“When you go through deep waters, I will be with you. When you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown. When you walk through the fire of oppression, you will not be burned up; the flames will not consume you.” (Isaiah 43:2)
The waves, they’d come in ripples.
Slow at first, and then the crash.
The heart that’s been mangled, and the trust that’s been broken — this memory of pain can come flooding in like the tidal waves.
I’d walked for months on end with half of a heart, half of a life.
The memory’s kept me up, awake and in pain.
And I’d walked the whole length of the shore that day watching those kids.
Watching them run close to the waters, edging the shore, defying the deep.
I — a mother hawk, yelling umpteen times to keep them off, to reel them in.
I want a hand to hold me when those waves of torturous thoughts come engulfing me.
They didn’t know it.
What’s deep can be dangerous, because waves can swallow, and lives can lose.
And I feel like I’ve lost, I’m old and I’m lost, and living means loving and loving risks losing …
Old wounds, they come in like the waves, crashing onto your shore, and unravelling you all over again.
Job of the Bible and I — and I find solace in his fire, his barrage of pain, his ocean of questions.
I don’t know and may never get it – the whys of things, and the suffering of the good, why a good woman and a wholesome mama battles cancer, and why or how this fatherless girl gets picked then dropped, and not once or twice, but time and time again.
We’re all searching for real answers to real suffering.
Could it be that the reason why we have a problem with suffering is because we fundamentally believe that God is good, and that we won’t have an issue with evil if we don’t think He’s supposed to be in control in the first place?
My friend who faces cancer and chemo, and a cohort of kids ranging from toddlers to teens teaches me, not to fear of the potential of losing, and let it steal the joy of your believing.
That if you fear dying, you risk not living.
And when you choose to remember your regrets instead of your redemption, you can live believing you’re wounded and broken when you’re actually whole and redeemed, and born to be bigger than any of your bruises.
The children laughed so loud, their voices merging with the wind.
To the wounded of us who stand in the midst of our pounding pain and our ocean of unanswered questions, we hear you… and let God whisper it to you:
He is your very safe base.
You can crash in Him and be held fast and full.
You need not cower to the sting of some old memory.
Because He is a God who recreates a foundation out of your fracture, and turn your deepest pain into your greatest blessing, your loudest praise.
Every break up is an opportunity to break out, to break forth, to breakthrough against your impossible.
People can wrong you, abuse you, misuse you, but you’re not and never a mistake in God’s eyes.
Limping isn’t a sign of weakness, but a show of what you’re willing to wrestle, and have overcome.
The calling of your life calls for an individuation, away from what and who you’ve depended on, to the God whom you can utterly depend on.
Hard isn’t a detour of your purpose, but a redirection to your promised land.
Suffering that happens in silence, can produce the sweet surrender that empowers you to make it through anything. And they’ll be amazed, and you’ll be amazed.
Meet loss and suffering head on, you’ll meet with God heart on. You’ll feel Him, and experience Him, and trace this Love that holds you when you break apart, ‘cos He is yours and you are His.
That no matter how disappointed you are, you can trust in God’s reappointment.
In it is in the ocean of questions that we can find our oasis of assurance.
Because we’ll find Him always reappearing.
The sun setting, a glowing ember of beauty.
The day turns into hues of twilight, such iridescent beauty.
The children — they’re running happy, full of life.
I see the waves, how they crash and sparkle, this coruscating kaleidoscope of colour.
My son, oblivious and overtaken by thrill, runs faster and endured the wet, him roaring with laughter with the wind.
He’s consumed by what’s bigger than life. I can’t help but raise my hands.
I want to keep this day, of children daring the shoreline in fearless faith and us, poised in worship as we trust, as we turn over thoughts and mental torment and believe:
Often the love we need most may be the love we want least.
But God wounds us because of the very fact that He loves us.
He must do everything necessary to win us.
…we who are the beach-drenched and the grace-clothed know this, we don’t need every answer to every pain.
We can trust the hand that knows what He knows, whose comfort covers us like a canopy and conclude the story of our suffering with the Sovereignty of His purpose.
We don’t understand it all. And we don’t have to. Because He does.
That when we can’t trace His hands, we can trust His heart.
And we can live everyday like there’s a God who really loves us, and believe like crazy like everything we read in the Bible is true — because He does, and Easter proves it.