“Where can I go from Your Spirit? ... 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.”
It was 8am in the North Carolina mountains where I woke up 30 minutes before a gathering of 500 Young Life high school kids at Windy Gap camp. I was foggy eyed from having been to bed around 2:30 am. The speaker was going to be talking that morning about sin. There in my bed I was taken back in a vision to my high school days. The pain, confusion and misery were so real it was almost as if I was 17 again. God dropped this song on my heart, and it was written in 15-20 minutes before I was fully awake. I sang it for those kids shortly after that morning and many of them, including me, were in tears.
There was a time in my life that I did my best to hide from the presence and Spirit of God. I ran as hard and far as I could. But even on the far side of the sea, in the absolute pit of despair and strung out from addiction, God ran to me as I cried out to Him for help. There’s something about being raw and honest and vulnerable that sets the table for the Spirit of God to move in a powerful way.
He saved me. And He saves me. Every day. He saves me from my sin, from my selfish ways. He hears my cries for help and He is swift to come running. Even still there are those moments where I’m aware that my heart is prone to wander when I cry, “Lord! Save me. I’m sinking”. And when I reach out, there is ALWAYS a Hand ready to pull me up.
I think one of the greatest dangers for me is to think is that I’m any less utterly desperate for God on sunny days than stormy ones. I need Him now like I needed Him then. Yes, some days are sunny and some stormy, but HE is the Lord of them all!
I like that this song doesn’t wrap up in a pretty bow. It leaves off at the cry for help. The answer to this song can be found in many of our other songs and even more in the Word of God. But one thing is for sure - “Draw near your God (which this song does) and HE will draw near to you”! I thank God that He didn’t leave me in my despair.
These past two weeks have been really difficult. There are moments where I’ve felt like running and hiding. It’s really hard to just sit in pain and feel it and let the Lord minister to your heart rather than finding a way to medicate the pain, but He’s teaching me how to do that and to trust Him. I’m learning every day to trust Him more. Three steps forward, one step back, three steps forward, one step back...over time, that’s a lot of steps forward :). I’ll focus on that and NOT the shame that wants to tell me I’m no good and focus on the steps back that are part of being human. God is kind and loving and gracious. If He can show me mercy, and He lives in me, maybe I can show myself a little more mercy.
I won’t stop seeking Him. Man, I love Him!!!!