“God is our refuge and our strength, an ever-present help in distress. Thus we do not fear, though earth be shaken and mountains quake to the depths of the sea.” Psalm 46:2-3
Have you experienced the summit of the mountain and suddenly your world begins to shake and you find yourself in the midst of despair? Or may be you feel your life has always been shaken and you just want a break from the quake that is ever present?
Our life can be shaken by so many things. It can be loss of a loved one, terminal illness, divorce, addictions, a miscarriage, an unexpected birth – the list goes on and on. When the rocks start tumbling, where do you run to? To whom do you turn?
God promises to be our refuge, our fortress, our strength, yet most of us still struggle. I have been reading a book called “A Friendship Like No Other”. One of the key points in the book is having a relationship with God, with His Son, just as we have relationships with those before us in the flesh. In order to have a friendship with someone, you have to converse. As your friendship grows and trust grows, you begin to share more with that person, perhaps in some cases you share deep thoughts and feelings that you don’t share with others. If your friendship is stable and strong, you are comfortable talking about moments when you don’t agree, moments you become angry with each other over a disagreement.
What about with God? Have you felt angry with God when life throws a curve ball and all the rocks begin to crumble, crushing you from the inside? Do you feel comfortable telling God you are angry with Him, that you don’t understand His ways, that they are too difficult and you can’t follow His ways. In Matthew 19:16-22, a young rich man approaches Jesus and ask what he needs to do to have eternal life, Jesus tells him to go sell his things and then come follow Him. The young man goes away sad. The author of “A Friendship Like No Other”, William Barry, proposes a question, what if the young man stayed and had a conversation with Jesus? What if he told Jesus how difficult it was to sell all his things, that he just couldn’t do it and he needed help? Do you think the story would end differently? Do you think a friendship would have been sprouted if he had stayed and told Jesus just how he felt?
What if we are totally honest in conversation with God, just as we may be with a friend about our life situations that shake our world, turning it upside down? In the song by Micah Tyler, “Even Then”, in the pre-chorus he sings “Where could I run to? Where could I go?” and in the chorus when he talks about our world being shaken and the waters rising, he ends with “no matter how it ends You’re with me even then.” If we are honest with God about our feelings, if we tell Him everything and then ask Him to help us to not be angry, to understand, to follow Him, even then He will stand with us, give us all we need with love, compassion and mercy. He will carry us through the rubble no matter how long the journey takes. He does this because His greatest desire is a relationship with us. He longs for our friendship.
I ask you, dear friends, is your relationship with God a friendship? Can you converse with Him, just as you do with your best friend? Do you listen for His response, receive Him? If not, start today to tell Him everything that is on your mind. When you can’t pray, tell Him you can’t pray. When you are busy and you don’t have time for Him, tell Him you don’t have time for Him. When you are angry because He didn’t answer your prayer, tell Him. When you find it difficult to accept the things around you and you struggle with following Him, tell Him. He loves you no matter where you are in your relationship with Him. As you are more open with Him, your friendship will grow and when your world is shaken, you will know that “even then”, He’s with you clearing the rubble and carrying you through.
In your struggles, when the boulders seem too heavy to move, always remember that with “God all things are possible.” (Matthew 19:26)