retreat this weekend, hosted by one of the two churches open to English speakers. The church is limited to foreign passport holders, and so the ladies' retreat had a very specific group of women in attendance. I'll admit, I wasn't keen on attending. Church retreats always sounded kinda hokey to me, and I pictured myself surrounded by missionary types who don't cuss or send their kids to public school and almost dreaded the weekend.

It turned out to be exactly what I needed. The speakers were both wonderful, as were all of the ladies I met. Expats are such an interesting group of people. All of us are rich, and all of us are lonely and fight bouts of depression. We have some strong things in common. When we find just a few more things in common, we are bonded as close friends. I made some close friends this weekend, which I hope to stay in touch with for quite some time.

We spent a lot of time in worship, and the speakers let themselves be led by the spirit. I found the retreat quite centering, as we've been without a church home or a small group since we arrived in Shanghai. A few friends and I decided to start a small group for moms on weekday mornings, which I am excited about. I've come to realize that if I truly need something in Shanghai, I may well have to create it. So we are creating a mom's prayer group, and we may end up creating a truly family friendly house church as well.

I write the text of the song because it spoke to me this weekend. But it also spoke to a friend of mine this weekend. And it also spoke to Dave the last time we attended church. We just feel like we're in the desert here sometimes, without anything familiar or loving or Godly nearby. We forget, sometimes, that God is near us and we turn away from praising Him when life becomes difficult. I love that this song reminds us to bless His name through the wilderness, the desset and on the road marked with suffering.

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