The reflection in the rear view mirror shows fractures and splinters–those defining moments when life is altered and things (or self) will never be the same. Looking back, I still remember the beauty of the winter sky, the sound of south-bound flying geese, how littlest birds perched on electrical wires. The years of the sometime-struggle all feel like a winter’s day, cold and gray.
I remember, then, writing out a list of thanks, even while sinking in sorrow, for God’s presence in my life. And when thoughts of (that) reality choked me, I sang out praise to drown the words of an internal dialogue.
The psalmist writes of a world gone wrong, of God the target of insults, of an enemy with an upper hand. And I realize, from age to age, there is nothing new under the sun. I still wait for God, like all those souls did long ago. I cry out to him, as they did too.
Psalms seem like a conflicted pot of emotion–injustice, mourning, and praise. And it is praise that catches my eye.
12 You, O God, are my king from ages past,
bringing salvation to the earth.
13 You split the sea by your strength
and smashed the heads of the sea monsters.
14 You crushed the heads of Leviathan
and let the desert animals eat him.
15 You caused the springs and streams to gush forth,
and you dried up rivers that never run dry.
16 Both day and night belong to you;
you made the starlight and the sun.
17 You set the boundaries of the earth,
and you made both summer and winter. Psalm 74:12-17 NLT
1 We thank you, O God!
We give thanks because you are near.
People everywhere tell of your wonderful deeds.
2 God says, “At the time I have planned,
I will bring justice against the wicked.
3 When the earth quakes and its people live in turmoil,
I am the one who keeps its foundations firm. Psalm 75:1-3
4 You are glorious and more majestic
than the everlasting mountains. Psalm 76:4
11 Then I looked again, and I heard the voices of thousands and millions of angels around the throne and of the living beings and the elders. 12 And they sang in a mighty chorus:
“Worthy is the Lamb who was slaughtered—
to receive power and riches
and wisdom and strength
and honor and glory and blessing.”
13 And then I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and in the sea. They sang:
“Blessing and honor and glory and power
belong to the one sitting on the throne
and to the Lamb forever and ever.” Revelation 5:11-13
My take-away from this time today, an underscoring of something I always knew: God is in control.
Is my testimony of God one of grief and sorrow? Or is my song in the face of loss that God reached out to me? God uses circumstances to draw people closer to him.
God, I know going into a trial, I might not have chosen it if you had given me the description. But looking back, though life seems fractured, I see you and your work in and around me. And I praise you. May I be mindful of your presence in all the circumstances I face. You are in control.