"If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of thine hand, O king. But if not, be it known unto thee, O king, that we will not serve thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up."
It's difficult sometimes. When the dreams and plans you've been building for years slowly start crumbling around you, it's difficult to remember that He's still good. As those pieces of the hopes you've had begin tumbling, you scramble after them, chasing, grasping, desperately trying to put them back together. But the harder you try, the more impossible it seems, and the more scattered those precious pieces of hopes become. Slipping away, impossible to retrieve.
As I've tried to write this for a couple of weeks now, I couldn't get past the first paragraph. I thought of giving examples, sharing some of the struggles my friends and even I have faced in this past year. But when I went back to our conversations, our shared tears and heartbreaks, I couldn't overlook the way every conversation concluded.
"I know God has a plan."
"I'm sure the Lord is teaching me something through this."
"I just have to wait on Him, and trust that He knows best."
Waiting is hard when the end isn't in sight. But the longer I wait the more I find a place of peace. In the moments when I want to question Christ, when I just don't understand and can't make sense of the things He allows, it's as if He shoves a reminder in my face. For example...
Weirdly enough, two of my very favorite parts of the day are my 7 minute drives to and from work. On the way there, I sip my coffee and listen to music. On the way home, I sip my water and listen to music. The past few days, every song (actually just 2 or 3 because I'm a repeat kind of girl) has been about the sacrifice that Calvary required. How very deep the Father's love is for us, to give His only son to pay our ransom. It was my sin that held my Savior to the tree.
And then this morning, the words and the melody of a song wrapped themselves around me like a familiar, comforting blanket. I don't know what was more meaningful - the words, or the familiarity of the song itself. One I've been singing since before I can remember singing. One I've heard since birth when my parents sang it as they put me to bed, one I've sung in the nursery, when I babysat, and to my nephews and niece. A song sung at funerals, at weddings, during nearly every holiday, and during many church services.
Amazing grace, how sweet the sound... How sweet the sound. His grace is amazing, vast, and completely forgiving.
...that saved a wretch like me. I once was lost, but now I'm found, was blind but now I see. Even after salvation, He seeks us out, He finds us.
But my own personal favorite hymn?
Be thou my vision, oh Lord of my heart. Naught be all else to me save that thou art... I think that if we could look beyond the circumstances we find ourselves in and focus on Him, the "things of earth will grow strangely dim" and nothing would matter but Him.
...thou and thou only, first in my heart... Shouldn't this be my goal? For Him to be first in everything? Every dream, every wish, every hope. Him first. Always. "Abhorring all my sin, adoring only Him."
I want to have a family. I want my friends to have a baby. I want health for the sick, comfort for the widow, love for the lonely.
But if not, He is still good.