"Beyond all Towers Strong and High"
(I am linking up my Cup-A-Tea Poetry Corner Post with Elizabeth's Poem of the Week just because in reality I was first inspired by her sharing of beautiful poetry on hr blog to try out this on my own blog!)
As these thoughts have been going on in my heart, I remembered a beautiful piece of prose from, The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (by J.R.R. Tolkien) that I should like to share. It comes from the scene when Samwise Gamgee was trying to save Frodo who had been captured by orcs and taken to the Tower of Cirith Ungol. Only a little earlier, he had fought and wounded the giant Shelob (who'd stung Frodo), and met the grief of his master's supposed death. He had been met with the difficult choice of what to do with the Ring, and afterwards had pursued and fought with orcs in the tower, searching fruitlessly for his beloved master. It was in the strong and high tower that hopeful and cheerful Samwise Gamgee... Samwise the Brave... finally was overcome with despair.
"At last, weary and feeling finally defeated, he sat on a step below the level of the passage-floor and bowed his head into his hands. it was quiet, horribly quiet. The torch, that was already burning low when he arrived, sputtered and went out; and he felt the darkness cover him like a tide. And then softly, to his own surprise, there at vain end of his long journey and his grief, moved by what thought in his heart he could not tell, Sam began to sing.
His voice sounded thin and quivering in the cold dark tower: the voice of a forlorn and weary hobbit that no listening orc could possibly mistake for the clear song of an Elven-lord. He murmured old childish tunes out of the Shire, and snatches of Mr. Bilbo's rhymes that came into his mind like fleeting glimpses of the country of his home. And then suddenly new strength rose in him, and his voice rang out, while words of his own came unbidden to fit the simple tune.
"In western lands beneath the Sun
the flowers may rise in Spring,
the trees may bud, the waters run,
the merry finches sing.
Or there maybe 'tis cloudless night
and swaying beeches bear
the Elven-stars as jewels white
amid their branching hair.
Though here at journey's end I lie
in darkness buried deep,
beyond all towers strong and high,
beyond all mountains steep,
above all shadows rides the Sun
and Stars for ever dwell:
I will not say the Day is done,
nor bid the Stars farewell."
-The Return of the King pg. 1188 (J.R.R. Tolkien)
I think we often are like Sam Gamgee in that our struggles and the problems we face feel like "towers strong and high". There may seem like no way out. And in the midst of the difficult situations we go through, we can often feel overcome, unable to go on. It can feel like all goodness and beauty has gone from everything around us, so burdened and weighed down we are by our worries and doubts. And yet, though we may not see the shining of the Promises of God, still they shine. He is eternal, unchanging through the storms and struggles of life. "Above all shadows and beyond all towers strong and high", He is there and His love and faithfulness is like a Shield, our Shelter in the times of storm. His mercies are new every morning, every day. So, even if all is dark and we cannot feel that Light and the joy of the Lord, we can still trust, we can still rest in our Heavenly Father's arms and we can still sing! We can rejoice that the afflictions and fiery furnaces we are facing now are all part of His plan of refining us and making us more like Him. So we may give thanks and, yes, even rejoice and sing a song of hope, just like Samwise Gamgee was able to sing in that great tower "strong and "high".
May the Lord Jesus grant us to always have hope and never give up; may He give us His Light in a dark world. For behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and deep darkness the people; but the LORD will arise over you, and His glory will be seen upon you. Isaiah 60:2 (NKJV)
I think I have shared this quote before, but I would like to share it here again. It is one that really encourages my faith in the Lord Jesus through times when I have felt struggling. I pray it may bless you too!
Our feelings do not affect God's facts. They may blow up like clouds and cover the eternal things that we most truly believe. We may not see the shining of the promises, but they still shine; and the strength of the hills that are His also is not for one moment less because of our human weakness. Heaven is no dream. Feelings come and go like clouds, but the hills and the stars abide." ~Amy Carmichael from her devotional book, Edges of His Ways)