God protects the righteous people’s bones; not one will be broken.”
The wind, with her stiff fingers, reached into my cottage. I threw a shawl over my shoulders to ward off the chill. “Good morning, God,” I said as I curled up on my sofa to sip my coffee. I thought of my life so far—there has been a lot of trauma over the years. “It’s been quite a journey, hasn’t it God?” I asked.
“Yes, it has. But I’ve walked with you every step. When you got too tired and weary, I picked you up in my arms and I carried you. When your tears threatened to drown you, I wiped them dry,” God said softly.
“I didn’t always know that you were there. Sometimes, I thought you didn’t care,” I said honestly.
“I know. When you couldn’t feel my love, I gave you people to love you. I gave you Kenny. Paula. Mark, and May. I gave you your four children.” The thought of my friends and family warmed my heart.
“I will never let life break you,” God promised.
“Thank you. It’s good to know you are there—that you’ve always been there, even when I couldn’t feel you.”
“I’ll never leave your side. I’ll never stop loving you. You are my precious child,” God whispered in my heart.
“I love you too, God,” I whispered back.
I knew at that moment, without a shadow of a doubt, that none of my past trauma had broken me. If anything, God used my past to strengthen me into the person I am today. He used my past to my good and to His glory. Everything was alright. Every.Thing.
“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart…”
All night the little boat tossed about on the stormy sea. The good captain braved the wind and the rain, walking back and forth, keeping a watchful eye on his beloved boat. The little boat was lifted high atop a wave and then crashed back into the water. It shuddered from the force. “All is lost,” the boat cried out. “I can’t hold together.” A few boards splintered and broke off, washing away into the churning sea.
“You’ll make it!” the captain yelled into the din of the storm.
“The storm is too much,” cried the little boat.
“Trust me” shouted the captain, as he leaned into the wind and turned the little boat into an oncoming wave. Hour after hour, the boat battled the raging sea. As the sun slowly rose over the horizon, the storm gave up. Blue skies stretched out as far as the eye could see.
“I grew your lumber. I planed your boards. I built you with my hands. You may fray and splinter, but you’ll never come apart. I built you to withstand the storms,” the captain told the boat as they made their way back to shore.
That’s how God built us, too. He grew our lumber. He planed our boards. He built us with His hands. We are His beloved ships, each of us on a course that He has set; a course that we can trust, even in the storms. We’re built to withstand them.
“Carry each other’s burdens…”
A humpback whale struggled to stay afloat off of the San Francisco coastline near the Golden Gate Bridge. She had gotten tangled in a web of fishing lines and crab pots. She was floundering and would surely die. A fisherman spotted her and radioed for help. A group of scuba divers came to her rescue. They dove deep below her and cut all of the lines that pulled her towards her demise. When they finally freed her, she swam in circles, celebrating her second chance at life. Before she made her way back out to deeper waters, she swam up to every diver and gently nudged them. They knew she was saying “thank you!”
May we all know the deep joy of giving and receiving that which sets us free, love.