I think the fog will lift & we will all look around to find that we were never really alone. Others are lost in the fog as well & feel completely alone, but if you would only lift up your head & reach out your hand, you would come to find the Savior of the world.
I went for a run this morning & it was the best run I’ve been on in a very long time. It was 27 degrees outside & I had on a short sleeve shirt but then I eventually lost all feeling & could only focus on how much my lungs were burning. I gave my lungs a chance to remember how much they like the taste of air. My heart was heavy, incredibly heavy. I can’t usually listen to worship music when I go on runs. I don’t know why, but I’ve never been able to push myself harder when I listen to it, but I found myself on one song this morning. Only one part of one song, actually. The build of “In Over My Head” just kept yelling at me through my headphones. My heart was hurting. I was finishing the last stretch of Faculty Row on campus & Jenn Johnson was singing sweet melodies to me & the tears welled up & I didn’t try to stop them. My heart ached & burned & I wanted to scream or collapse or both. My lungs were burning & my mind was racing & I kept hearing:
And further & further my heart moves away from the shore. Whatever it looks like, whatever may come, I am Yours & You crash over me & I’ve lost control, but I’m free. I’m going under. I’m in over my head & You crash over me & that’s where You want me to be. I’m going under. I’m in over my head. Whether I sink, whether I swim, it makes no difference when I’m beautifully in over my head.
I am free. I am free. I am free. I was bought with a price & I am free.
I felt like I didn’t have the right to grieve because these weren’t my circumstances. But God reminded me over & over again, “You are allowed to feel.” So I prayed. I prayed harder than I have prayed in so long. Every time God brings the thoughts into my mind today, I pause & pray. There is nothing that will happen that will be outside of God’s sovereignty. He is good. He is good. He is good. It is well. Prayer has the ability to let us communicate with God & feel His closeness because He is close. When we draw near to Him, He draws near to us. There is peace in knowing Him & the way you get to know someone’s voice is by communicating more & more with them. The same exact thing goes for God. The more you pray & talk to Him, the more you will recognize His voice & His presence. That is good news. He isn’t far. He isn’t out of reach. He is here. Right at the center of chaos is God. He is the pinnacle of understanding. He is the peace in our troubled sea. And still He is good.
I could sit here & try to make sense of this all, but you & I both know that is near impossible. I just sat through an entire sermon earlier this week about the burning question, “How can a loving God allow evil & suffering?” & I can honestly say it wasn’t answered for me & I don’t think it ever will be. I think that’s part of the mystery of God & it’s what makes our relationship so beautiful with Him. We trust Him even when we have no idea what the hell will happen & that’s what makes us lean into Him even more. And we lean into Him even more when terrible & horrific things happen, as unfortunate as that sounds. I have a bad habit of needing all of the details & statistics & facts of tragedy when it strikes, but this time was different. God said, “Only Me. You only need Me.” I didn’t need the whole story or the facts or the details, but I needed Jesus, so badly. So we fix our eyes on Him because that is what we know. Instead of trying to make sense of tragedy & circumstances, fix your eyes on the sovereign God who is constant & will never let us fall from His loving embrace. We can navigate our days because He is good & He will fight, we need only be still.
He is light. He is more than enough. He is here, with you in the struggles & pain & hurt. He is everything. He knows the deepest parts of your heart that situations like these stir up. He gets it. He knows you. You are known, which means you can never be fully alone. He is the peace in your heart, even when it feels like a little speck amidst a dark & troubled sea. He is here, in the chaos. He is always here. And that can be your comfort today. I pray that He would quiet our hearts in chaos. I pray that He meets you where you’re at & that you can immediately recognize this divine encounter with a God who handcrafts your days. He has written in His books every day before you & every trial you will ever face & every tear you will ever cry. He knows you & you are not alone in feeling this grief. He can quiet your heart in the chaos.