When peace like a river attendeth my soul
When sorrows like sea billows roll
Whatever my lot, you have taught me to say
It is well, it is well with my soul.
These past few weeks have been rough, to say the least. I won’t go into details for fear of tears, but we don’t pick our moments. After each funeral, I had too much time to think. To think about life and our purpose here, to think about things I haven’t said, or done. I’ve thought about pain and death, and how I hate it so much. And each time I thought, God said the same thing to me. “You have a choice. Right here, right now, in the midst of your pain and hurt and grief, you have a choice. Chose Me.”
I rolled it around my mind a few times, flabbergasted that He even thought I wasn’t choosing Him. “God, I’ll always chose you.” (Isn’t that what we’d all like to believe?) And slowly, softly and gently, He said- “In your mind yes, you have chosen me. Nothing else makes sense. But in your heart- deep in there with all the hurt you’re holding on to, all the confusion that clouds everything up. Deep in your heart, chose Me.”
What does it mean to chose God in the midst of our pain? When nothing makes sense?
It means you most likely will never get the answers to your questions, but yet you will have peace. It means when life scares you and you feel like locking yourself in your house to avoid all danger, you can walk tall with bravery and confidence in Him. It means that though the tears keep coming and your life is not the same, you have joy and hope knowing the promises God has made to you.
And it has to be a choice. Because that’s how God works. He’s a Father who gives us choices.
So what do you chose? There’s a song by Kari Jobe called “Steady My Heart”. It’s one of those songs that you don’t understand until you’ve experienced pain, which I think we all have by now. God promises to comfort us in our sorrow. Ask anyone who knows true joy how they got it, and I’ll guarantee you it’s because they were once at the bottom of sorrow’s pits. It doesn’t mean we’ll always understand it. And it doesn’t mean we’ll get all the answers we want, but He’s still there handing us everything we need.
Right in the middle of her song, Kari sings, “Even when it hurts, even when it’s hard, even when it all just falls apart. I will run to you, for I know that you are ‘lover of my soul, healer of my scars’. You steady my heart.” Sometimes we don’t get answers- but will we run to Him anyways?
“Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” James 1.2-4
And trust me, if you don’t know how to chose God in the midst of your pain, you’re not alone. Just ask Him. He is faithful, and He’s the only thing that keeps me hanging on.
With Strength that is not my own, Sam