We’ve been plunged into trouble, haven’t we?

I once had my raft overturn while white water rafting in the early spring–the shock of sudden submersion in the freezing water, the fear of the jagged rocks all around, being briskly carried toward the unknown and dangerous–it all feels familiar right now.

I had a life jacket on, but I certainly didn’t feel safe.

Are you struggling to feel secure? Protected? Sheltered?

Does it feel like the weight of fear might pull you under?

Courage, Friend.

This story was written long ago. Every detail is exactly as it should be.

You are not alone and not forsaken.

Fear has a way of making you forget who God is and who you are in Him.

When everything seems out of control, we remind ourselves. We get up each day and put on our armor–the belt of truth and the shield of faith. The breastplate of righteousness. We carry the sword of the Spirit–God’s very words which are alive and powerful and sharp. We engage in a spiritual battle in order to bring all of our thoughts into captivity.

We continue to love and worship the One who controls it all.

And we do fear. But not as the world fears. We don’t fear sickness or dying. We don’t fear loss of income or the disappointment of our best and dearest plans. We don’t fear a changed world or a changed life.

We fear God. And we pray that many might come to fear Him.

Do not fear those who kill the body but are unable to kill the soul; but rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell. Matthew 10:28

And we trust Him to do good. To work every moment and every detail for our eternal good and His glory.

Because we remember who He is and what He has done. We have already been snatched out of deepest darkness and utter despair by His beloved Son. We are already rescued, already safe.

For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive in the spirit. 1 Peter 3:18

Every part of this story is already written.

Say not, “Why were the former days better than these?” For it is not from wisdom that you ask this. Consider the work of God: who can make straight what he has made crooked? Ecclesiastes 7:10,13

So we humble ourselves under His mighty hand. We do the work we are given to do. We cry out for mercy to the only One who can straighten this crooked path.

And we rejoice that He alone is life. He died to conquer every kind of death.

Just breathe that in. Deeply and confidently. Rest fully in the truth of it.

You are held by the Creator, the Savior, the Eternal God.

You are held by the Death-defeater, and He will hold you fast.















Returning to rest

Marissa Alice Bundy – October 2, 1990 – March 6, 2017

How can it be three years?

Three years since I saw her face or touched her skin or smelled her hair. Three years since I heard her speak or saw her laugh.

Three years since she left this world for another one, so far away from here.

My husband and I still stand by her grave and feel a stunned disbelief.

Grief is a little like wandering. Some days the path is gentle and peaceful. You wouldn’t have chosen this way, but there is enough beauty and joy and strength to keep moving. You have at least emerged from the thorny beginning to a level place.

But there are still days that bring you to a low point of struggle and longing and unrest. There are still mountains that seem impossible to climb.

I have been reading in the Psalms again. I used to think of this book as easy reading, but now I see deep emotion worked out in faith. From the lowest depths to the highest peak, a truthful power of believing that God covers everything.

He is big enough to surround it all.

Return, O my soul, to your rest; for the LORD has dealt bountifully with you. For you have delivered my soul from death, my eyes from tears, my feet from stumbling; I will walk before the LORD in the land of the living. Psalm 116: 7-9

I love when the Psalmist speaks to his own soul. He reminds himself of God’s bountiful grace to him. A deliverance from deserved death, a comfort in raw, tear-filled sorrow, a holding up, a carrying in the rugged places.

Return, O my soul, to your rest.

And I am so thankful for the returning.

For faith given to repeatedly turn my soul back toward God, toward rest.

It is a choice I make–turn to God. Hold onto hope. Rest.

Soul work to be done every day.

And as I choose, I am enabled.

Return, O my soul, to your rest.

Disappointment will come. Life will overwhelm. There may be sickness and never-sweet sorrow. An aching of body and heart.

And it’s all just part of this beautiful but weary road. Part of this path that leads to glory.

I remember that long day three years ago, death hovering around us as we waited. Marissa somewhere between this life and the next. As she neared her normal bedtime, I whispered to her that it was time to sleep. Time to go.

And at 9:55 she rested.

He shepherded my little one all the way.

She has been delivered from it all.

Her soul has returned to a beautiful forever rest.