When It All Goes Away

On Sunday, someone at prayer ministry read Psalm 77.

I won’t post the whole thing here but you should probably read it before continuing on with the rest of this post because it won’t make as much sense. Psalm 77 was and is quite a perfect articulation of this season of my life- days of trouble by confusion.

Listening to Psalm 77 was so hard for me on Sunday. It forced me to face the facts- that I was crying aloud to God every time I gave myself a verbal pep talk while walking to class or waking up in the morning saying, “It’s a new day, God. It’s a fresh day, Rebekah. It will be okay. God, help me. It will be okay.” I don’t know why but thinking about that made me feel so sad.

Psalm 77 made me face the heartbreak I felt every time I remembered God and meditated on Him. Whenever I thought about Panama or this past winter break, I felt this crushing ache inside of my heart- “God, I miss you.” I felt like I had just broken up with someone- nostalgic for a past that I knew was real and there but just not for me now.

Psalm 77 made me face the fact that I am on my own quest, my spirit making a diligent search, asking my own set of questions and confessions like, “God, what is going on?” “God, when will this be over?”“God, did you forget me?” “God, I’m so sorry.”After searching for 16-17 hours of the day I would go to sleep empty handed- angry at first, then frustrated, then just flat out exhausted.

“I give up.”

I let those words escape my lips sometimes and took them right back the next morning as I gave myself another pep talk.

What a vicious cycle.

But for what I will post of Psalm 77 are the last eight verses that talk about the character of God and please, read it all:

“Your way, O God, is holy. What god is great like our God? You are the God who works wonders; you have made known your might among the peoples. You with your arm redeemed your people, the children of Jacob and Joseph. When the waters saw you, O God, when the waters saw you, they were afraid; indeed, the deep trembled. The clouds poured out water; the skies gave forth thunder; your arrows flashed on every side. The crash of your thunder was in the whirlwind; your lightnings lighted up the world; the earth trembled and shook. Your way was through the sea, your path through the great waters; yet your footprints were unseen. You led your people like a flock by the hand of Moses and Aaron.”

I have no clear answer that is tried and true of what we should do when it all goes away— when there are no more questions or answers, avenues to go down, feelings to feel, hopes to hope, strength to take another step forward. Sometimes the hardest and most painful thing is to not understand. Confusion can be as debilitating as sorrow and hurt. When we feel like we have a blindfold over our eyes, not knowing what is in front of us and how we can take the blindfold off, I only know one thing that will work: Praise God.

On Sunday morning I woke up feeling a heaviness I have known all too well. But when I heard Psalm 77, all of a sudden, in a little room in the chapel, my eyes turned from my own confusion and doubt to a God that makes the waters tremble and redeems and leads his people like a good shepherd.

So though I feel blind, walking through nothingness, pleading to God,

“Please don’t leave me. Please help me.”

I hear his voice.

“My grace is sufficient for you. For my power is made perfect in weakness.”

In the matter of seconds, I feel the strength and hope of a powerful God, my father and best friend, safety and forever love. He takes me from questions and frustrations to “Your way, O God, is holy. What god is great like our God? You are the God who works wonders.”  My mouth becomes a fountain of praise.

So if you are making the same appeal, on a quest of your own to find God again, listen carefully. This might be His answer to you too.

Hallelujah.

-RHL

 

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