August 19, 2019
Who out there fears God, actually listens to the voice of his servant? For anyone out there who doesn’t know where you’re going, anyone groping in the dark, Here’s what: Trust in God. Lean on your God! Isaiah 50:10-11
One of my all-time favorite songs is Be Born In Me. It’s sung by Francesca Basttistelli. This past week, this lyric arrested me. Did you wrap yourself inside the unexpected – so we would know that love would go that far? When unexpected events come, especially tragic ones, my love for God can be stretched. I wonder if it will go as far as my fears, doubts, and theological struggles that have never bothered me before.
The unexpected can encompass something I feared might come true – and something I’ve prayed against for years. Prone to worry, I kept entrusting my misgivings to God and then I rested ~ believing that He would take care of that thing for which I prayed. When my prayer wasn’t answered as I anticipated, is God no longer a refuge? Is resting no longer possible?
It takes effort to disentangle myself from the conflict of my soul and to go home as a ‘weaned child rests against his mother.’ (Psalm 131) I spent nearly a day wrestling with this issue last week. I felt God gave me this picture.
Envision a child in wartime. He’s playing in the street with his friend while his mother looks on from a distance. Suddenly, bullets are flying, and bombs are dropping. This child runs to and fro in frantic need for safety. His eyes search for one person; his mother. She watches him from down the street and she’s frantic. She’s calls him, opens her arms and urges him to come to safety. Her embrace invites him to shelter in the midst of danger. Now, the bombs may still maim, even kill, but he will not suffer it apart from his mother’s embrace.
God told His children that we are in a war and we are not home yet. Perhaps resting is to catch my breath in God’s arms while the storm rages. It is to settle my soul in His embrace while violence swirls. It is to collect my thoughts for my next steps in a posture of repose. It is to believe that even in the worst of things, He will have the last word. It is to cling to the Victor when it appears Satan is winning. It is to compose a song of faith even in chaos. It is to trust God when Satan would tell me I’ve been betrayed, to stay faithful even when circumstances would argue that He’s not been faithful. I rest in the character of God and not in the expectation that He will deliver me from all pain. Peace is found in the security of One all-knowing and wise. He sees what I cannot, and as it was for Jesus, God’s plan is redemptive though the plotline appears to be senseless. My life is hidden in Christ and is also destined for glory.
You are my firm foundation in confusion, my rock of refuge in sinking sand. Amen