"This is the day the Lord has made. Let us rejoice and be glad in it." Psalm 118:24
Those words became my mantra, when the bottom fell out and I found hope... somehow in the same mysterious moments.
Psalms was a book I mostly read fast through, missing anything that might have pierced my heart. It seemed a book too poetic for me, full of war, anger and injustice, with lots of cries for mercy thrown in. None of which I was in need of.
Today I look to the Psalms for my daily bread. I've had opportunities to wrestle with anger and injustice, and I've cried my share of tears for mercy, big, beautiful, undeserving mercy. God is always there, reminding me that it's going to be alright, no matter what my eyes may see.
Twenty eight years ago, this morning I knew that God had me, and even though the bottom had fallen out of my world, God would rescue me, comfort me and in time, restore me.
You can't rush healing and restoration and most days it feels like a twenty eight year process. Perhaps it will always feel this way, and that is okay with me. It has become part of my soul and I claim it and cherish it. Because I have found my hope there. In my darkest moments of despair and anguish, I found truth, hope... life. Because God.
Though death had come for my love, truth had come for me. When my anguish was more than I could bear, I saw the truth. It was my moment to choose, and it feels like yesterday. What would I do with this mess, this pain, this loss, so big I lost my breath? I sat on my porch, frozen breath releasing from my lungs as I spoke out loud, "Today, I am yours, I quit. Not my will, but yours, God."
And so I chose. I chose to follow the only Truth I could trust. Not mine and not mans. I chose the Psalms that offered mercy and redemption all the days of my life. I chose Hope, because anything less would never be enough.
It was Hope or despair.
The choice changed the course of my life, my values, my decisions, my efforts, the concerns of my heart. I was kicked off the fence of comfort and apathy, replaced by... life is short, show people Jesus. Love God. Love people. Do justice, show mercy. Be humble.
This offers massive moments of failure, finger pointing and eye rolls by those who instead of encouraging you... just don't. But I don't lose heart. I am here but for a moment, I keep looking up and know my worth. I know my call and I claim it. Nothing else matters.
I've lived it. People will make fun of you, call you out, question your motives. People will think you are weird. So what? If you are following the Truth of God and the call He has claimed you for, nothing else matters.
"He has told you, oh man, what is good; and this is what He requires of you: to do what is right, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God." Micah 6:8
My hope broke through on the worst day of my life and I cannot explain this mystery of the Holy Spirit. The anguish of this life created a crisis of faith for me and somehow God grabbed me tight and pointed me to Him. I was lucky enough to lose it all, and find it all. And it cost me all... My loss became my Hope.
If you are in a season of despair and anguish, I wish the same hope for you. In those moments you may feel all is lost... Keep looking up and remember where your hope comes from. This moment will be a crisis of faith for you... what will you choose, the comfort of man or the call of Christ? I believe we experience a few crisis moments in our lives, and they can change the course of our lives. Choose well. Choose hope.