Life is going along just fine. Feeling content, feeling satisfied, feeling like I can look to the future and smile... Out of the blue, an event comes along that shakes us to the very core. It's like a tornado suddenly descended and whirls us around like a shake in a blender, and then sets us down again. Only instead of being set down where we once were, we are in a new and unfamiliar place, a place where we never imagined we would be. Everything has changed. "Looks like we aren't in Kansas anymore, Toto" is about all you can say if you are even able to speak or put together coherent thoughts. You may be so shaken that you can only cry out to God and count upon the Holy Spirit to intercede. (Romans 8:26) You look across the chasm in front of you and wonder how you can even take one step forward.
Church Mouse is not presently in this situation, but I have been there before, and I have dear ones who are facing such a test of faith. It is easy to feel completely alone as we look upon our plight and contemplate our future and our course of action. It is easy to feel utterly immobilized. Once we get our bearings though, we have to start taking steps. Tiny ones are ok... just steps... steps towards God. Did you see God there? Perhaps you were blinded by your tears. Look again. He is there! He is standing on the other side of the chasm reaching out with open arms. Do you hear Jesus there whispering to you, "I understand. I have walked this road before you. You can do it too!" Did you feel the Holy Spirit there, lifting you up, supporting you, keeping you from sinking to your knees? The Spirit is there too, bearing you up with each and every step. Did you look behind you? There is a HOST of people there too! They are your brothers and sisters in Christ and they are eager to bear your burdens (Galatians 6:2). Just like Aaron and Hur held up Moses' hands while Israel battled against the Amalekites (Exodus 17:8-13), you have friends and loved ones there holding up your hands.
I find tremendous encouragement in Romans 8, but the passage is rather long, so I will give some excerpts here:
14For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. 15For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, "Abba! Father!"
22For we know that the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now. 23And not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies. 24For in this hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what he sees? 25But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience. 26Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words. 27And he who searches hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God. 28And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.
31What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? 32He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things? 33Who shall bring any charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. 34Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died—more than that, who was raised— who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us. 35Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword?
37No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, 39nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.
I know this post is already long, but I cannot help but also consider this beautiful song:
Each Step I Take by W. Marcer
Onward and upward as we journey on to higher ground... He ever leads us on!