This video is a song that was sung by Jon Payne at the Worship God 08 conference. It was directed towards folks who have lost a child. The reason I’m sharing it here is because of the chorus. God has used the words to encourage me many times since I first heard it in August.
Currently I’m in a season of trial that has been extremely challenging for me. I’ve found it nearly impossible to put my hope in God and to see Him as bigger than the circumstances He’s walking me through. I’ve struggled to hear His voice, struggled to see His guiding hand and felt often that He has abandoned me to figure this all out on my own. I’ve found myself doubting His goodness, failing to cling to His grace, and accusing His charachter.
And then He brought this song to mind… “you are lonely but never alone, afflicted but not abandoned. You are suffering but not severed from my love.”
So, how I feel is like Martin Luther did once… that God is dead. Functionally, that’s how I feel. But praise be to God, how I feel doesn’t dictate what is true. Rather, truth is unchanging… no matter what storms and doubts arise. What is true is what is written in Psalm 46:1
God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.
My God is intimately acquainted with my ways (Psalm 139:3), He keeps me (Psalm 121), He is the reason I don’t have to fear (Psalm 27), He shepherds and guards even when I lack trust and faith (Psalm 78), He upholds me as I cling to Him (Psalm 62).
I am praying that God would do for me what He did for Jeremiah… that He would allow these words to come to life in such a way that would give me joy in my despair. That He would feel very present in this time of trouble and that like Peter wrote, He would allow me to rejoice in my suffering because I’m aware that He is loving and always gracious to me.