What do you do when your insides are just like your outside—rainy, foggy, soggy? What do you do when you feel like you’ll never see the sun again or feel its warmth? How do you hold onto faith when it’s dripping wet and slippery? When faith that should be warm by now is still cold to the bone, what do you do?
Remember and know.
In times like these, when it seems like I’ll never see the fields of my soul dry enough to plant and grow anything good, all I can do is look back and remember the goodness of God. When I’m tempted to drown in faithlessness, I need to look back and remember my God who is named Faithful and True.
God knows we are made of dust. He knows our frailties. And He loves us so, even in our coldest, soggiest places. He longs to have us remember Him and hold onto Him when we’re raining on the inside and when our faith starts slipping fast. His heart bled for us. His heart, once dead on wood, now alive on high, beats passionately for each and every one of us to come to Him, to remember Him, to hold onto Him, to know Him.
But what if we’re too weak—if our faith is too frail to hold Him? Just reach out.
Jesus will grab hold of us. He grabbed hold of Peter when his faith started sinking after he left his boat and tried to walk on water. Jesus grabbed Him and didn’t let him drown. Jesus will grab hold of us too, when our faith falters.
I can still come, even when my feet are stuck in the mud and my body can’t move. My heart can still call out, “Come, Lord Jesus!” And He will. He always comes when called because that’s His nature. He always comes when called by those who really want Him, who know their real need of Him. It’s in the rainy, soggy, foggy inside times when we’re stuck and cold and shivering with fright that we need Him most. He knows and reaches out to grab hold of shaking hands and shivering hearts, if we’ll just let Him.
Looking back on 54 years, I have some perspective I didn’t have earlier. Now I see that the desperate times, the dead end of myself times, have been the most fruitful and precious times because they brought me close to Jesus in whose presence one can’t help but be transformed.
Looking back over 54 years, I remember. I now know.
I remember how God never, ever failed me in desperate times. Just the opposite. In desperate times when I thought I’d never get out of the mud—when I thought the rain would never stop—when I feared the waters would erode my soul—when the fog wouldn’t lift—when I couldn’t see two steps in front of me—in these times I learned of God’s faithfulness and love the most.
So now, going forward, when raining-on-the-inside days come and seem to go on with no end, when I feel cold to the bone, when I start to shiver with fear, I know God because I remember. And I choose to remember God when I don’t yet know.
Here are the knowns to hold onto straight from God’s word when we just don’t know what the future holds. Here’s what we can remember—a holy hand to hold onto . . .
I know my Savior lives and His name is Jesus, Faithful and True.
I know God loves me so much that Jesus came and died for me so I could live now and forever.
I know that in this life on earth I will have tribulation.
I know that I can overcome anything because Jesus overcame everything and He gives me His strength when I ask for it.
I know that in ALL things, God works for good. I know because I’ve experienced a lot in 54 years and I know—because I’ve seen—that God works ALL for good for those who love Him and look to Him and trust Him to work all things for good.
I know God is faithful. He will never leave me or forsake me. He never has. He never will.
Regardless of how circumstances look in the moment—no matter how dark, rainy, foggy or soggy—God will bring me through and into His promised land where there will be no more pain or trial or tribulation. And for now, in this life?
God will show me goodness in the land of the living. I don’t have to wait for heaven.
The kingdom of God is with us now, in part. For those who have eyes to see—for those who WILL to see—the goodness of God surrounds, even when we’re raining on the inside. The fragrance of a flower can remind us of the sweet fragrance of Christ who walks with us in the rain. The smile of a loved one can bring warmth to our coldest days. The light and airy chirp of a bird can lift the heart’s heaviness, for even the birds sing in the fog. A taste of a treat can remind us that not all in life is sour.
But because I hate trite, I speak real.
Pain is painful. It hurts. It tears and bleeds and seems like it could kill. What then? When pain is just . . . too . . . painful?
All I can say is what I now know. I know that trials and tribulations are used by God always to grow good things in my soul. He WILL grow me up and He WILL harvest a bounty.
Not one bit of suffering will ever be wasted. I know God tenderly picks up every fallen piece in His holy hands and uses every single bit for my ultimate good and the ultimate good of others so that we will all raise hands in praise of the only One who can do such a thing. For who, but our God, can do such a thing as this—to turn everything horrible into good, for our good, for the good of others? Who, but our Triune God, can turn every pain into praise?
There is no god like our God.
The month of May is leaving us wet and cold and unplanted, here on the farm. Spring crops have been lost. Horse owners like us are already scrambling to find hay suppliers for next winter, willing to pay nearly triple the price of just two years ago because of scarcity.
Know what’s nice about having been trained up by rain and cold and soggy and foggy? I don’t fear as much anymore. I remember my God who is faithful—who works all together for good. How? I don’t know. I don’t even try to know anymore. I just know. And I remember that God always works things out in ways far better than I could have ever imagined. Easy? No. Pain-free? No. Worth it? YES!
There’s a sunny day coming. Till then, I will leap like my dog and fly through the air, defying gravity for just a moment and then—I’ll plunge right into God’s arms and float free of all cares. To my dog, our pond is the water of life. To me, Jesus is the Living Water who gives me life—right here—right now—always. There IS a sunny and warm day coming. Remember and know.