The Paradoxes of the Christian Life

I was reflecting the past few days on how many paradoxes there are in the Christian life.  Things that seem to be contradictory, but are in fact, well, fact!!  As I was thinking about this I did something that I do daily, I picked up one of my copies of  The Valley of Vision, a collection of Puritan prayers.  There it was, the very first entry in the book.  But it was kinda standing alone, not categorized as all the other prayers are.  I’ve been reading this book almost daily for at least 15 years, yet in all that time I had never read this first and introductory prayer.  I really thought that a bit strange, but if I have read it, I don’t remember it.  So it was like new and fresh water to my soul.  And it dealt with the subject on which I had been thinking.

I thought you might benefit from it also:

The Valley of Vision

Lord, High and Holy, Meek and Lowly,

You have brought me to the valley of vision,
where I live in the depths but see in the heights;
hemmed in by mountains of sin I behold Your glory.

Let me learn by paradox
that the way down is the way up,
that to be low is to be high,
that the broken heart is the healed heart,
that the contrite spirit is the rejoicing spirit,
that the repenting soul is the victorious soul,
that to have nothing is to possess all,
that to bear the cross is to wear the crown,
that to give is to receive,
that the valley is the place of vision.

Lord, in the daytime stars can be seen from deepest wells,
and the deeper the wells the brighter the stars shine;

Let me find Your light in my darkness,
Your life in my death,
Your joy in my sorrow,
Your grace in my sin,
Your riches in my poverty,
Your glory in my valley.

A worthy prayer, and a pretty good description of the Christian life.