Dear Reader, God is not indifferent. On the contrary, He cares about every single detail of our lives. When I felt as if my heart was failing me, broken beyond repair, He kept frantically and desperately reaching out to me again and again and again, until He caught my attention. I wasn’t looking for Him if you’ll remember correctly. I wasn’t looking God’s way for comfort because I was disillusioned with Him and believed He wasn’t invested in whatever was going on in my life, good or bad -I had boxed Him in as an indifferent God. I had a been-there-done-that mindset and a chip-on-the-shoulder attitude about it. What can one do with an indifferent God except keep a superficial and diluted relationship with Him? I had held Him at arms-length for a good decade of my life at this point.
‘And everyone that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand: And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and its fall was great’ – Matthew 7:27. When my cavalierly and carelessly constructed house tore apart at the seams quite suddenly, I did not look God’s way -I remember that as clear as day. I remember playing a random Christian song out of habit to get through that fateful wee-morning. The song was on repeat, and I still remember the odd sensation each time this phrase played ‘He’ll never walk out on you’. I didn’t hear any other lyrics except this one phrase over and over again each time the song looped around again and again. I remember thinking how odd that art was imitating life in that very instance, but actually offering a solution of the opposite experience in God. I remember the tug at my heart as the numbness clouded my mind and paralyzed my thinking; shutting down mentally and emotionally is how I deal with trauma.
It would take another full month before I would put two and two together and realize that God was intervening in my life, and that His Holy Spirit was tugging at my heartstrings. With my back turned to Him, and momentarily oblivious to His promptings, I was looking to self-soothe in new age spirituality, old-age ancestry, astrology, psychology, psychically, I was looking everywhere but to Him! I remember when I began to suspect that it wasn’t my imaginings, and that it was really God calling out to me, pleading with me to turn to Him, to run to Him, to take refuge in Him again. Startled, I awoke to the battle over my soul. I remember whispering to my mama over the phone that God and the devil were battling over my soul. I don’t know why I was whispering; I was alone at home!
A couple of days later, it occurred to me to participate in whatever supernatural occurrence was going on instead of sitting there passively impervious, which I figured equated to resisting (Hebrew 3:15 ‘today if you hear Him call, harden not your heart’); it somehow came to mind that I needed to respond. Kneeling down, I hesitantly approached the throne of grace to speak to God. Suddenly, I had come to the end of myself, and I cried out for mercy. Praying, I asked that if that was really Him trying to get my attention, then to please find me, rescue me and save me, to please take over the big mess that was my life. Immediately, Oh Happy Days… immediately… There are so many ‘immediately’ stories in the Bible.
- Immediately, the blind man received his sight and followed him (Luke 18:43);
- Immediately she was made straight and began to glorify God (Luke 13:13);
- Immediately his leprosy was cleansed (Matt 8:3);
- Immediately, their eyes received sight and they followed Him (Matt 20:34);
- Immediately the fever left her and she ministered unto them (Mark 1:31);
- Immediately he rose, took up his bed, and went forth before them all and they glorified God (Mark 2:12);
- Immediately, Jesus stretched forth his hand and caught him (Matt 14:31).
My immediately was upon me dear Reader, for suddenly, like an eagle, He swooped down and scooped me up, carrying me to great heights in His strong righteous right hand. One minute I was drowning, and the next, I hadn’t just received a lifeline to stay afloat, no! I had literally been scooped out of the raging waters! Taking me to safety, He tended to me, hiding me in his holiness. He cooed to me, quietening me with His love like a mother calming his wounded child.
Immediately… Suddenly… But God…
I felt instant relief. Peace like a river. All striving ceased. Be still and know that I am God (Psalm 46:10).
The Lord will fight for you; you need only be still (Exodus 14:14). I was still aware of the raging waters. How could I not be? They were beating down on the remnants of my house, tearing it down like a dollhouse. I stood on higher ground watching it tumble down like a house of cards, rescued from its mangled wreck by my gallant savior, my man of valor, just in time. Peace like a river as I watched it wash away. The enemy had hoped I’d be swept away along with the sand-house, but mercifully I had taken refuge in the Lord ‘my solid rock, my fortress, my deliverer, my God, my strength, my buckler, horn of my salvation, my high tower’ (Psalm 18:2) my hiding place, my preserver from trouble (Psalm 32:7), my strong tower (Proverbs 18:10).
Even now, peace flows like a river as hope sputters in and out, rising and falling to the rhythm of another’s tortured agony from indecision, contention, questioning, and second-guessing… Peace as their anger pours over because words and actions weaponized to wound, maim, cripple, silence, neutralize, and disempower their target irrecoverably, appear to have missed the mark, even backfired… Peace like a river as the storm rages and settles, ebbing and flowing to the rhythm of a tormented soul caught in the mangled wreck, fighting to free itself from the wreckage while still determined to have been right even as doubt, anger and fear assail. Yet God’s peace in me prevails, simply because of who I have believed and the systems of grace He has put in place for my benefit, giving me an unfair, unearned, unmerited advantage -O the favor of God! O the blessings of God! ‘Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee’ Isaiah 26:3.
Child of God, the Lord is not slow in keeping His promise, as some understand slowness. It is the Lord’s desire that no one perish, but that we all come to repentance. We only have to understand that with the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years is like a day -2 Peter 3:8-9. In the end, He wants to save us all. He will keep coming back again and again until we are all rescued. For salvation, He will suffer indignation and pursue us to the ends of the earth. The whole Bible from Genesis to Revelation is the story of salvation, God’s pursuit for relationship with an unfaithful people that keep straying, turning away from Him, and wandering off to God-knows-where! And yet He forgives us again and again as He calls us home, not to control us but to love us and to give us the abundant life He always planned for us (I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly – John 10:10). Today He’s knocking at your door too, dear Reader. ‘Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will dine with him, and he with me’ (Revelation 3:20). Today if you hear His voice, harden not your heart (Hebrew 3:15). ‘For the Lord is patient, not wanting anyone to perish’ (2 Peter 3:9). Selah