In the middle of my pain ….
The emotions are overwhelming, like the roar of high tide. They kick at peace, scream at hope, and laugh at joy.
The tears flow like a storm in the summer, heavy then scattered, as the emotions ebb and flow. They may stop for a moment, but they are never far from being expelled again upon the day.
And it feels like being pushed out of a plane at 30,000 feet … without a parachute.
I can see God beyond the desert of heart break and hopelessness, but I cannot reach Him. I am too caught up in the storm, being thrashed and toss, to find the place of escape to run to Him. I am trapped within my thoughts, a prisoner of grief and anger and hopelessness.
I cry out. Hoping for release. Praying for escape. Longing for peace.
And then I feel Him come to me, reaching out His gentle hand with great compassion.
He wants to help me.
He wants to hold me.
He wants to heal me.
Right where I am.
As the storm rages.
As the skies boom.
As the rivers overflow.
Yet will I let go of the storm cloud I suddenly find myself grasping tightly? Yes, I look down at my hand and find it closed against God’s goodness. I find my mind struggling to insert His grace into any crack or crevice … but my heart is too wounded to do anything but shove it aside. I am too consumed with justification to see His peace wanting to take me over.
I am a slave to my emotions.
I am a whipping boy of my thoughts.
I am a prison of my circumstances.
But thank God there is always another way!
Because in the middle of my pain the choice is always mine.
Stay and sulk.
Or release and renew.
I can continue to hold onto the storm that wants to submerge me and drown me. Or I can stand still, take a deep breath, and trust God to help me out of the storm into His great purposes.
So in the middle of my pain, who will I be?
Will I be Israel? As they stood at the edge of the Red Sea, with Egypt chasing hard after them, they allowed fear to rule their hearts and cried out for death (Exodus 14:10-12). As they stood in the valley facing the armored Philistine warrior, they allowed fear to immobilize them from walking in God’s power (1 Samuel 17:11). As they heard the reports of the spies, they allowed fear to blind them to God’s ability to overcome every obstacle and every “bad report” (Numbers 13:31-33).
Or will I be Moses? Will I hear God say “Do not be afraid. Stand still, and see the salvation of the Lord, which He will accomplish for you today” (Exodus 14:13) and trust Him to make a way?
Or will I be young David? Will I remember all God has done for me and trust Him to work in mighty power with something as simple and unassuming as a stone (1 Samuel 17:47-49)?
Or will I be Caleb? Will I stand boldly and confidently in who God is and declare “we are well able to overcome it” (Numbers 13:30)?
So I choose to open my hand, let go of my pain, and lean into God’s grace. Which is more than enough to calm the storm and redirect me into His unexplainable peace (Philippians 4:7). And what started as a gruesome day becomes a glorious day!
Marie Fremin. 9/8/17