I’ve sat down to type words onto the page at least two dozen times in the last year and drawn up blank. For a reason that I didn’t fully comprehend until recently, the words for this blog just haven’t been there….for days. Months, really.
The words just stopped.
Or did I?
2020 was a difficult year; I’m certainly not alone in that sentiment from countless others who are struggling through a pandemic which rocked every facet of our daily rhythms. Unfortunately, 2021 does not seem to be the magical turn for which we all hoped. Coronavirus still rages, and with it, so do I.
I am angry. Bitter, ugly crocodile tears angry. I could list 1000 reasons – lost lives and starving souls, failed friendships and foiled futures, strange sickness and lasting loneliness. I am angry that we are all just having to survive this hard place.
And that anger has caught in the top of my throat for months, verbally seeping over the surface at the most inopportune moments, but not onto the page. The emotions have been there, sure, but the words have been left unformulated, like an ellipse at the end of a sentence, waiting to be parsed into coherence.
But the words didn’t actually stop. I stopped.
In this bitter lonely anger I sat down in the dirt like the petulant child that I am, kicking and scuffing my feet against the hard clay, screaming up at the Lord – “Why this God? Why are people dying and why are friends starving for food and why are jobs being lost and why are you doing all of this? What have we done?”
I can tell you I’ve been in the dirt long enough to be unrecognizable – soiled by the dust settled into my skin, muddied by the rain and the tears. It’s a big fat mess down here.
It’s taken me nearly a year to see it, but somewhere along the way I’ve begun to finally see one life-changing truth:
God got down in the dirt with me.
When I sat down, God sat down. I’m not screaming up at Him, I’m sitting WITH Him. He’s not some magical, distant timekeeper, far away not paying attention to me. He SAT DOWN with me. He’s been watching me scream and rage and beat senselessly into that hard earth. And he’s loved me even through the midst of my doubts.
“There is a river— its streams delight the city of God, the holy dwelling place of the Most High. God is within her; she will not be toppled. God will help her when the morning dawns.” (Psalm 46:4-5, CSB)
I am that river – the dwelling place of the Lord Most High. As I’ve been raging, I’ve been missing the voice of God. Still and quiet, like a whisper that runs through a forest, He is there. I’ve been screaming and raging too loud to hear it. Yet He didn’t quit on me. He’s kept speaking, softly and intentionally and continually. He sat in the dirt with me and listened and spoke life, over and over again until I was ready to listen and stand back up. What a good, good God we have.
To be very frank with you, sometimes, I am still a little angry, and am ready to crawl back into that hard dirt. But God gently reminds me each day of His leading and guiding plans and hands. I don’t always understand – I am not supposed to (a very large hard pill for me to swallow.) But He is working. He is moving. He is in charge, and I am not. I have not been left in this loneliness. God is with me. And He is with you.
The words never stopped. I just stopped listening.
God is with me. He is with you. The morning is dawning, let us listen.