Friday, September 20, 2013

I’ll Be There With You

On Thursday afternoon last week, when we heard that Hua Ming An was in the hospital, a storm rolled in. Dark thunder clouds, a powerful wind that rattled even our double-paned windows, and an eery feeling in the air. But while we could see the dark clouds looming just a short distance away out our living room windows, our apartment building and surrounding area was still bathed in light. In fact we had never seen the sun as bright as it was coming in through the windows on the opposite end of our apartment, from Jordan’s room and the kitchen.

It made me think about the Israelites living in the land of Goshen during the time of the terrible plagues in Egypt and how God continued to give light to His people, during the three days of “deep and terrifying darkness” for the Egyptians. (Exodus 10:21-23)

What an amazing contrast God allowed us to witness that day. The dark threatening storm and the incredibly bright sun. A visible sign that God would keep us in His light throughout this storm we were entering into. It wasn’t a promise that He would pull us out of the storm, but that He would not leave us in the storm by ourselves. “I’ll be there with you.”

“Don’t be afraid, I’ve redeemed you.
I’ve called you by name. You’re mine.
When you’re in over your head, I’ll be there with you.
When you’re in rough waters, you will not go down.
When you’re between a rock and a hard place, it won’t be a dead end—
Because I am God, your personal God,
The Holy of Israel, your Savior.”
(Isaiah 43:1-3a, MSG)

On Monday this week, when Charly and I were walking home from the bus stop after visiting Hua Ming An in the hospital—when the doctor had told us that we had to leave, that we couldn’t keep visiting every day, and that he couldn’t give us any medical information because we weren’t legal parents yet—I felt like one of those punching bags with sand in the bottom that causes it to return to its upright position after its been punched down. Sometimes it takes longer than other times to stand back up again. And this was one of those times. But I was reminded that God is the One who keeps us going again when we’ve been knocked down. He keeps us from giving up and losing hope.

“We are pressed on every side by troubles, but we are not crushed and broken. We are perplexed, but we don’t give up and quit. We are hunted down, but God never abandons us. We get knocked down, but we get up again and keep going. Through suffering, these bodies of ours constantly share in the death of Jesus so that the life of Jesus may also be seen in our bodies.”
(2 Corinthians 4: 8-10, NLT)

“So we’re not giving up. How could we! Even though on the outside it often looks like things are falling apart on us, on the inside, where God is making new life, not a day goes by without his unfolding grace. These hard times are small potatoes compared to the coming good times, the lavish celebration prepared for us. There’s far more here than meets the eye. The things we see are here today, gone tomorrow. But the things we can’t see now will last forever.”
(2 Corinthians 4: 16-18, MSG)

I love this verse in the Message:

“It’s what we trust in but don’t yet see that keeps us going.
Do you suppose a few ruts in the road or rocks in the path are going to stop us?”
(2 Corinthians 5:7, MSG)

This verse brings tears to my eyes. Because it’s not easy to say these words. Because our situation hasn’t felt like just a few rocks in the path. This week we have definitely felt like crushing boulders have rolled over us, and my heart has literally felt like it’s been ripped out of my chest. As we face the huge unknowns of what kind of recovery Hua Ming An will make and the uncertainty of what God wants us to do in proceeding with our adoptions right now. But the truth is that we can trust in what we don’t see. And we can keep going.

This morning Charly said he was reminded that God isn’t leaving us alone in this storm to try to “solve the problem.” He is with us every step of the way. Because wherever we are He has said, 

I’ll be there with you.”

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