There was a time when life was quiet…so quiet that I might have been prone to use the cliché smooth sailing.
It was quiet and then it was not.
It seemed that I had used both sets of dials on the Etch-A-Sketch of my line drawn life and with a mighty shake, it disappeared from view.
New truths and reality brought cracks of pain along the perceived surface of spotless glass.
There was a time that I played the good church girl…really well.
This was the girl who believed that A + B = C…always.
So what happens when you are left holding a blank slate in one hand and there is no “C” to grasp in the other?
I found myself in the midst of a life crash actually several.
Life crashes are sudden, they shake the foundation of beliefs and create emotional devastation, physical destruction and death.
Life crashes rip apart facades. I found the clothes that I wrapped myself in proved inadequate to cover my exposure.
There was a time during the point of impact, I wanted to run away…faraway.
Life crashes can take two courses.
They can leave behind barren uninhabitable land marked by bitterness and feelings of injustice.
Or that fateful bump can prove to be the best of all earthquakes…leading one to a land inhabited by the One that truly holds the slate and oh so much more than a letter of the alphabet.
There was a time where the sound of the phone ringing would induce panic and fear.
There was a time that I no longer waited for the other shoe to drop because I was already wading in my own personal shoe store…not designer by any means but allowed by the Designer.
These life crashes drove me to my knees…they drove me to Him.
They caused me to feel like Psalm 46 was written for my circumstances:
“Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way
and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea,
though its waters roar and foam
and the mountains quake with their surging.”
Psalm 46: 2-3
Sounds like a life crash to me.
It was easy to stay there…in the heart of the sea, letting every wave crash over my head and beat me down…eroding every high place that I had thought provided sure footing.
This is the place I would have stayed if Psalm 46 didn’t have 9 other verses…verses that begin with God and end with God…starting with Truth and leaving me with Truth…lingering Truth.
“God is our refuge and strength,
an ever-present help in trouble.”
Psalm 46: 1
It was because of the reality of GOD IS that the psalmist could say that “we will not fear”…EVEN THOUGH fill in the blank.
The final thought of Psalm 46 (which is also stated in the middle) is:
“The LORD Almighty is with us;
the God of Jacob is our fortress.”
Psalm 46: 11
God is with us.
God is…even though…God is with us.
This became a newfound reality during this quaking time of life. The good church girl waded out of the sea and arrived on a new shore and found:
“There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God,
the holy place where the Most High dwells.
God is within her, she will not fall;
God will help her at break of day.”
Psalm 46: 4-5
In the midst of the crash, there is life…there is God…God in the midst of it…God not letting the waters overcome me.
These streams were living and active, penetrating and powerful.
It was His Word…THE TRUTH.
His Word became my refuge…a mighty fortress…my strength.
His Word came to take residence around my broken walls…they shaped me…they comforted me…they healed me.
There was a time where I thought that I knew His Word.
There is now a time where I can’t get enough of His Word…and that time remains…Bibles lay everywhere and index cards are vessels that overflow with His Promises.
Yesterday I ran into an old friend.
A friend that helped replace that empty Etch-A-Sketch I had been left holding:
“Surely he will never be shaken;
a righteous man will be remembered forever.
He will have no fear of bad news;
his heart is steadfast, trusting in the LORD.
His heart is secure, he will have no fear;
in the end he will look in triumph on his foes.”
Psalm 112: 6-8
I grinned as my eyes scanned over these verses because I remember being so surprised that God knew if I searched long enough I would find tucked in His Word exactly what my heart longed to know…it was my own buried treasure on that day.
It was possible to not be afraid of ringing phones among other things.
Psalm 112 is such a rich song proclaiming that the righteous will not be moved…I suppose in spite of life crashes. The companion to this psalm is the one that sits on top of it, Psalm 111, making the picture complete by giving a glimpse of God, True Authentic Righteousness.
I glanced to the right of Psalm 112 and saw what I had written:
That day was just an ordinary day, I don’t even remember what happened on that particular February day but I do know what had occurred 2 months prior and I needed those verses mightily as I walked out the days after them.
But actually I am wrong. I do know what happened on February 17th, 2008.
God carried me.
God comforted me.
God surprised me.
God reminded me that He is…even though…He is with me…and There is life…There is God.
I know that there are many that cringe at writing in their Bibles…I am not one of them. I would encourage you to have second thoughts so that you can set up reminders of God’s Presence and faithfulness in your life. Keep a record of His work in your life…how He has once again touched your life in a new and profound way.
If I were to open my Bibles to you…you would see dates, you would see names, you would see notations that lead you to specific journals that record more than will fit in the margin of my Bibles.
You would see verses that have been a hushed prayer for a particular year…you would find any number of life verses.
You would find what I wrote yesterday next to Psalm 112:
I am reminded again of Your great faithfulness years later. A heart that is steadfast will be a heart that is secure. Thank You.
There was a time when I had a life crash and this was one of the many verses that reassembled my life:
“That is why I am suffering as I am. Yet I am not ashamed, because I know whom I have believed, and am convinced that he is able to guard what I have entrusted to him for that day.”
II Timothy 1: 12
There was…THERE IS GOD.