April 13, 2023
There are moments in life that are so traumatic that the pain penetrates every recess of your mind and body and moves like a living, breathing entity. Your emotive response to the experience lingers in a timeless freeze frame fashion, and like a voyeur, you can go back and still be overcome by the circumstances of the tragedy.
You know experientially that it is was in those very moments that you discovered who God is to you, and how strong and binding your relationship was with Him. I graciously ask: Do you know what your default mode is when the rug is unexpectedly pulled out from under? After the initial shock, do you lay stunned, angry, or paralyzed and blame God or do you eventually and ultimately turn to Him for the recovery.
I went through a decade of recurring sorrow and loss which included the shock that entered my soul upon hearing the news that my son had taken another man’s life driving drunk. As the days tirelessly pursued me, and the numbness encroached upon me, I struggled with what the future held. But I also remember the comfort that enraptured me as the fog began to lift, my mind consciously clinging to God’s promises: He loves me. He is a good Father. He holds the future.
The truth is when you’re drowning there’s nothing left to do but surrender to your rescuer. Sadly, I knew intellectually what it meant to cling to Jesus – it’s a much different vibe to do it.
Amid my sorrow, I was on the phone with a Christian friend and numbly stated that I believed God was in control, and He would see us through and use it for His glory. I was mindlessly talking to her– but mostly to myself. I had no idea what the future looked like at that moment. I was just parroting scriptures that I had memorized over the years about my God. I taught Bible study for over 20 years and if nothing else, in that moment, I was about to realize that the Bible had taught me even more. “Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee” (Psalm 119:11). Even though the words coming out of my mouth seemed antithetical to the fear in my heart, they were the biblical foundation upon which I fell on.
My friend compassionately listened and then proceeded to give me what I know was a sincere effort in a reality check. She stated that I needed to just focus on getting my son through prison. Translation: Stop assigning higher purpose to this horrific situation. It startled me and felt contrary to everything I had taught about God.
I knew from prior tragedies that the God of comfort always shows up. “The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit” (Psalm 34:18). I just had to remind myself of it.
In Deuteronomy 32:10, God states the Israelites were “the apple of His eye.” The apple of the eye is the pupil. The reflex that covers the eye is the quickest in the body. When danger comes toward your face, your eye will close in 1/10,000th of a second. That is the speed in which the Lord protects His children.
Our Father is determined to make us women of faith. And He will put us in situation after situation where our faith must be exercised. If we have a heart for God, know the history of God, and are being heard by God in prayer, we can move in great faith. We can rely on His covering during times of great trouble. Leave it to God.
“In my distress I called upon the Lord; to my God I cried for help. From his temple he heard my voice and my cry to him reached his ears” (Psalm 18:6).