I’m sitting quietly in my dining room, sipping coffee and waiting for the HVAC guy to show up to do an annual service on our units. Mundane stuff – but I’m profoundly grateful that we have enough right now to take care of mundane stuff. And as I’m sitting here gearing up for the day, this song speaks to me.
You were singing in the dark
Whispering Your promise
Even when I could not hear
I was held in Your arms
Carried for a thousand miles to show
Not for a moment did You forsake me…
And every step, every breath, you are there
Every tear, every cry, every prayer,
In my heart, at my worst,
When my world falls down
Not for a moment will You forsake me
Even in the dark
Even when it’s hard
You will never leave me
At the exact moment I was listening to this song, a friend tweeted this:
“Faith is deliberate confidence in the character of God whose ways we may not understand at the time.”
– Oswald Chambers
Life is so hard sometimes, and I look around at the world and the suffering of some of its people, the tragedies that defy explanation, the way that men (and women) distort and twist and corrupt the idea of the church, of fellowship and community, of God’s very nature for their own ends and their own profit… it would be easy to look at all of that and assume it all says something about who God is. I get it, I do.
But really, it speaks volumes about us.
Those things – those things and so much more – point us ever more emphatically to our need for the One who is beyond us, beyond our understanding, even. I choose to believe in the character of God, I choose to believe God is beyond my limited, human understanding, I hold onto the belief that he has not forsaken us, not for one moment, even when it’s hard and painful and I don’t get it. Every single day, I do my very best to lay down my expectations and lift up to God my hopes and desires, my fears and apprehensions, my needs and not-needs, to trust that he is working and that he is good and that he loves us – and not just us, but me, personally.
Every detail works to your advantage and to God’s glory: more and more grace, more and more people, more and more praise! So we’re not giving up. How could we! Even though on the outside it often looks like things are falling apart on us, on the inside, where God is making new life, not a day goes by without his unfolding grace. These hard times are small potatoes compared to the coming good times, the lavish celebration prepared for us. There’s far more here than meets the eye. The things we see now are here today, gone tomorrow. But the things we can’t see now will last forever.
We throw open our doors to God and discover at the same moment that he has already thrown open his door to us. We find ourselves standing where we always hoped we might stand – out in the wide open spaces of God’s grace and glory, standing tall and shouting our praise. There’s more to come: We continue to shout our praise even when we’re hemmed in with troubles, because we know how troubles can develop passionate patience in us, and how that patience in turn forges the tempered steel of virtue, keeping us alert for whatever God will do next. In alert expectancy such as this, we’re never left feeling shortchanged. Quite the contrary – we can’t round up enough containers to hold everything God generously pours into our lives through the Holy Spirit!
And so I am sitting here with my coffee waiting for the HVAC guy – the HVAC guy we couldn’t afford six months ago – listening to this song over and over, and feeling so grateful. May your day be filled with opportunities to encounter God’s grace and goodness in deeply personal ways.