Read His Words Before Ours!
Her back against the wall of the dark corner, she slid to her knees. Forehead met floor as she clenched her arms tighter around her waist, trying desperately to muffle her cries. Despite her efforts, the roiling within couldn’t–wouldn’t–be contained, and her keening echoed in the emptiness around her.
Barely able to string words into thought, she flung a desperate plea to the heavens.
“I can’t do it anymore.
It’s too big, too hard, hurts too much.
Never had the Throne of Mercy seemed more distant. The disappointment He must surely feel thundered in the silence, its weight crushing.
Exhausted, her sobs spent, one final whisper escaped her lips:
“ . . . help . . .”
Into the void, He spoke.
“My sweet girl,
She felt a hand on her back, and instantly her frenetic shaking ceased. Lifting her head, squinting through her tears, she saw Him. There. In her dark corner, His other hand reaching out to smooth damp hair from her face. He was there.
He pulled her into His lap, encircling her in the strongest, most gentle embrace.
Peace began to creep into her soul . . . until she remembered.
Remembered what had driven her to this place of desolation.
Mountains she had tried again and again to scale, only to fail and fall and crumble.
Or perhaps rejection.
Barbed reminders that she didn’t belong, wasn’t good enough,
and therefore was destined to be alone,
piercing her soul until she was too wounded to stand.
Or injustice might have flung her into this pit,
blindsided and bleeding.
Whatever the root cause, its oppression began to close in again.
Hopeless, she cried out, “I don’t know what to do!”
“Beloved,” He murmured, shattering the encroaching darkness, “it’s time to worship.”
“Worship?” she echoed in confusion . . .
Dear sister, perhaps her puzzlement reflects our own?
Surely heartfelt hymns of praise spring from mountaintop moments,
not deepest, darkest valleys.
And yet, His Word shows us
life and hope and peace
in the midst of
death and hurt and despair
are found in the place of worship.
Praise . . . when it hurts.
Speaking truth we know and believe . . . when we don’t feel it.
When the giants of OVERWHELMED and FEAR and FAILURE loom large before us,
He reminds us:
He is bigger, stronger, and victorious over
the obstacles we are powerless to surmount on our own.
When the bitter seeds of rejection begin to wither our spirits,
He uproots their lies with His hope-full truth:
We are never alone: we are the little sheep of His pasture,
created for and belonging to Him, always.
And when the devious cruelty of another leaves us
suffering, despairing, and crying out for vindication,
He is our justice:
He promises to end our story with justice,
turning the wicked intentions of man against us to good,
for the glory of His name.
Truth begets life.
When we are helpless and hopeless in the place of deepest pain,
speaking the truth about our God revives our dying spirits.
Because the truth is, He is still worthy of our praise.
When we are overwhelmed, alone, wronged,
He is still God.
He is still good.
He is still for us.
And if God is for us, what can stand against us?
Remember that thing, that ugly hurt that drove us to our dark corners?
The truth we access in worship is because of who He is, because of His crazy love for us, He’s got that thing covered.
Drawing in a deep breath, she paused for a moment, biting her lower lip.
In a barely audible whisper, she began, “You are my God. You made me, and I. Am. Yours.” Words of life spoken in her own voice built her courage.
Stronger, now. “I come to You with thanksgiving and praise. Thank you for all that You are, and for being here with me now.
“You are my way through. You are my Good Shepherd and I belong to You.
You are my justice and my vindication.
You are good, and Your faithful love endures, forever.”
The mountains still rose before her.
The pain of brokenness with man remained.
But her Guide was at her side.
His very presence was salve to her wounds.
Slipping her fingers into His, she stepped forward, her soul awakened to deep life.
Embracing God’s fullness in our lives is rooted in scripture and memorizing His word is vital to our continued growth and depth with Jesus. Tap and hold from your mobile device to download this week’s verse and make it your phone’s lockscreen!