I am not superhuman.
Though I may act like a superwoman sometimes, I am limited, small, broken and terribly flawed. In the face of struggle and conflict, the instinct to strike out, to flee or to fight back is so strong…overwhelming, sometimes. A world filled with wounded fighters — even fighters who strike out against just causes — can be a tough place to live.
We have to fight, of course.
We have to stand up, of course.
We have to do what we can, as those of old would say, “to hold up the blood-stained banner.”
But thanks be to God, we don’t have to do anything by ourselves.
Thanks be to God, we may be fighters, but the righteous fight does not belong to us and we do not determine its bottom line victory.
And, thanks be to God, that God is bigger than all this world has to throw at us — bigger than that which wears us down and bigger than that which overwhelms us.
God is even bigger than our soul’s deepest grief.
I’ve been chastising myself for holding on to grief. I’m frustrated with myself and I cannot seem to let it go. How long will I feel this aching void in the deepest place where I live? Why can’t I seem to move on? Battering myself with “get over it” impatience…
Grief is debilitating and wears at the sensitive place…right in the middle of “determination to move forward” and “why?”. The angrier I get at myself for holding on to this grief, the more raw that place in between “maybe, I can move on” and “no, I can’t because…why, why, why?” becomes.
The crazy thing is…I don’t even realize I’m doing that to myself until I see somebody else doing it to themselves….the urge to reach out to help is instinctual. The preacher has no miracle magic words — only a song that, with God’s grace, can become testimony for all who grieve.
So, today, I’m grateful for the testimony of Horatio Spafford. His words speak to how God really can be bigger than the deepest grief. God can take that which is so wrong in this world, hold us in His hands, and make us well. What would it be like to trust, like Horatio Spafford, that God really can make our grief-stricken, battered souls well? He wrote this hymn as he was processing horrible grief — the loss of his four daughters who were drowned on a sinking ship. The words have been updated for contemporary use, but they still comprise a powerful testimony that God is big.
When peace, like a river, upholds me each day,
when sorrows like sea billows roll:
whatever my lot, You have taught me to say,
“It is well, it is well with my soul!”
Though evil should tempt me, though trials should come,
let this blessed assurance control:
that Christ has regarded my helpless estate
and has paid life and blood for my soul!
My sin — oh, the bliss of this glorious thought — my sin,
not in part, but the whole —
is nailed to the cross and I bear it no more,
Praise the Lord, Praise the Lord, O my soul!
O God, speed the day that is filled with Your light,
when clouds are rolled back as a scroll –
the trumpet shall sound
and the Lord shall appear, “Even so” — it is well with my soul!
It is well
with my soul…
It is well, it is well
with my soul!