You called me out upon the waters*
I thought getting out of the boat, braving the storm, following God’s Spirit out onto the water, sounded large. It sounded big, but I’d been through quite the storms already, so I thought, though slightly scary, I could handle this. I’ve been through hard. Unknown is scary, yes, but i know hard.
Losing Duane’s mother suddenly to cancer and receiving the news that we were infertile (and, save a miraculous work of God, we would never conceive), all in the space of four months. . . Yes, we knew hard. We knew intense grief.
It also sounded very noble, godly even, this following God out on the waters. It sounded like a good Christian thing to do. Peter did it. He didn’t do so well. But me? I’ve had some life experience. I could do this.
The great unknown*
Waiting and waiting and waiting for God to bring us a child through adoption. . . waiting, hoping, praying, longing, waiting. Yes, we knew hard. We knew intense grief. So surrender actually seemed an easy choice. He had proven faithful through the losses. It seemed He was trustworthy enough to give him our future, our adoption desire.
Spirit lead me where my feet would never wander*
I really wanted this. In spite of knowing it could be scary, I wanted to go on this crazy adventure. I really truly wanted to accept the life path God had for me. It was an exhilarating and overwhelming thought, to give my future completely to God. To not demand my wants, but to patiently wait for God to lead where He wills.
Where feet may fail*
Some how the reality of this line didn’t sink in. And when tragedy struck again. When we once again heard the words that a family member was “not going to make it”, my feet failed. I begged and pleaded with God to change His mind. I pleaded with God for a miracle. And I may have even come across a bit demanding. I was so upset that less then three years later He would again ask us to travel the 1500 miles of grief. That He would ask us to bury another. That He would leave my dear sister-in-law husbandless. And those four sons of theirs, fatherless.
We had come to say “good-bye”.
My feet failed.
He has filled me with bitterness;
he has sated me with wormwood.
He has made my teeth grind on gravel,
and made me cower in ashes;
my soul is bereft of peace;
I have forgotten what happiness is;
so I say, “My endurance has perished;
so has my hope from the LORD.”
Remember my affliction and my wanderings,
the wormwood and the gall!
My soul continually remembers it
and is bowed down within me.
(Lamentations 3:15-20 ESV)
Sack cloth and ashes never sounded so inviting. That’s where my heart was. It was the only image that matched my grief, my anguish, my despair.
Hope is rising!
When the miracle came. When we heard a 3 hour trip to another hospital, late into the night would give him a 50/50 chance, my feet failed again, as my body, though heart rejoicing, went into auto-pilot. I functioned. I hurriedly packed our suitcase for another quick trip. I did what needed doing, the adrenaline coursing through my veins. And when we arrived at the emergency room, I stood by my husbands side with all the paper-work, helping him get his brother admitted to the emergency room. My vision so completely blurry from the “dried out after days of tears” affect, I blundered on, fighting for my brother-in-law. My sister-in-law. My nephews. My husband.
The tears, the grief, the anguish, they all left. Replaced with something unrecognizable. It was a numbness, possibly shock mode as I couldn’t process this possible hope.
And as doctors came and procedures were performed and test and studies taken, hope continued to come. And I didn’t know what to do with this realized hope. Hope was something intangible in our previous storms. It was an idea, a concept, something clung to, but not realized. This was hope present.
And my feet failed.
I thought I knew God. I thought I had a fair understanding of how He works. Who is this God? This God who is sovereign and can do what He wills. And the fact of this hope, proves that He can do miracles. He DID hear our cry. So what does this mean about my past storms? Why not then? Who is this God? And what does it look like to trust Him?
My feet failed.
“Is it safe to follow Him out upon the waters?” This great unknown. Will God continue to grant life? Is God trust-worthy wether He does or He doesn’t? Who is this God?
Could this be what trust looks like? This babe at rest in his mothers embrace.
But this I call to mind,
and therefore I have hope:
The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases;
his mercies never come to an end;
they are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.
“The LORD is my portion,” says my soul,
“therefore I will hope in him.”
(Lamentations 3:21-24 ESV)
This I know. The Lord is faithful. His love never ceases. His Mercy, oh how greatly needed, yes! His Mercy does not end. Therefore I hope in Him.
He, the God Almighty who is so mysterious, He is Hope. He is Hope present when storms have unhappy endings. And He us Hope present in waiting. In unknown. He is HOPE!
The LORD is good to those who wait for him,
to the soul who seeks him.
It is good that one should wait quietly
for the salvation of the LORD.
(Lamentations 3:25-26 ESV)
And so, by the grace of mysterious God Almighty, I wait quietly because He says it is good.