Friday, May 15, 2009

For Katie Apple

So I've been reading this amazing devotional by Ann Spangler. It basically walks you through the names of Jesus and how those aspects of his character apply and fulfill your life. I feel like God spoke to me straight up through the first entry: Immanuel.

I think my biggest struggle since YWAM was this nagging fear/doubt I had about all that happened in Jakarta. All the struggle and the sickness seemed to be because He had left me. It sounds totally ridiculous to write that -- I KNOW that he didn't leave me. But, I struggled every day to really know and feel his presence, when it felt and looked like He had just left us there. There were no breakthroughs. There was no relenting of struggle. And it ended in me being in the hospital in Indonesia and promptly returning home -- not even allowed to debrief and enjoy my friends in Hawaii. For all my striving to pray and believe that He was faithful to complete the work, I doubted every single day that he was there and had heard a single prayer I prayed.

So, in places of deep intimacy with Him lately, I have found this coming up in my thoughts and prayers: "Lord, why did you leave me there?"

It's like, despite me knowing for a fact the contrary, I can't stop myself thinking it: He left me. He left me when I needed Him the most. All I had to cling to was His word, my constant prayers for help and nearness, and the sweet melodies of worship that were close to my heart.

As I opened up this devotional, the words rushed over me about His being Immanuel: God with us. The scriptures of promise where He said he would never leave nor forsake me, and that He is with me wherever I go were like water washing over my heart and doubt. I KNOW that I read - I clung to -- those scriptures when I was in Indonesia, but for some reason, the doubt in my heart was distorting how I heard them. Instead of "I will never leave you nor forsake you," I heard "I will never leave you nor forsake you -- except for now, because you can't hear my voice or see my hand."

And now, suddenly, I could see the truth in those words again.

He has never left me.

In the last entry for Immanuel, it quotes that verse we talked so much about, Katie:

"When you pass through the waters, I will be with you. When you cross the rivers, they will not over take you" (Isaiah 43:2-3).

Why is it such a struggle to hear his voice and see his face in the freakin' midst of the waters? I don't know. The bible has so many instances of his ever-present faithfulness in the middle of battles and struggles - but it seemed that those were reserved and confined to the fragile pages of my Bible itself. They weren't for me. Was it so wrong for me to want Him to show up in bright lights and shakina glory and cause our slum to fall to its knees in repentance?? Was it so selfish for you to wish He would take away the pain and fear in all those surgeries, Katie?

I don't know.

But I know that His word says that He is an ever-present help in time of need; a refuge; a hiding place; a God Who Is With Us. And I am choosing to let those words and promises wash away my fears and doubts and hurt, so that I can see what is hidden more clearly the next time around.


Jordan said...

you're beautiful

katie t said...

you are so great about your deep thoughts!!!