Suffering and sorrow in this fallen world are guaranteed. The Enemy wants these things to cause us to doubt the love that set us free. Whether it’s in the form of “how could a good God let this happen?” or “I’ve fallen too far for His grace to reach,” when these lies strike, we must do what people throughout all of Scripture and church history have done. We must look back. Look back to the cross where love and mercy met and the enemies of God became His children.
The morning light was still hours away from creeping through our windows yesterday morning when I woke up and stumbled downstairs to the coffee pot at five o’clock. Rubbing my eyes thoroughly and rummaging through the fridge to find the creamer helped wake me up and by the time I curled up in my usual spot on the couch with my coffee, Bible, and journal, I was well awake and alert. It was the day before my birthday and just as I always do, I read through the last year of my journal.
Every year before it’s been a very enjoyable thing to do. Memories that made me smile, ones that made me laugh, and always a few that brought on a cringe. But this year was different. This year was hard to read through.
Exactly one year ago yesterday, my journal entry opened with, “Lord, I don’t understand and I really don’t know where to go from here. I feel worn and empty and alone. Can You hold me fast?” Many entries from this last year were similar.
And here I am. One year later looking back and seeing the hard days and the long nights, but woven in between are the endless mercies of God and the joy that comes in knowing that there is perfection stamped on His every act.
He can indeed hold me fast. He held me fast.
What wondrous love
This last year was hard in a lot of different ways and maybe yours was too. If that’s true, I want to tell you something that made a hard year end up being a most beautiful gift: you may very well have lost your grip, messed up, or failed, but dear friend, your hope is not in you. Your security is not in your perfectly laid out plans or your ability to get things done right. Your rest is not in the fact that you have it all under control or that you’re strong enough.