Monday, November 15, 2010

Even though

One of the emotions I struggled with the most after we lost Naomi was fear.  The unthinkable had happened.  I had lost my baby.  Not only that, but God had allowed it.  Who would I lose next?  I was fearful for my husband, my parents, and especially my one-year-old daughter.  I cringed when she went down a slide, when she played on the swings, when she climbed on a chair.  I went into her room at night to make sure she was still breathing.  I was hypervigilant, reasoning that if I wasn't, I could lose her, too.  I couldn't trust God to keep my loved ones safe.  After all, He had let me down.  Either He wasn't watching or didn't I would do His job for him.

One weekend during this period of time, my husband was preparing his sermon on Psalm 46, and God used the words to touch my heart:

God is our refuge and strength
A very present help in trouble
Therefore we will not fear, though the earth should
And though the mountains slip into the heart of the sea
Though its waters roar and foam
Though the mountains quake at its swelling pride....
The Lord of hosts is with us;
The God of Jacob is our stronghold. (v. 1-3, 7; NASB)

Could I learn how to do that again?  Could I trust God to be my stronghold?  I tried putting my situation into the verse - I will not fear, even though I lost my baby; even though I almost died myself; even though I was still recovering from abdominal surgery, even though....  Wow, that was hard.  How could I not fear in light of all that God allowed to happen to me?  Some stronghold!

Then I read the end of the Psalm. 

He makes wars to cease to the ends of the earth;
He breaks the bow and cuts the spear in two;
He burns the chariots with fire.
"Cease striving and know that I am God;
I will be exalted among the nations.  I will be exalted in the earth."
The Lord of hosts is with us;
The God of Jacob is our stronghold. (v. 9-11, NASB)

Someday, God will make the wars end.  He will bring peace to the earth.  He will put an end to suffering and miscarriage and ectopic pregnancy and stillbirth and early infant death.  Not yet, but someday.  But in the now, he is with us.  He is our stronghold in a world where everything can go wrong.  He is our refuge and strength in the even though when our circumstances mock our belief in a strong and loving God.

It has taken me a long time to walk in the truth of what that Psalm teaches, and there are some days where my grief is too close and I can't see the big picture.  But I am learning the even though of following God, and, ever-so-gradually, how to cease striving and know - and trust - that He is God.

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