The Sovereign Lord is my strength; he makes my feet like the feet of a deer; he enables me to go on the heights. Habakkuk 3:19
I don’t like good byes. I don’t accept them very graciously.
But I did really well yesterday morning when we left Scott and Emily. There were no tears, no sadness – just complete gratitude that we had had such a good visit with them and that they are so happy together.
Or at least I thought I was doing well – but as we drove further away from Nashville, the more the sadness came. It always does as I start to feel the distance growing between us, and the realization comes that it may be months before we see them again. And with the weather forecast with severe storms and tornadoes for the next several days through their area and beyond, I couldn’t help but be concerned for them and for all the other people involved, as well. Of course, once again, I had to fight back the tears. I just wanted to turn around and go back for a little longer . . .
I do wish I wasn’t such an emotional and sentimental person. And soon, I did begin to accept that I was being much too dramatic and emotional. I knew I had no reason for sadness or tears. And I fully realize that there are so many individuals and families who are going through difficult times. They are suffering such heartache and despair. We too have had those times and through His love and grace, we got through them. All of us, at some time or another, will have those seasons when the pain of our circumstances can seem unbearable. And as we know too well, life for all of us can be so uncertain, but yet, we can’t live with the fear of what might be.
With the most grateful heart, I can say that all is well with us and we are trusting in Him. We just had the opportunity to spend 4 days with our son and his wife, and we had a wonderful time. They are happy, doing well, and healthy. They aren’t halfway across the world or dealing with painful situations. They have jobs they love and a comfortable life with all they need. They love each other and look forward to a great future with Minnie (their little chihuahua they adore), and hopefully someday, having children of their own. They know God and have the assurance of His promises. We have a family that loves each other and enjoys being together. I am so grateful for all the many blessings we have been given.
God has been so good to all of us. To what heights He has taken us and even when we are at our lowest, He lifts us up. What strength He gives us with His presence. The unfailing trust, hope, and confidence we can have in our lives, and in the lives of those we care about, is through our faith in our Sovereign Lord. It is through Him that we can find the grace to rise above our circumstances and find joy in even the most sad or difficult of times. What mercy and compassion He will give us when we need it most.
One of the shortest books in the Old Testament is the book of Habakkuk. In its three chapters we see this prophet rise from the depths of despair to the height of joy. In the beginning, we find that all Habakkuk could see was destruction, violence, strife, conflict, injustice, and wickedness. He cried out to God and God answered with His presence and grace.
The last chapter ends with these words of comfort and hope: “The Sovereign Lord is my strength; he makes my feet like the feet of a deer; he enables me to go on the heights.” In questioning God and His ways, Habakkuk found that the answer simply rests in trusting Him. Just as He did, we too must walk by faith and look to Him.
As we traveled further away from Nashville, I played one of my all-time favorite songs, “You Raise Me Up” by Josh Groban. And as I listened to the words, I had no doubt, that God was indeed lifting me up and reminding me of His loving presence with all of us:
“When I am down, and oh, my soul so weary,
When troubles come and my heart burdened be;
Then I am still and wait here in the silence
Until you come and sit awhile with me
You raise me up, so I can stand on mountains
You raise me up, to walk on stormy seas.
I am strong when I am on your shoulders
You raise me up to more than I can be.”
Our Father, Creator, and Sustainer of Life, thank you for lifting us up when our souls get weary and we begin to sink under sadness and the burdens of life. Our most gracious God, we pray you will be with those in harm’s way during the approaching storms. May we always look to you and trust that you love us and will give us whatever measure of strength or comfort we need. Amen