Monday, September 21, 2015

Running from grief...running to God

For I, the LORD your God, hold your right hand; it is I who say to you, “Fear not, I am the one who helps you.”
Isaiah 41:13

My tennis shoes beat out the rhythm of the song that played in my earphones. 

(Held (Writer: Christa Wells    Performed by: Natalie Grant)

 "Who told us we'd be rescued, what has changed, and why should we be saved from nightmares?  We're asking why this happened, to us who have died to live, it's unfair.  This is what it means to be held how it feels when the sacred is torn from your life and you survive.  This is what it is to be loved and to know that the promise was when everything fell we'd be held."

It's a smooth rhythm.  And when I ran to the song "Held", I was able to talk to God, and remember, that truly "If hope was born of suffering, if this is only the beginning, can we not wait for one hour watching for our Savior?"  

I had asked my "whys".  I had railed against God one night on a jog around my neighborhood when the news first came.  "How could you God?  How could you do this to our family?  We had always done everything that you had asked.  We had given time, money, talents."

I wanted the all powerful God to step down from His mighty heaven and appear to me--with a promise of a miraculous healing so that all would know He was God.  I wanted an explanation.  I wanted God to be who I felt He should be, and like a petulant child, I demanded that He do as I expected.

His answer?  "He's my son, and you are putting him above me and my will.  You need to, much like Abraham was asked, hold him out for me to take if I want him back.  I love him even more than you can.  So trust me with him."

In the end, I placed Layne into God's hands, and unlike Abraham, God did not stay the hand of death.  He took him home, and left me to deal with the aftermath.  

And so I ran, and I ran and I ran.  I talked to God.

The tragedy didn't end with Layne's death, either.  Our family was ripped apart by Layne's loss and the broken hearts it created, our business was decimated, our home left underwater in payments, and my naive self was taken advantage of by a con artist in my grief.  Later, I was nearly killed in an bicycle accident, and had to learn to walk, and even stand, all over again.

It seems that this is the way that it happens in life.  We'll be faced with tragedy, and it often seems never enough to face one loss, generally, losses compound themselves until you feel as if a tsunami of sadness is enveloping your entire world.  These times separate us from others, who struggle to understand the enormity of pain.  But if we can hold on, even with our God, He alone can float us above the tragedy.  Waves may toss us, but He has his hands under the boat. Truly, the promise is we will be held.

I don't know your personal storms.  I don't know how high the water in your life is right now.  But when it all comes down, there are arms to run to that wish to hold you.

That's the promise.  That when, not IF, everything falls...we'll be held.

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