Shaken But Held

Though the mountains be shaken and the hills be removed, yet my unfailing love for you will not be shaken nor my covenant of peace be removed,” says the LORD, who has compassion on you.   Isaiah 54:10

In 1998, I met an older lady (never married) who lived and cared for her mother.  They lived together and had both devoted their lives to intercessory prayer.  They were on staff at a large church in Cincinnati.  I was privileged to be in their weekly prayer meeting and, by far, no one has shaped my prayer life like these two. The mother is now in heaven and her daughter, in her 70’s, has become a beautiful friend of mine.  Once every few months, she will call with stories about God  and how He has broken through in prayer to teach and reveal Himself.

She called yesterday morning to share a dream she had this past week.  Immediately, I was engaged.   In the dream, she saw a beautiful oak tree.  It was old, sturdy, and strong.  As she stood appreciating it, an oozing black slime came from beneath the soil, spread out horizontally like its roots were expanding, and then proceeded to climb the trunk of the tree in order to take it over and kill it.  She watched helplessly and feared the worst.  But, where the trunk ended and the branching began, the takeover stopped.  It was as if there was an invisible line it couldn’t cross.  This is not too unlike the narrative from the book of Job.  Satan was given permission to oppress Job but God drew a definite line and he wasn’t allowed to cross it.

Waking up, she sought God about the meaning of the dream and whether it was relevant for these times.  She believed it was symbolic of this worldwide pandemic.  It has spread its roots and it is oppressing, but not entirely destroying.  It is testing God’s people, but it not overtaking their faith.  This crisis is refining the church, renewing dependence on God, and is bringing spiritual awakening across the globe.

Oh, but at great cost.  The mountains are shaking.  The familiar hills of our past are disappearing.  But one thing remains and in this truth we are not destroyed; we are pressed down but not forsaken.  God’s love is unfailing.  God’s covenant of peace with us, through Christ, is not threatened by chaos.  When we lay down our head at night, there is a resident calm, even in the turmoil.  God’s compassion has not ceased and His peace is still promised.

God is talking in the thunder. He is speaking through a microscopic virus that has brought a whole planet to its knees.  I pray we are listening – and then bowing in submission.

Lord, we do not know the extent of the damage and what remains to be shaken loose.  But this we know ~ nothing shall separate us from your love, your peace, your compassion.  Just as more rainbows will appear, we remember your covenant.  Amen

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