“God is our protection and our strength. He always helps in times of trouble. So we will not be afraid even if the earth shakes, or the mountains fall into the sea, even if the oceans roar and foam, or if the mountains shake at the raging sea…God says, ‘Be still and know that I am God. I will be supreme over all the nations. I will be supreme in the earth.’” Ps. 46:1,10
My biggest question as a follower of Christ my whole life is how can it be okay when it’s not okay? As a person who has dealt with anxiety and several crazy illnesses in her lifetime, the little platitudes:
“it will be okay.”
“ God’s got this.”
“ He won’t give you anything more than you can handle.”
“ He is going to heal you, turn the tide, bring breakthrough.”
They don’t always help. Don’t get me wrong – they do sometimes. I have said them myself. But I use a lot of caution when I throw out the Sunday school answers. I have to truly believe what I am saying. They have to be right for the occasion.
How in the midst of chaos and turmoil can you “Be still and know?” How in the midst of loss and heartache can you put your hand in a loving God and trust. I know it’s possible because I have been through it in my own life. But the stark reality of life is that it is not always okay. God does not always heal. Heartache does sweep over your soul and take you to places that you thought were not possible.
For some it’s easy to say – what did you do wrong? Like they did, in the Bible. For others, it’s easier to just shrug your shoulders and carry on. But I want to struggle with it. I want to understand.
When I am in a panic attack, I can’t say, “it will be okay.” Because all too often in my life. It has been far from okay. When I am in a panic attack, a part of me says, “Surely God wouldn’t let that happen…” When the other part of me sweeps in and says, “he may and he has. You don’t ever know.” Heartache is everywhere. Craziness. We know that sickness and pain in general of any part of your mind, body and soul, come from the wickedness of the world – the sin. God does not cause it but he doesn’t always stop it either. Why? I don’t know.
For me when the “what if” questions come spilling into that corner of my world, I can’t do what so many tell me to do. “Just don’t go there. Whip those thoughts into subjection. ” It’s so easy to say that when you don’t deal with the what ifs on a regular bassi. For me, it hasn’t been helpful to say, , “God wouldn’t allow…” because he just might. I don’t know.
For me, it has been this:
But if it does, we take it one step at a time. We put our hand in Gods and let him lead and guide me because he has done it before in the deepest, darkest times in my life. God has always been there and he hasn’t let go of me. But that can only happen when my relationship with him has forged such a strong well of friendship and trust that I know he will help me throughout whatever crazies I have to walk through today.
For me, that’s what, “Be still and know” means. Be still and know a loving God who will be there – always. This thinking ushers me right past all the what ifs and all the scenarios and brings me right to the WHO. God will be there. God will hold my hand whatever the outcome.
So often, I have camped at the what if and tried to berate myself into subjection to the Bible. Tried to bring my thoughts into captivity and not thinking, not worrying, not gong into the spiral of panic. It doesn’t often work and what is left is this tired, beaten down, body and abused mind still stuck in throws of panic.
I am trusting even when it’s not okay. I am taking a step at a time with a God that I know is loving even when I question it. How? Because I have dug a well of friendship with Him. I have invested in Him as my Father, my Friend, and my Brother. I have invested so that in the tough times, I have a long line of history between Him and I. I am not prepared to let that go. Because I know that he won’t let me go.
So, today, I may not know what he is doing. But I understand who is. This helps me to put my hand in his hand, even if the earth is shaking around me.