“Let your hand be ready to help me, for I have chosen your precepts.” Psalm 119:173 ESV
In the very moment, we see and feel the pain. Our breath is on hold as we drum up the courage to move forward another step. The night is just beginning, and we don’t know when the day will break forth with its glorious light streaming into the holes of darkness in our hearts. Questions assault our weary minds and the next move seems so far away as the struggle becomes real. We may even question the very sovereignty of our great God.
What darkness is threatening to swallow you whole where you are? What deep well do you need Jesus to pull you from and offer to you a rest in His Presence? What moment prevailed causing your heart to lurch and threaten the very source of your _______ (insert answer here). Each of us has, is now, or one day will experience the valley where darkness seems inescapable and light unattainable. When those of us who know Christ in an intimate relationship are faced with these inevitable trials, we can begin to ponder the whys. Wasn’t He supposed to protect me from pain? Doesn’t He want me to be happy? Is this the reality of what He has planned for my life? Where is this God that I have freely chosen to follow? Was that a mistake?
Our thoughts get invaded with piercing lies from the enemy. Distractions thwarting our attention until we can no longer focus on the goodness of our great God but instead on the pit and all the gory details of what it brings. Was this God? Did He throw me in here? How long will He leave me to suffer this wretched feeling of despair? Why hasn’t He saved me from this disaster? God, where are you?!
Guilt may begin to cross our minds as we see some of this has come to play in our own minds a time or two or twenty when bad things have happened or are now in the middle of throwing a wrench into our own plans- the way we would have chosen. What we see is this very moment right in front of our face. What God sees is the vastness of His creation as a whole. He sees what we like to call- the big picture. Is the tapestry of our life really something beautiful to behold? When tears stream and hearts break, and lives are torn apart?
Questions are distractions that can lead us to, or away, from the LORD. They can beg us into the Word of God as we feverishly search out His comfort and His promises. Or, they can divert our hearts to Truth and carry us down the river of doubt and into the abyss of the unknown that threatens to swallow us whole. In the midst of our despair, we are faced with a choice. Which will you choose? Looking up in reverence for help and hope is easier now than looking up with a hanging head in shame and regret with what little hope you have left later. Either way- our God is good, and gracious, and merciful. And completely sovereign. His heart desires that we don’t elongate the process of refinement any longer than necessary, but He is willing to stick it out in the fire with us for as long as is necessary because He loves us that much!
It is completely okay to come to God with your biggest questions and your greatest heartache and your suffering fears. What He doesn’t want is that you would stay stuck in your pain to the point that He is no longer visible within your vision of reach. He is, however, always reachable. “He never leaves us nor forsakes us.” We do that to ourselves when we allow the lies of the enemy to take root into the depths of our souls causing us to disbelieve in our very Creator. But for Emmanuel. Emmanuel- God WITH us. He never leaves our side…He just hopes we won’t let go of His mighty hand. And if we do, when we do…it still sways gently near us in the hope we will reach back up and take hold of its great strength that is mighty to save.
Our God is relentless and will pursue us in quiet dignity with a gentleness not known to man. He will knock on the door but never push past it. He is kind and desiring of us but waits with a patient understanding of our humanity. Oh, when will we get it?! THAT should be the great question that awakens our souls! Truth shatters from a distance- He giveth and He taketh away. God DOES allow at times what He didn’t will…but only in the hopes that it will draw us into a deeper abiding relationship with our Savior, Jesus Christ. Our big God can handle big questions. Never be afraid of coming to the foot of the cross and searching out His heart. The love He has for you and for me is big enough to cover as a veil and protect us from ourselves and from the very enemy who attempts to steal us away. The good news- the enemy can’t do anything we don’t allow; and we would be making that choice. The better news- God has already won every victory in our lives if we would just choose to follow Him and stay on course so that at the end of this life when He calls us home, with eternal gratefulness flooding our souls, we get to hear, “Well done, my good and faithful servant.”
I choose Christ. I choose His love and forgiveness every day over what could be. I choose to allow His tears for me to wash away any indignity of my past and present and future as I walk in His great love for me. I choose to look up in my pain and follow His purpose for me. I choose to serve my LORD in His way, by His Word, and according to His will. I choose to wholeheartedly run after Him as if my very life depended on it- because it does.
Choose with me to let His forgiveness cover us like a tidal wave that draws us into repentance and keeps our eyes looking up- to where our help comes from. He is good. He is worthy. He is holy. He is WORTH IT! No matter what struggle you have faced, are flailing in now, or will come up against in your future- know that you serve a God Who has already won and desires to take you with Him to the finish line. Look up, Beloved, and escape the pit by taking hold of the precious hand that is reaching out for you. Whether you walked in, jumped in, or were pushed in- He is our greatest escape.
SCRIPTURE TO MEDITATE ON…
1 Timothy 6:15b; John 4:7-15; John 16:33; James 1:2-4; Proverbs 4:25-26; Colossians 3:2; Matthew 14:28-31; Isaiah 55:9; Isaiah 48:10; John 3:16-17; Deuteronomy 31:6; Revelation 3:20; Psalm 18:28-36; Isaiah 41:10; Isaiah 63:1b; Matthew 1:23; Job 1:21b; 1 Corinthians 15:57; Psalm 121:1-2; John 6:40; Matthew 25:23; James 1:12
After you meditate on and relish in the authoritative Word of God and allow it to penetrate into your heart, come back and share a testimony of His faithfulness to you as an encouragement to others!