It’s raining today in our North Georgia mountains–one of those long, soft, misty spring rains that just won’t stop. My boys are going camping, so the rain is unwelcome. It’s a trip far into the woods to celebrate a big birthday for one of their friends. It’s been on the books for probably 2 months. We’ve had gorgeous weather all week, and now rain.
I’m watching it wash my cars, water my plants, fill the low spots in the yard, and drown out all the earth worms, and I’m praying, “Lord, would you hold it off for the boys?”
And I remember.
Like the rain washes the fogginess from my brain.
The tin roofs in Haiti. How many of them were there? Tin held down with rocks and broken cement. Tin salvaged from other projects. Tin filled with holes.
My boys may be wet tonight while they camp, but they’ll come home to a dry house.
For so many Haitians, home is flooded wet when rains fall.
Me–a child of God, sitting dry under a shingled roof.
A Haitian baby–a child of God, sleeps with belly distended from hunger in his mother’s arms while she squats under a 12 inch overhang waiting out the storm.
A friend–a child of God, sleeps in the hospital tonight. Cancer’s been removed, but what treatment lies ahead?
A husband in Ecuador–a child of God, mourns his wife’s death. An earthquake swallowed her life’s breath.
We don’t make sense of these things.
We can’t explain why survival is a hobby and past time for my youngest boy but the only way of life for the boy who begged me to sponsor him back in Haiti.
We can’t explain why the lump in my breast a couple months back was just a fatty cyst but for another it is cancer.
We can’t explain why one child is born without a heartbeat and another is born, lungs filled with air, heart pumping, and healthy.
We can’t explain why one good parent raises a child who aces all the tests and rises the corporate ladder and another good parent raises a drug addict.
We can’t explain why one is accepted into the program and another is denied despite her tremendous effort.
We just can’t.
But I know them. These people. I know they love Jesus.
And I know Jesus loves them.
I remember His Words–they were about His people the Jews, but we were grafted into this beautiful love that is our Savior. We get to savor these words too.
But now, this is what the Lord says—
he who created you, Jacob,
he who formed you, Israel:
“Do not fear, for I have redeemed you;
I have summoned you by name; you are mine.
2 When you pass through the waters,
I will be with you;
and when you pass through the rivers,
they will not sweep over you.
When you walk through the fire,
you will not be burned;
the flames will not set you ablaze.
3 For I am the Lord your God,
the Holy One of Israel, your Savior;
I give Egypt for your ransom,
Cush and Seba in your stead.
4 Since you are precious and honored in my sight,
and because I love you,
I will give people in exchange for you,
nations in exchange for your life.
5 Do not be afraid, for I am with you;
I will bring your children from the east
and gather you from the west.
6 I will say to the north, ‘Give them up!’
and to the south, ‘Do not hold them back.’
Bring my sons from afar
and my daughters from the ends of the earth—
7 everyone who is called by my name,
whom I created for my glory,
whom I formed and made.”(Isaiah 43:1-7)
We get to savor our Savior who gathers us from the east and from the west.
We get to revel in our Redeemer who calls us by name.
We get to cry out to our Creator who promises that we are precious in His sight.
We get to live out of the love of this God who says He formed us, He made us, and he crafted us . . .
The intended destiny of the cancer patient and the orphan and the hungry and the hurting and the healthy and the wealthy and the successful and the homosexual and the heterosexual and the Arab and the American is that they were ALL–
created to bring this one and only God glory.
We don’t have to share skin color or socioeconomic status to share the same purpose. I have to quit understanding in human terms like Middle-Eastern or African, upper-class or poor, educated or illiterate and begin to understand others as God does–mankind. Created beings created by a Creator for His own pleasure and glory.
HE said it Himself.
“You are my witnesses,” declares the Lord,
“and my servant whom I have chosen,
so that you may know and believe me
and understand that I am he.
Before me no god was formed,
nor will there be one after me.
11 I, even I, am the Lord,
and apart from me there is no savior.
12 I have revealed and saved and proclaimed—
I, and not some foreign god among you.
You are my witnesses,” declares the Lord, “that I am God.
13 Yes, and from ancient days I am he. (Isaiah 43:10-13)
He said in no uncertain terms this beautiful declaration of destiny.
We are HIS Witnesses.
We were chosen
that HE AND HE ALONE is the LORD and there is no salvation apart from HIM.
from eternity past–it was always HIM.
By HIM and THROUGH HIM and FOR HIM all things were created.
It’s all for Him.
All to make HIM famous–He’s the one that rescues, that brings salvation, that carries us through the fire, that keeps us floating when the river rages, that carries us across oceans deep. He doesn’t always heal on earth. He doesn’t always grant physical provision on earth.
But there is one thing He does do when we can’t make sense of it all–we can know this one thing–He holds us in the palm of His hands. Nothing can pluck us from His hand. (John 10:28)
He holds us–our souls when the earth shakes and the rain wont relent.
That He does.
The rest we will have to wait to fully understand.
Until then–He won’t relent from this relentless love. It’s WHO HE IS.
from ancient of days.
And us? Those of us who call Him Savior?
We get to bear witness to this great truth–
that we know the one true God because He’s redeemed us, He’s called us by name.