I came across this writing today from 7/2/14 and it seemed so fitting to share today. Sometimes we need to remind ourselves of where we’ve come from and share the hope with others that we don’t need to stay in our past but be moved to our future that is boundless! I originally called this “Learning to dwell in the presence of the Lord” but ‘Hope in Troubled Waters” seems to fit today, maybe that should be the subheading.
Have you ever found yourself in a place that you just never would have imagined you would be in and while you were there, wondered how you would ever make it out? The depths seemed so deep and the pain so great? Naturally, there didn’t seem to be an answer that would ‘make it all right?’ Yet… someone told you that if you believed in God and gave your heart to Him, it would all work out? “How” you asked as you sat so deep in your trial that you had a hard time to breath, never mind come up for air? Yet something in your heart of hearts knew this to be true without knowing how?
Today I read something like this in Joshua 3 about the people going into the Promised Land – it was their destiny! Yet, if you read that chapter, the waters were at flood stage – so, not only would it seem impossible to cross over but all the more higher and impossible. But God told Joshua to have the priest step into the water and when they did, the water would be cut off and stand in a heap and stop flowing. When they touched the water’s edge, the water stopped flowing and the people were able to cross over. What is it in your life that looks impossible? God is calling you today to step into the water that He would bring you through. How you ask do I know? Because He’s done it for me. I had hoped He might take me out of the situation but He brought me through it! My flood waters had risen and I thought I would drown but He showed me how to get through.
Nineteen eighty four – it was a really lonely year in my life. It was to be a summer of having a finding time with God. Things around me were naturally falling apart, I had just lost my husband to another love, those who I considered close – my sister Kat and my Mom were living out of state and I had two children to care for who desperately needed me. Imagine being a young woman of 23, who barely felt like she could take care of herself – never mind being fully responsible for 2 little ones who wholly depended on her for their very existence. My son Rich was about 18 months old and had the energy of the energizer bunny (you all remember that commercial about the battery that keeps going and going and never runs out? Ha-ha) and my daughter Jessica was about 34 months old, barely walking and still with no official diagnosis; later to be diagnosed with Prader-Willi Syndrome. [You may recall when she was born she was like a ragdoll and they didn’t know if she would ever walk or talk and they thought she might be severely retarded but …. They didn’t know my God….and I was still learning of Him!] All I had was my children, whom I adored and a God who loved me even more. It was in this time I learned to bask in His love and His presence.
It was in this place of desperation and fear I learned to dwell in the presence of the one I loved, of the one who rescued me. During those long lonely nights, sleep evaded me. I worried about food for my children; I worried about our safety – as my neighbors tended to enjoy their drink a little too much and in their drunk state, they were not happy to hear the pitter patter of children running, playing and crying over their head (and would let me know in sometimes not so nice ways!). The one I loved beckoned me to spend time with Him. I would pick up the bible and His love letter to me would begin to open up. Growing up I thought the Bible was something you put on your coffee table to decorate your table but now I was learning that through it God wanted to speak hope and encouragement to me. The many long sleepless nights I would spend pouring over God’s word learning of who He was and reading of His promises for me. I read how it was the enemy of my soul that came to steal, kill and destroy. This enemy had come to steal my child’s health, my marriage, my joy and all that my Father had purposed for me and God was opening my eyes on how to battle it. Matthew 6:33 tells us to seek God first and all these things listed before it would be given to us (God provides for the birds of the air, how much more for us!) and that God had come to give us life and life more abundantly (John 10:10). The more the enemy would rob me of my sleep and peace, the more I would spend time reading of who God was in the New Testament and all that He had come to be for me.
In that season of time I was so lonely, I wasn’t a very good friend as I was not single like most of my peers that I could just up and go as they did, nor was I a ‘couple’ that I could hang with others who had little ones. I remember one night crying out to God – I just wanted someone to hold me. Through this time of great loss, I would hold my children and comfort them as they knew things were ‘off’ but had no understanding of all that was happening. I was upset that the one I had committed my life to in marriage had deserted me for another. It felt so unfair that someone else had him as not only a lover but also as father to the child they had just had and here I was, alone and my children fatherless. One night in this place of great loneliness I cried out to God – “Lord, your word says in Isaiah 54:5 that you would be my husband and Lord I just really need a hug right now so I don’t seek it in a relationship that would get me in trouble, I am still legally married after all!” That night at I cried into my pillow, I felt His arms around me – my God had come to hold me and for the first time in a very long time – I slept soundly, safe and protected in the arms of my Maker, my husband. I knew somehow, someway, we would be O.K.
Yes, God brought me through the waters that were meant to destroy me and He wants to do the same for you. Take time today to bask in His presence – shut the phone, turn off the T.V., quiet the voices within and let the One who parted the waters speak to your heart and bring you through! Love ya – but more than that – Jesus loves you more! Rest in His love & peace today.