“Hear my cry, O God, listen to my prayer; from the end of the earth I call to you when my heart is faint.” (Psalm 61:1 ESV)
Recent circumstances have allowed me to experience what having a faint heart feels like. I wish I had been “faint” as in “not being conscious” because the events that occurred were horrifically traumatizing and I would have preferred to be oblivious to everything until the disaster was resolved.
But that’s not how it worked out.
In the space of 24 hours I endured the possibility of serious injury and or death of not one, but two of my loved ones. This was soon blessedly followed by the good news of their safety and the joy of reunion.
However, several hours later an unbelievably horrible miscarriage of justice caused an agony of grief and uncertainty that rocked our world… for seven stressful days.
This rollercoaster of events wreaked emotional havoc on everyone concerned, me included. I am still processing the shock of an attack on my family that never should have happened. But it did. And God allowed it.
Furthermore, although we were surprised by what unfolded, He wasn’t.
He was there:
- Before it began.
- During the minutes, hours, and days of excruciating uncertainty, grief, and fear.
- When the situation resolved.
Jesus was in the midst of a frightening circumstance that He could have prevented, while providing everything we needed to get through it.
Looking back, I am deeply aware of, and thankful for, God’s grace. He gave me strength to do what was required despite being greatly fatigued and stressed.
Each night when I crawled into bed all I could do was cry out to Jesus in wordless prayer…
“My soul clings to you: your right hand upholds me.” (Psalm 63:8 ESV)
And each time… I was comforted.
I’ve written before about learning to lament by reading through the Psalms. During this horrendous week I turned to Psalms again. Only this time it was for a different… more desperate… reason.
I needed God to be my refuge… my safe place. “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.” (Psalm 46:1 ESV)
I needed God to be my rock… my strong savior. “The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer, my God, my rock, in whom I take refuge,” (Psalm 18:2 ESV)
I needed Him to be my protector, my vindicator, and my rescuer. “my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.” (Psalm 18:2 ESV)
Jesus was all those things… and more…
He was my peace, my comforter, and an ever present source of reassurance.
At one particularly fear-filled moment I turned my thoughts to Jesus and felt prompted to read the chapters 61-64 from Psalms out loud as a proclamation of victory against the enemy. As I began reading, I felt faith rise up within my heart as I spoke and heard the victorious promises of God that He would prevail against evil.
“Once God has spoken; twice have I heard this: that power belongs to God, and that to you, O Lord, belongs steadfast love. For you will render to a man according to his work.” (Psalm 62:11-12 ESV)
I read the above verse countless times. It caught my attention because I desperately needed to know that God had this situation covered. The words “once I have spoken; twice I have heard this” felt like a neon sign directed specifically to me. “Wendy, hello there. Do you hear me? Pay attention, sweetie,” said God. “I’ve got this. I am in charge.”
Just reading that “power belongs to God” filled me with incredible relief.
In addition, He also spoke to me through encouraging circumstances that showed me that He was in control. Several times positive things happened that weren’t supposed to. I remember thinking “is this a sign that Jesus is working things out for good?”
When I dared to believe that He was orchestrating events for His purposes… my spirits rose; the reverse was true when I didn’t.
Slowly the days passed. And while uncertainties in the outcome remained until the last moment, the certainty that Jesus loved me and my loved ones, grew and became imbedded in my heart.
Through it all, Jesus kept me from despairing. Knowing that He is good became a foundational principle that made a huge difference in being able to trust that He would make wrongs right.
And He did. Jesus made. Everything. Right. Evil did not prevail!
It’s been a week since everything was sorted out and I’m not going to sugarcoat it… there’s some ongoing trauma to deal with: shattered nerves are still twitching, emotional wounds need healing, and there’s a lingering sense of needing to be careful that wasn’t there a couple of weeks ago.
And while I wish with all my heart that this particular trial could have been avoided, I’m at peace with the knowledge that Jesus not only allowed it, He’s using it for His glory in my life and in the lives of my loved ones.