"Makin' a list of all of the good things you've done for me.
I just heard this song this morning and it was like salve to my slashed-up heart.
The thought that God does care when my heart is bleeding & my soul is weeping.
This grief thing, it's totally unpredictable. I'm never sure where on the spectrum
I will be. About the time that I think I'm learning to be "okay" with the huge hole
that my Dad left, the debilitating pain comes back and I feel like there's just
no way to go on with life. Some days are just more bearable than others I guess.
The valley of grief can sometimes be a murky, lonely darkness. Even though I
know God is there with me, it's hard to remember that when the loss is so
poignant. It's in times like this, that I wish I could literally crawl up on God's
lap and feel Him holding His hurting, little girl close to His heart. This is where
my faith becomes necessary - so that Satan can't persuade me that God could
care less and has abandoned me in this dark valley.
As someone reminded me the other week, God knows exactly what it's like to
lose a dearly beloved to an awful death. And He knows what it feels like to
watch a loved one suffer to death. I hadn't really thought about it that way
before. The mind-boggling thing is though that God volunteered to allow
His beloved Son to go through that. And His radical love for us unlovely
sinners restrained Him from rushing in and reversing the whole painful plan of
salvation. Thank You, God my Father, and Jesus, my Redeemer!
I’ve been thinking about faith a lot recently. What is faith? AW Tozer says that “faith is the gaze of a soul upon a saving God.” (if anyone’s looking for a good read, I highly recommend The Pursuit of God by Tozer). Faith is trusting Jesus enough to follow Him through the foggy darkness of my valley even though I can’t see the ground I tread.
I think faith is to our spiritual entity what breathing is to our physical bodies. The Hebrews writer states that “without faith it is impossible to please God.” If I lack faith in God, I can strive my hardest to reach max performance in God’s eyes, but it is impossible for me to please Him. Human nature is to do our best to please the ones we love and respect. Sometimes, I think it seems easier to please those who I can hear audible commendation from than to please God, who I can’t hear audibly speak and tell me that He is pleased with me. And yet, His Spirit within us conveys God’s pleasure or displeasure to us as long as we are willing to stay tuned to that still small voice. Perhaps it seems too simple that pleasing God is not about high performance; it’s about unwavering belief in Him.
The theme of faith threads through the whole Redemption tapestry of God’s Word to us. What comes to mind when you think of faith in the Bible? It always brings to my mind the “Faith Chapter” in Hebrews which mentions all the giants of faith in Scripture. Romans 5:1-2 says, “Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God” To me, these verses are also an indication of how important faith is to the child of God. It is because of my faith in God that He declares me to be righteous in His eyes through my faith in His proffered salvation. Notice in the verse 2 the mainstays that faith grants us: peace with God, grace, and hope.
How fares my faith? It’s been shaky at best and out of grasp at worse while in this journey through the dark valley. Please join me in pray that each of us would strengthen our faith in Jesus and allow Him to guide us in the dark valleys of our lives. After all, darkness and light are both the same to our Lord. Unlike His terrified child, He’s got 20/20 vision even in the thick, foggy darkness.
Galatians 2:20 “I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.”