When the Waters Don’t Part

This week, we were waiting on news that we had been praying and fasting over.  During the waiting, I waffled between peace and panic.  Some moments I was desperate and on my knees, and some moments I was fully confident in God’s hand being in the situation.

Except when the news finally came, it was the opposite of what we wanted.  Despite our fasting and praying, our preparing and our planning, we were met with the devastation that we were praying against.  

I wish I could say that in my shock and sorrow, I was immediately filled with peace because, well, God.  

I wish I could say that immediately my mind was filled with Bible verses about how God was going to be with me during this next stage of my life.

I wish I could say that my mind and my heart recognized God’s hand in our situation despite how it looked and sounded.

I cannot say any of those things.

Instead, if I can be honest with you, I sat down and cried.  And cried and cried.  I cried for three days straight.  And I am crying now.  

My heart is broken into pieces and my mind is so confused.

I do take comfort in knowing that I am not alone.  I know we all experience moments of heartache in this fallen world because of sin.  But right now?  I just want to crawl into bed and sit in my sorrow.

This morning, as I was huddled in my bed with my weighted blanket covering my head, hidden in my womb-like cocoon, I heard the Lord whisper, “I’m still here.”

I didn’t respond.  It didn’t feel like He was with me, despite the promise that I teach to anyone who will listen.

“I will never leave you.”

I looked down at my hand.  Over the years, I have taught thousands of people in many countries about this promise, using my hand.  Pulling out one finger at a time, I said out loud the words that God had just reminded me.

I.

Will.

Never.

Leave.

You.

Throughout the Scriptures, we see this promise.  It’s in both the Old Testament and the New Testament.  

Joshua 1:9 “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.

Isaiah 41:10 “Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”

Deuteronomy 31:6 “Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the Lord your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you.”

Zephaniah 3:17 “The Lord your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing.”

Matthew 28:20 “Teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”

Romans 8:38-39 “For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

I could go on and on.  But right now?  Right now, I don’t FEEL any of these verses.  

In our sorrow, we can’t rely on what we feel.  We must rely on what we know. 

And we know that God’s word is true.  

So in these moments, when I think about how God parted the water for Moses, I also realize he filled the seas for Noah.  That doesn’t mean that God wasn’t with Noah.  In fact, the opposite was true.  God sustained and protected Noah while the world around him fell apart.  

So today, I am choosing to look for peace that comes from knowing that God is with me during the storm.  That His protection and provision are enough.  That even if I don’t FEEL it, I KNOW it.  And that? That is enough to get me through today.