|Photo credit to Curtis Palmer, Creative Commons, cc|
A deadline decision looms just a week away, so we crunch numbers, scrunch foreheads, and seek wise counsel. And in between the inevitable, the fear, and the worrying grief, we hug long, and whisper truth to ourselves, to each other, and to our children.
"God is good, he can be trusted. He has always taken care of us, even lavishly, generously caring for us. He is the Peach Pie God, sending us a peach pie through teens when we were discouraged about youth ministry years ago. He is the Ball Road bliss home God, the marriage-redeeming God, the garden-creating God, the children-giving God, the Scene-striding God who knows the words to sustain the weary."
At church yesterday, we admitted each apprehension our hearts threw out, and assured ourselves with truths of who God says he is. And yet, grief is allowed, and we God-followers are allowed to ache and say, "This is hard." In rawness, I stood to sing, and God sent lyrics for me. Tears fell as I sang,
"...Even when I'm caught in the middle of the storms of this life,
I won't turn back I know you are near,
And I will fear no evil, for my God is with me,
And if my God is with me, whom then shall I fear, whom then shall I fear?
Oh no, you never let go, through the calm and through the storm,
Oh no, you never let go, in every high and every low
oh no you never let go, Lord you never let go of me
And I can see a light that is coming for the heart that holds on
and there will be an end to these troubles but until that day comes,
still I praise you, still I will praise you..." (Matt Redman, "You Never Let Go")
The next song's lyrics said,
"...Troubles surround me, chaos abounding,
my soul will rest in you,
I will not fear the war, I will not fear the storm,
my help is on the way, my help is on the way
Oh my God, he will not delay, my refuge and strength always,
I will not fear, his promise is true,
my God will come through always.
...I lift my eyes up, my help comes from the Lord ..."(Kristian Stanfill's "Always")
I clenched my jaw against crying, wiped silent tears, and continued my conversation with God in song,
"Nothing formed against me shall stand,
you hold the whole world in your hand
I'm standing firm in your promises,
you are faithful, you are faithful, you are faithful.
...I know who goes before me, I know who stands behind,
the God of angel armies is always by my side..." (Chris Tomlin, "Whom Shall I Fear?")
Sound and tech crews in the back flashed a pre-determined verse on the screen, and God whispered back,
"Look to the Lord and his strength;
seek his face always" (I Chronicles 16:11).
I don't know what your weekend has been like, or what you are going through, but our God loves you and is faithful. He has words he wants to tell you. Would you ask him, friend? Speak your worries, your wonders, your fears and excitements. Then sit back and wait. He wants to answer you, and will: through a song on the radio, through his words in the Bible, through a friend, a sermon, or an online note. You are loved.
I'd love to hear what you are thinking today, friends.
(And linking to count gifts with Ann. For his trust-worthy heart and for his whispers through song.)