Songs in the night

We are nearing the end of chemotherapy. It is unbelievable, it is exciting, it is happy. And yet both Marissa and I have found ourselves more emotional, more unsure, more scared. There have been more tears.

The reality of surgery and radiation and all the details–it can be overwhelming. There is a lot of road left to travel. The familiar hard is about to change into a new hard. The battle is shifting. New battlefield, new commanders, new weapons. New fears.

It’s a lot of letting go for a 25-year-old. Letting go of things you didn’t even know you were holding onto. Things you haven’t even held yet. Ideas and dreams and expectations of life. Sometimes the heart just hurts. There is so much letting go.

I awoke with my heart pounding in the middle of the night. A new symptom and a new fear and my mama’s heart could not be at peace. Would not be at peace.

Googled it before coffee and before reading God’s Words. Left it up on the screen while I walked outside for my run. Hardly looked at the stars while I pounded the pavement. Held on tight to my fear. Didn’t grab onto peace.

When I walked in the house, Marissa had her Bible open, tears in her eyes. She shared how she had awakened in the night and God had given her these verses. How He had given her a song in the night  How she had wept with the truth of it, the comfort of it.

Though the fig tree should not blossom
And there be no fruit on the vines,
though the yield of the olive should fail
And the fields produce no food,
Though the flock should be cut off from the fold
And there be no cattle in the stalls,

Yet I will exult in the Lord,
I will rejoice in the God of my salvation.
The Lord God is my strength,
And He has made my feet like hinds’ feet,
And makes me walk on my high places. (Habakkuk:3:17-19)

Through it all, no matter what, there is God. His salvation, His strength, His enabling us to walk on high places.

And I remembered. She helped me remember the song in the night.

She helped me remember God.

 

 

 

 

Drawing near

The people stood far off, while Moses drew near to the thick darkness where God was. (Exodus 20:21)

I remember the first time I noticed this verse. I was in the middle of a trial, a spiritual battle, a dark time. This was a scheduled passage for the day, and I’d read it many times before, and I wasn’t expecting anything new. I wasn’t expecting living words to jump off the page to me. I was reading about God, but I guess I wasn’t expecting Him to show up and change my thinking. To change me.

But that’s what God does when we draw near to Him. He shows up. He teaches. He admonishes. He uses His words to change us.

In the passage, God has just given His ten commandments. There is lightning and thunder and smoke and noise. The people are afraid and they pull away. And isn’t that how we sometimes feel when some big thing is happening? We don’t want to deal with it; we don’t have time for it; we just don’t want it to be true. It’s easier to turn away–to distance ourselves from God and what He is trying to do.

Moses said to the people, “Do not fear, for God has come to test you, that you may not sin.” (Exodus 20:20)

He tries to reassure them. Don’t be afraid. There is purpose in the testing. God means it for good. But only Moses draws near to the thick darkness where God is. And God speaks to him there.

I read this passage again this week. And again I am reminded to draw near. Don’t be afraid.

The darkness is not hiding God. The darkness is where He is.

Draw near to the thick darkness where God is.