How God Meets You in His Word
- Vaneetha Rendall Risner danceintherain.com
- 2017 30 Jan
The Power of the Word
Some days I wake up crying.
And when I do, I often don’t even know why. Perhaps it is the weight of unspoken problems that I’m too afraid to articulate. Coupled with a vague dread of what might come next.
Yesterday was one of those days. The day before, my arm had felt useless. I couldn’t drink my coffee. I couldn’t write. I couldn’t do what I wanted. I felt trapped inside my body which has become an all-too-familiar feeling. At times, it almost feels like a living death.
So, as I lie in bed, contemplating what the day might hold, I feel tears welling up inside me.
“Stop, don’t do this,” I tell myself. But I can’t force the tears to stop and they start trickling down my face. Before long, my pillow is soaked and I feel hopeless.
“You’re a failure. You’re a burden. You can’t do anything for yourself,” are the ugly voices I keep hearing until I force myself out of bed.
I pull my robe on slowly and stumble into my prayer closet. I need this. This is my food for the day.
“Please God, help me. Show me truth,” is my only cry. I cannot muster anything more. Then I open the Bible and start reading.
Without this Word, I would start interpreting life on my own. By my experiences. My feelings. My finite perspective.
I know that this is the only place to find truth. If I judge life by my despair, my pain, my circumstances, I will always live life skewed. I will judge everything by what I see. But life is so much more than what I can see. There is a Reality that goes far beyond my experience.
And that reality is God. He is in me and with me and for me. The truth is, I have died and my life is hidden with Christ in God.
As I turn the pages of Scripture to the first reading for the day, I marvel. Yet I’m not surprised. God meets me through his Word. Without fail.
Sometimes it requires perseverance to understand what I’m reading, like digging for diamonds. And other times, like today, the Lord feeds me directly from his hand.
I read Psalm 56. “When I am afraid, I put my trust in you. In God, whose word I praise, in God I trust; I shall not be afraid. What can flesh do to me?”
That’s what I need to do. Put my trust in God. He alone can drive out all my fears.
“You have kept count of my tossings; put my tears in your bottle.”
God knows my sleepless nights. All the tears I have cried. All my fears, spoken and unspoken. It’s all laid bare before him.
And these words, these words take my breath away. “This I know, that God is for me.”
God is for me.
Even when life looks like it’s splintering, God is for me. And if God is for me, he is orchestrating everything in my life for my good. I can trust him even when everything looks dark. He tells me not to be afraid. Man cannot do anything to me.
God is for me. These words keep echoing through my mind.
“For you have delivered my soul from death, yes, my feet from falling, that I may walk before God in the light of life.”
What a fitting end to the Psalm. He indeed has delivered my soul from death. He keeps my feet from stumbling. He empowers me to walk before him in his light.
My eyes tear up for the second time this morning. But these are tears of joy. And hope.
This is the true reality. This Word, penned thousands of years ago, is poured out for me. Today.
I smooth out the pages with my hands and I almost hug the Bible. This Word has become life to me. It sustains me. It revives me. It comforts me.
I want to take the words, to eat them, to digest them and let them nourish me. They indeed bring light to my eyes. My whole view of the world, my life, my struggles are all changed in the light of Scripture. And in that light, my dark shadows disappear.
If I judge my life merely by what’s happening around me, I will miss something far deeper. Something much more profound and true. This life is not about me. It’s about God.
And with God there is always hope. He is for me. I can trust him. My circumstances will change but he never will.
As I leave my prayer closet, I am grateful for how much my perspective has changed. My circumstances are no different from when I entered, yet everything has been strangely transformed.
All because I met with God.
I can trust God with my weakness, with my fears, with my pain. Because God is for me. And with that knowledge, I can face the day. With that knowledge, I can face anything.
This article originally appeared on the blog Dance in the Rain. Used with permission.
Vaneetha Rendall Risner is passionate about helping others find hope and joy in the midst of suffering. Her story includes contracting polio as a child, losing an infant son unexpectedly, developing post-polio syndrome, and going through an unwanted divorce, all of which have forced her to deal with issues of loss. She and her husband, Joel, live in North Carolina and have four daughters between them. She is the author of the book, The Scars That Have Shaped Me: How God Meets Us in Suffering and is a regular contributor to Desiring God. She blogs at Dance in the Rain although she doesn’t like rain and has no sense of rhythm.
Image courtesy: Pexels.com
Publication date: January 30, 2017