God's Grace in Deepest Waters

Today my heart is heavy as I think about heartache:

A missionary family who's father has been missing for over a month. They don't know whether or not he's even alive. That could by my dad. 

My friend who lost her baby boy yesterday at 26 weeks. That could have been my little boy

My own beloved grandpa who was just diagnosed with cancer.

When I heard about those three ladies that were rescued from ten years of captivity in Ohio, I wanted to cry. But not because they were now safe, although of course I am so happy for that. But for what they endured. For the knowledge that there are countless other kidnapped women and children in this country, some living right under our noses. These three are safe now, but how does one even pick up the pieces of life after an experience like that?

Hundreds of excited runners show up in Boston for a marathon. Thousands of enthusiastic friends and family members are there to cheer them on. Hundreds of lives are devastatingly changed when people are killed and limbs are blown off.

How can God be good in all this? 

I don't have all the answers, but I know there is hope for those who trust in Christ.

One of my favorite verses is 2 Corinthians 4:17-18,

 "For our present troubles are small and won't last very long. 
Yet they produce for us a glory that vastly outweighs them and will last forever! 
So we don't look at the troubles we can see now; rather, we fix our gaze on things 
that cannot be seen. For the things we see now will soon be gone, 
but the things we cannot see will last forever." 
(New Living Translation)

After I chose to give my life to Jesus as a child, I often thought that believing in a God that died for my sins was the biggest step of faith I'd have to take in life. But after watching babies die of malaria, seeing precious little ones returned to live in deplorable conditions, and knowing that millions of children around the world will go to sleep tonight hungry, cold, motherless, fatherless...

I have learned that the greatest step of faith in the Christian life is to believe God is who he says he is in his Word. To trust that he is good despite the tragedy. And to somehow hold on to promises like those in 2 Corinthians, believing through the tears that if we endure to the end, that if my loved ones, my friends, those hurting around me, if we all remain faithful to Christ till the end, we will be absolutely blown away by the astounding blessings in Heaven our suffering on earth produced.

And as hard as this life is, God is here to give us comfort in our sufferings. He can heal broken hearts and broken lives, and restore joy to those who've suffered even the most unspeakable loss. And those who trust in him will find deeper meaning in this life while storing up treasures for the next.

Dear God, I pray that no matter what life brings me, when the oceans are deep and I can barely keep my head above the waves, that my faith will stand. That I will never again doubt that you are good, even when what you're doing makes no sense at all in my eyes.

That I will see your grace in deepest waters, and let myself be led by your sovereign hand. That when my feet fail and I am overwhelmed by fear, I will trust in your plan. Knowing you've never failed me once, and you won't start now.

Lord, I know that serving you wholeheartedly and making a difference in this life hurts. But I want to give you my all, despite the heartache I know I will face. So Spirit lead me where my faith is without any limitations, let me follow you wherever you would call me. Take me deeper than my feet could ever wonder, that my faith would be made stronger in the presence of you, my Savior, my God, my everything.

Oceans (Where Feet May Fail)
By Hillsong United

You call me out upon the waters
The great unknown where feet may fail
And there I find You in the mystery
In oceans deep
My faith will stand

And I will call upon Your name
And keep my eyes above the waves
When oceans rice
My soul will rest in Your embrace
For I am Yours and You are mine

Your grace abounds in deepest waters
Your sovereign hand
Will be my guide
Where feet may fail and fear surrounds me
You've never failed and You won't start now

So I will call upon Your name
And keep my eyes above the waves
When oceans rice
My soul will rest in your embrace
For I am Yours and You are mine

Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders
Let me walk upon the waters
Wherever You would call me
Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander
And my faith will be made stronger
In the presence of my Savior