Some days it’s easy to focus on the gifts, easy to count the blessings, easy to sing His praises. Other days it’s a little harder, but we still find a way to praise Him through the storm.
And then there are days when you’re just plain weary, when you’re exhausted from searching for the gifts, when you just need to cry and ask God, “Why?” I’ve been there, and I’ve been consumed with the guilt of feeling that way- the guilt that comes from looking at the circumstances, with taking your eyes off of Jesus, with having the nerve to question Him.
Yet in that darkness when the guilt and the loneliness and the fear and the sadness seep in, threatening to engulf the soul, there is hope. There is grace. There is love. There is God. When we feel like we’ve reached the bottom and we can’t find Him, He reaches down and takes us by the hand. And while we may not find ourselves immediately back on the top of the mountain, He promises to stay with us. Even if the valley goes on for miles, even if the night continues for hours, even if it’s hard and scary… Even there He is there.
He shows up in the text from a friend… In the Scripture that keeps coming to mind… In the meal from a family member… In the hug from your kids… In the cards or notes or prayers from church family… In the song on the radio…. In the sudden peace that fills your soul. He’s everywhere, showering you with love and grace and mercy and strength that is made perfect in weakness.
Good times or bad, at our best or at our worst… Even there He is there.
You have searched me, Lord,
and you know me.
You know when I sit and when I rise;
you perceive my thoughts from afar.
You discern my going out and my lying down;
you are familiar with all my ways.
Before a word is on my tongue
you, Lord, know it completely.
You hem me in behind and before,
and you lay your hand upon me.
Such knowledge is too wonderful for me,
too lofty for me to attain.
Where can I go from your Spirit?
Where can I flee from your presence?
If I go up to the heavens, you are there;
if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.
If I rise on the wings of the dawn,
if I settle on the far side of the sea,
Even there your hand will guide me,
your right hand will hold me fast.
If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me
and the light become night around me,”
Even the darkness will not be dark to you;
the night will shine like the day,
for darkness is as light to you.