Have you ever had one of those weeks where you feel like you are drowning? Waves of heartaches, frustrations and disappointments keep crashing one on top of the other. It has been one of those weeks in our house. We have been soaked with insecurities and poor performance, the flu, bad grades, missed business opportunities and nasty locker notes. We have been aggravated by busted pipes and Internet failure. There have been more than a couple arguments and misunderstandings. In a house where the men are uncomfortable around tears, the Nelson men should be epically pitied.
Twice this week, I have had the opportunity to counsel a couple of my children with this verse:
“I will trust and not be afraid; for YAH the Lord is my strength and my song.” Isaiah 12:2 (NKJV)
The tears and fears come when we find our strength in something other than the Lord. I have beautiful, smart and talented kids and it is so easy for them to feel that their value lies in beauty or good grades or performance. I am guilty of misplaced confidence too. I often find my value in reputation and relationships. When we don’t preform up to par, or our worth feels worthless, we crumble. As I wiped away one of my daughters’ tears of rejection, I asked her to tell me who Jesus says she is. We listed His truths of how she is loved and beautiful and worth dying for and precious and perfect. This, dear friends, is where we find our strength. It can be easy to forget where our strength comes from when we are singing about how great all the other stuff is. That stuff is fluff and won’t hold up when the floods come.
This morning, I was reading in Genesis 8. Noah and his family had been on the ark for 150 days. They were safe because Noah had followed God’s boat building directions to the jot and tittle. They knew that “Yah the Lord” was their strength, but they were still surrounded by the ravaging flood. The rainy season that the Nelsons went through this week doesn’t come close to the trials Noah’s family was going through. I can hardly imagine the smells and noise and tears and arguments and fear that were wafting through the ark.
“But God remembered Noah… and the floodwaters began to recede.” Genesis 8:1 (NKJV)
The floodwaters didn’t recede all at once, but they did effectively and thoroughly all dry up. The ark eventually came to rest on top of Mount Ararat and not long after that, Noah and his family walked out of the ark singing a new song. Noah built an altar and praised the Lord for His faithfulness and He rested in the strength of God’s promises to him.
If this is a rainy season for you, hold on to this: the floodwaters will eventually recede. You are safe if your trust is in the Lord. He put you on this boat and He is not surprised by the chaos in it or all around it. He alone is your strength and your song, and He will become your salvation.
As the floodwaters continued to recede, the ark came to rest on top of Mount Ararat (Genesis 1:4) The Mountain that we have to look forward to resting on is better than Mt Ararat. When the last drop of our floodwaters recede, we will, like Moses, stand on our “Mt. Nebo” with the beautiful view of the Promised Land. When YAH is our strength and song and the one we trust for our salvation, we are promised eternity with Jesus.
The raging waters are all around us, but we are most certainly safe. As long as we are on this earth, the waters of pain and persecution will ebb and flow. Looking for our safety in other relationships, reputation or performance will leave us drenched with exhaustion and insecurity. Trust in the Lord. YAH remembers you too. The waters will eventually recede.
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make straight your paths.” Proverbs 3:5-6 (NIV)
“I will trust and not be afraid; for YAH the Lord is my strength and my song, and He has become my salvation.” Isaiah 12:2
“Onward ye people, strive for the Light!
The light that The Lord has given us for our guide;
Who through murk and darkness of night
Hath led us safely unto our reward.”
“And the heavenly choir doth ring from Mount Nebo
Piercing the blue like a living light.
Onward ye peoples.
Onward ye people.
Strive for the Light.
Jean Sibelius “Onward Ye Peoples” 1922