It was in this state of feeling misunderstood, anxious and downright weary that I found myself at a loss about even where to begin with Him in our usual conversations. My pen and paper, which are usually reliable processing tools, failed to produce their organized fruit and I was left with coming to Him with deep sighing. Every now and then, I attempted to be faithful in praying for housing provision, but mostly it was inarticulate sentiments related to grief, hurt, purposelessness, fear, anger and yes, even dread.
Now, I could say that I did all the right things. I showed up to our Time together, I reached out to others for prayer, and I didn't hide what was really going on. And honestly, that is so much more than I used to do, when Pride ran my life.
But You know what my God did? My tender God made sure I knew that He was with me. That I could come to Him just as I am and He would hug me in those strong and gentle arms, squeezing out every drop of sadness so there was room again for joy. He spoke softly as I hid myself in Him in words of comfort like this:
"Because he holds fast to me in love, I will deliver him; I will protect him because he knows my name. When he calls to me I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble; I will rescue him and honor him. With long life I will satisfy him and show him by salvation." Psalm 91:14-16
"Many are the sorrows of the wicked, but steadfast love surrounds the one who trusts in the Lord." Psalm 32: 10
And on one of the worst days, He dropped this bomb of a passage:
"I will rejoice and be glad in your steadfast love, because you have seen my affliction; you have known the distress of my soul, and you have not delivered me into the hand of the enemy. Be gracious to me, O LORD, for I am in distress; my eye is wasted from grief; my soul and my body also." Psalm 31:7-9
He just kept right on reiterating that His nearness helps me see Him more clearly. From a self-created distance, I cannot make out truth or believe the reality of His love, much less rejoice in the God of my salvation. My screwy circumstances and powerful emotions are unable to crush the Rock I stand on, or in this case, collapse on. It is only good to be near God if I have made Him my refuge (Ps. 73:28). Appreciating the shield of His love necessitates nearness (Jude 21).
What I find myself wanting to stress in all of this is that nothing has changed in my external. I still have no answers, I still have to make the conscious choice to forgive, but His loving embrace has shrunk these problems. He is redeeming this terrible, horrible, no-good, very bad week in the same way that He faithfully redeemed me from the pit of hell, for His own Name's sake, for His own glory, as proof of His steadfast love and faithfulness.