I know that the Father is with me. When the pain leaves me shaking my head and in tears and the shock hits once again, I am reminded that He sent His only begotten Son through unfathomably worse pain to reconcile me to Him and bring me home. None of this shocks the God of heaven and earth, owner of infinite galaxies and tender of my heart. He shows me that He will restore the fortunes of His people (Psalm 53:6) and that He alone makes me to dwell in safety and sleep in peace (Psalm 4:8). He reminds me that I am His. He is mine. He is my Father, and I will not be afraid. He is my Deliverer. He does only wondrous things (Psalm 72:18). He rejoices in me, which I can't quite fathom, and He exults over me (Zephaniah 3:17). That blows me away, but even in that...
|Kansas thunderstorm, I-70|
I know that the Son is with me. When earthly comfort cannot ease the ache, He whispers that He is my comfort, that I can go to Him. An overheard conversation between two friends brings the reality of His perfect life, lived for me, to the forefront once again. Music, the one thing guaranteed to calm my racing heart, tells me that "He will raise [me] up on eagles' wings, bear [me] on the breath of dawn, make [me] to shine like the sun, and hold [me] in the palm of His hand". (Shane & Shane, Psalm 91) He tells me that I am clean. Safe. Loved.
He loves me.
I know the Spirit is with me. The lessons are coming fast and hard all over the place - this is what it means to have Me as your all, to turn to Me in grief and confusion, to be an adult in My strength. To be willing to give up everything, everyone, for Me. Do you trust Me to be with you even if the darkness closes in and the fear seems to win? This is what He is speaking to my heart. This is His fellowship (2 Corinthians 13:14). And yes, this is His joy (1 Thessalonians 1:6).
The night is dark, and I am far from home
Lead thou me on.
He answers, "I am."
|Fall, Colorado prairie|
I would have never wanted to learn this, this way. I would have kept my life the way it was - my relationship, my plans, my dreams. Three years ago, I would have kept my brain health, my peace, my great designs on life. I could go back to each of the major trials in my life and pinpoint exactly what I wanted to keep before it was all torn away. But I don't get to choose. I don't get to hang on. The Lord gives, and the Lord takes away - and without that, there is unmoored insanity and frightening meaninglessness. So - by His grace - I grit my teeth and rise to stand with my brothers and sisters in Christ, around the world, across time, in all eras and situations and trials and sufferings and experiences and tragedies, and say...
Blessed be the name of the Lord.