Even this sadness is not strong enough

One of my favorite songs lately, repeats this over an over. A reminder that God’s love is so much bigger, so much stronger than our current circumstances. Everyone goes through hard times. You’ve had a hard time. I’ve had a hard time. These are hard times.  There must certainly be good here, even when I can’t see it. Can’t feel it. Can’t create it.

I look at my hands folded uselessly in my lap and feel I’ve failed. Not living up to my potential. Wasting precious resources. Value in the vigor and succor of doing. Invalidated by simply being.

Slowly, ever so slowly, I’ve been working my way through the Psalms. And slowly, ever so slowly, God has been mending and binding and restoring my broken and weary soul. Living water rushing over chapped lips to quench my heart’s deepest thirst.

In a process long overdue, I stepped away from a relationship that was extremely unhealthy for me. The things I believed about myself, about my identity in Christ, were stripped off and cast down at the threshing floor. Naked and alone, I faced long buried shame and fears and suppositions. Each one, peeled off and added to the pile at the foot of the cross. And in the end, there was nothing left to offer, nothing left to do.

But God. Because it wasn’t so much about who I was and what I could do for Him. Through the Psalms, God’s been showing me so much about who He is, who I am in Him, and what He wants to do in me. The being of God is never separate from the doing of God. God is love, which means He is always loving. God is sovereign, which means He is always in control. God is patient, which means that He is always waiting. Redeemer, restoring, healer, mending, merciful, giving.

I don’t need my works, piled neatly around me to show off how godly I am. I desperately need my God to come near in my mess and begin a new work in me.

And so I sit and let Him do what He does best, love me. Unfolding my hands and lifting my face, the lump in my throat unsticks, breath rushing out. A song of gratitude, my song of praise, dancing in the wind:  freedom. 

3 thoughts on “But God

  1. Hi Alex,

    Oh how my soul is refreshed, and even a quicken heart beat that favors your words. Thank you for expressing your faith that is ultimately the love that Jesus shines through you.

    Later this month I have been asked to serve the Lord’s table. I have prayed, meditated, and even search the quite moments for the Spirit to lead to what He wants me to share with His church. I believed it was about graditude. When I read your piece it moved me, the stirring that I get more often now that I yield to His will. I have reluctantly over the years wanted to deny myself, take up my cross, and indeed follow Jesus. I am grateful He never gave up on me.

    I want to ask you if I could read what you have written. My thought is still on having a heart of gratitude. However, it is the journey that gets us there.

    You know I value your writing and some day would like to help you get published, if that is in God’s plan for you.

    Please let me know.

    God’s blessings, Love, Uncle Randy

    1. I’m so glad it spoke to you, Uncle Randy. I can only allow God to speak through me so much as I am willing to be vulnerable. Feel free to use whatever I write in whatever capacity you feel led. 🙂

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