Laying on the floor of my living room with my Bible on my face, it occurred to me that this wasn’t the prayer style I was taught in church. I think I had my nose planted somewhere in Amos. It was an ugly-cry kind of situation; the full out, desperate, snotty nose, can’t breathe kind of cry that I could never show my Facebook friends. I lay there with my face in Amos, completely devastated. This storm had leveled me and left me pleading with Jesus to reach through His pages and wrap His arms around my broken heart and make it better. In that moment, it was just me and God. I leaned in, He held on. I told Him through the cries of my heart, that I didn’t know what to do, and He very gently reminded me that I was doing exactly what I needed to do.
Maybe you’ve been in this place before. Heart break and devastation, loss and rejection can leave us flat out and broken. The human experience is full of storms, and valleys, and Bible on your face type of desperations. We’re either on one side of the valley or the other, but what we know for sure is that no one is immune to pain, loss, and desperate times.
What I have learned through these times of brokenness though, is that God is never closer than when His child is hurting. That’s the thing about God, isn’t it? He’s attentive and He’s steady. I run wide-eyed and frantic through valleys in my life, and I can almost picture Him, leaned in, elbows on knees, hands folded in front of Him while He watches me navigate these difficult times and waits for me to look to Him for help. And when I do, when I remember to look to Him and take my eyes off of the waves, He is always ready to hold the pain, comfort His child, and stand alongside. Sometimes He heals and sometimes He holds. But one thing is for sure, He is always right there.
Just because you feel like you’re drowning and your boat is taking on water, doesn’t mean your Saviour isn’t seated in the stern (Clark Moran).
When things are tough, and things will be tough, remember Who is at the helm. Standing in the gap is the Creator of the Universe, and while the waves crash around us and the valleys seem to swallow us up, He is holding on, never more than a whisper away. Your storm, regardless of its size, does not change His sovereignty. Your season of suffering does not trump His authority. There is nothing we face that has not passed through the watchful eyes of our Heavenly Father. And as we lean hard on Him through the storm, and trust Him to navigate us through, we will find comfort in His sovereignty and see His finger prints in the details.
I can tell you that I did eventually pull my snotty nose out of Amos that day, but did not take my eyes off of the One who stood with me in that storm. And now, on this side of the heartache, I can see what He was teaching me; Dependence on Him. Identity in Him. Trust in His goodness and His plan, even when it didn’t seem to make sense.
Whatever storm you’re in today, it is not bigger than our God. It’s just not. So lean hard on Him and trust Him to not only lead you through it, but to bring you closer to Him. You are not alone in this, He is standing by, ready to travel this with you, and lead you to the other side.