I Arise Today

GodReflection: Talking with God.

Allow me to begin this morning with an observation. No one’s circumstances are too difficult for God to overcome and use for his good purpose. The widowed Naomi in the book of Ruth and the orphaned Ester are two of countless examples within the pages of my Bible.

An enjoyable pastime since childhood is the inspiration I receive from biographies, autobiographies, and memoirs. In continual amazement, I read how God selects from among those who receive a most unfavorable lot in life and uses them to make drastic contributions to the good of his world.

One of the great prayers from the Fifth Century was spoken to God by such a man. We meet him as an English adolescent. With his childhood behind Patrick is ready to head toward the dreams and responsibilities of an adult. One day at age sixteen, to his terror and surprise pirate thugs invade his homeland, capture him, and carry him to Ireland as a slave where he was held for six years until he managed to escape and make his way back to his family home in England.

I will return to our young Englishman in a moment. First, allow me to jump forward fifteen centuries to a similar story. Jacob ‘Jake’ Deshazer, a member of General Jimmy Doolittle’s air raid on Tokyo drops his bombs just before the B-25 runs out of fuel in mid-flight. His squadron is on a mission of retaliation provoked by a surprise attack on Pearl Harbor that drew the USA into the Second World War. As he parachutes into the dark night capture awaits and he becomes a prisoner of war.

For the next forty months, torture, hunger, thirst, filth, and the loneliness of solitary confinement are indescribable.  In May 1944 at the midpoint of the ordeal, a Bible was slipped into his prison cell for a limited ninety days. Since time was short, he devours its words day and night. He begins with Genesis and ends with Revelation then reads the entire book a second time. Jake memorizes life-changing communication from the Holy. On June 8, 1944, in total submission, he surrenders to King Jesus. This time his captivity is voluntary. What he now knows, he must share with his captors.

The war ends. He returns to the USA with the vision to forgive and love his enemies as Christ loved and forgave him. In December 1948 he and his family return to Japan to live the next thirty years as a messenger of Jesus to the nation of his captors.

Like Jacob Deshazer, the fifth century Patrick returns to his homeland from Ireland after six years of captivity. He too meets Jesus. The Spirit fills his heart with forgiveness, and he answers a call from The Holy to return and share Jesus’ offer of freedom with the nation that took him captive.

Over his lifetime the impact he made with Jesus is such that they claim him as one of their own and still to this day the country of Ireland honors their former captive slave.

A grand prayer attributed to Patrick is continually raised to God by Christians since the fifth century. His prayer reads in part:

I arise today, through a mighty strength, the invocation of the Trinity, through belief in the Threeness, through confession of the Oneness of the Creator of creation.

I arise today, through the strength of Christ’s birth with His baptism. Through the strength of His crucifixion with His burial, Through the strength of His resurrection with His ascension, Through the strength of His descent for the judgment of doom.

I arise today, through God’s strength to pilot me, God’s might to uphold me, God’s wisdom to guide me, God’s eye to look before me, God’s ear to hear me, God’s word to speak for me, God’s hand to guard me, God’s shield to protect me, God’s host to save me from snares of devils, From the temptation of vices, From everyone who shall wish me ill, afar, and near.

Christ with me, Christ before me, Christ behind me, Christ in me, Christ beneath me, Christ above me, Christ on my right, Christ on my left, Christ when I lie down, Christ when I sit down, Christ when I arise, Christ in the heart of every man who thinks of me, Christ in the mouth of everyone who speaks of me, Christ in every eye that sees me, Christ in every ear that hears me.

God’s Holy Coffee House is a twenty-four-seven operation. There are no doors. The entrance is always open. Celestial coffee is always hot and ready to serve. At God’s table sit Father, Son, and Spirit. The fourth chair is empty. It is reserved for you. A golden cup and saucer await your arrival. A perfect blend of the aromatic roast is at the table’s center and ready for you. God invites us to accept our reserved spot to talk with him.

Wouldn’t the old believer’s prayer be a good place to begin our conversation with God over a Hot Tasty Holy Cup?

Together let us declare, “I arise today to take my chair“.

Stay tuned.

Dr. Gary J. Sorrells

A GodReflection on I Arise Today.




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