I was sure by now,
God, you would have reached down
And wiped our tears away
Stepped in and saved the day
But once again, I say “Amen”, and it’s still raining...
As the thunder rolls,
I barely hear Your whisper through the rain,
“I’m with you.”
And as You mercy falls
I raise my hands and praise the God who gives
And takes away
I’ll praise You in this storm
And I will lift my hands
For You are who You are
No matter where I am
Every tear I’ve cried
You hold in Your hand
You never left my side
And though my heart is torn
I will praise You in this storm
-Casting Crowns, Praise You in This Storm
About that love. About that God who is God in spite of me. About my fear. About the pain that life inflicts indiscriminately. About that holding on...
So many times, in the middle of the storm, I've been here. Begging Him to speak, telling Him He should have done something by now, being good and praising Him in spite of it.
Today, I'm not in the middle of a storm, not a physical or emotional storm, not really. The sun is out, and we have some happy. I can count the gifts He has given, because I can still see them, hear them, hold them, touch them, talk with them.
But I have seen storms. I have lived through storms. Every day I encounter someone else who is walking through a storm I cannot imagine enduring. And sometimes, I can imagine it, and I begin to be afraid. I look down at the waves I've been walking on while I have been looking at Jesus, and I think, "How could He ever be enough for me to endure that?"
I have tried to push off loss by being spiritual enough, to avoid pain by learning wisdom quickly, by being as good as I can so God won't have to allow me to suffer in order to know Him more deeply.
But I know nothing I do will ever guarantee me a storm-less life. I realize that a car could come out of nowhere and wipe my family away from me. Or a tornado. Job lost ten sons and daughters to one of those. HOW he must have hurt.
I have not been so emptied.
Even as God asks me to hold on in love to the people-gifts and the good things He has placed in my life, He asks me to entrust them to His care.
For me, the lifting of my hands must be an opening up of my heart. It begins with a "thank you," - a vulnerable acceptance of His gift. And then a prayer: "God, please hear me, please protect them." For now I pray for me, for my heart. I know there must be better, more spiritual reasons. But for now, I just ask for me, to let me hold this goodness, to let me trust Him with it without loss.
If the storm comes... well then.
He must be enough. It is a wish, a prayer, a faith.
There is more to Him than the gifts He gives, but it is HARD to see Him sometimes. It is HARD to unwrap the gifts, knowing they may be taken from me.
But I am coming to see that unwrapping them, accepting them, holding them close - loving - this is my praise, the hardest praise I know. Learning to trust His heart, my greatest gift of all.
My friend Emily at Chatting at the Sky hosts a weekly "noticing" party - giving us a chance to unwrap and share the little gifts (and the big ones!) God gives to us in the midst of our dailiness.
Do you have a gift to unwrap today? Stop on by and link up with Emily, and share in the (mostly) paperless unwrapping!
(Image © Informal Moments Photography)