It is May 5, 2011 and I am in the Adirondack mountains in upstate New York visiting family. We are in Elizabethtown, which is a blip on the map, with a population of about eight hundred people. I am at a desk, wrapped in a comforter with a cup of coffee and my Bible within reach. It is quiet here. All I can hear is the steady rush of water as it cascades down the hills through the property. Every now and again a car rushes by, but otherwise the silence is strangely healing. I needed this respite. The silence is once again pierced by the distant sounds of my husband snoring in the other room. I am happy he is able to rest so well as he works so hard for his family... for me.
I sense the nearness of the Spirit as I pause and close my eyes to soak in the silence, thankful for every breath I have. The birds begin their song in the distance, happy that there is a break in the rainy weather. I pause to go out on the balcony to watch, and I see two birds playing in mid-air. But it is brisk and drizzling. They sing anyway. I retreat back into the house for my coat, scarf and hat... and my camera. The view is breathtaking. As I come back to the desk to write, there is a verse that I hear in my head... "Weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning." (Psalm 30:5, NKJ)
As of the date of this entry, my sister is in the middle of chemotherapy for breast cancer. We are praying for her healing. We are hoping for a miracle. It feels as if it is raining outside. How could our family be hit with this? But even in the midst of uncertainty and fear, I sense the nearness of God's Spirit coming alongside of us, to walk with us through this difficult time. We are not alone -- we have a close family -- but I believe we are all surrounded by the Spirit who carries and comforts us. "Where were you Lord? At the darkest times in my life, I saw only one set of footprints." He replies, "It was then that I carried you." (Adapted from the poem, Footprints)
Like the Psalmist says, "weeping my endure for the night." We are weeping, much like the rain that has dumped so much water in these mountains. Weeping indeed, as the rain, we endure through times of darkness when we cannot see our way. But the Son rises in our hearts to bring joy even in the midst of our tears; moments of laughter and serenity that break into our storms. It is then that we can know that He is carrying us. We can trust that we are not alone. But we must allow ourselves to weep at times... there is healing in tears. Then we can know a peace and strength that transcends our times of uncertainty and fear.
God is carrying us through. You are not alone. We are not alone. Some how, some way, even in the rain, a song will emerge. A song will pierce the storms. A rushing stream will gush forth, even when we don't understand and are in the middle of a relentless trial. God is there. God is working. God has not forgotten you. He will see you through.
Remember these words that have comforted me in times of difficulty - "The LORD is near to the brokenhearted, and saves the crushed in spirit" (Psalm 34:18 - NRS).
Grace and Peace,