This week we get to celebrate our fathers, but instead of talking about our earthly fathers, I would like to take some time to talk about our heavenly Father.
This time last year was a very difficult time for me and my family. For some time, we had to sit on the sidelines and watch as two of our dearest loved ones (my aunt and grandmother) gradually deteriorated before our eyes. No matter how much you try to prepare for the worst, you really cannot foresee how much it will affect you mentally, emotionally, or spiritually.
In one fell swoop, God called them both home to be by His side within weeks of each other. As much as we were comforted in knowing they were at peace and healed in heaven and that we would one day be reunited, it still did not fix the permanent hole in our hearts left by their absences in our lives. Our whole world flipped on its axis, yet it continued to spin. Life continued even though we were not ready to move on.
If I could sum up my spiritual life at that time, I would say that it very much felt like my heavenly Father was so far away and keeping silent.
I prayed, I cried, but there was nothing.
I think the psalm of Asaph wonderfully puts into words exactly what I was going through:
In the day of my trouble I sought the Lord: my sore ran in the night, and ceased not: my soul refused to be comforted. I remembered God, and was troubled: I complained, and my spirit was overwhelmed. Thou holdest mine eyes waking: I am so troubled that I cannot speak. … Will the Lord cast off for ever? and will he be favourable no more? Is his mercy clean gone for ever? doth his promise fail for evermore? Hath God forgotten to be gracious? hath he in anger shut up his tender mercies? | Psalm 77:2-4, 7-9
If the psalmist wrote of something that is SO poignant even today, it makes me wonder how commonplace this actually happens to people, especially believers.
When the going gets tough, it is so easy to just give up and throw in the towel on God and even our relationship with God. Even though I was met with silence, I clung to the one thing I had left:
I love the turning point that the psalmist scribes in verse 10:
And I said, This is my infirmity: BUT I will remember the years of the right hand of the most High. | Psalm 77:10
As bad as things got and as far and silent as it felt like God was in my life, I refused to lose faith in who God was and remains to be. I reminded myself that the same God in the Bible is the same God who had carried me this far and would continue to do the same even in the midst of all the hurt and darkness.
When you read verses 11-15, that is precisely what the psalmist did to comfort himself. He remembered and meditated on the TRUTH of who God is and what He has done. The remainder of the psalm talks about how even creation has witnessed all of the incredible works of the Lord, including the ones that we are not knowledgeable about.
If I can pass on one thing out of all of this, it is that you may enter a season of life where God may seem far and silent, but He actually isn’t.
He is constantly working and moving in our lives, down to the very details, because He is our loving Father. When you go through the murkiness of life, remind yourself of the truth contained in God’s word, creation, and even in your life.