I sat in the small kayak alone. The lake water lapped around me as I drifted aimlessly. Bent head and hunched over body, the tears were silent and seemingly endless. I distinctly remember wishing to slip away. Imagining my body sinking down to the cold blue bottom and not coming up for air. There was no actual plan to make that happen, but the thought persisted. In that moment and many others over the coming weeks, thoughts of me being absent and void were my companion.
Loneliness overwhelmed. Every fiber of my being told me that I was too broken for hope. On the verge of breaking, I confessed how I was feeling and was met with apathy. Not able to handle the shame and suffering any longer I got in my car and left. If a heart could actually break from pain, mine would have shattered. As I pulled away, I quickly typed in my destination in the phone for directions. Almost immediately my map told me to turn down an unfamiliar gravel road, distracted I did. The voice that played in my head said, “you have no-one. You are not worthy of love. Everyone would be better off without you.”
I was literally being consumed by darkness. As I rounded the bend in the road, I came upon a magnificent rainbow. I slowed to a stop and stared in awe. I somehow, immediately knew that rainbow was placed there for me. And for the first time in a long time, I felt the presence of God. It was as if he stepped into the car with me. The darkness that was raging around and within me was pierced by the feeling of unconditional love. As I sat there staring, the destructive voice that had ensnared my thoughts, instantly vanished and was replaced by the voice of God. It’s hard to describe in words but I knew without a doubt that I was not alone. Not only did I suddenly understand that I was not alone but also that I never had been. I knew with utmost certainty that the rainbow in the sky was God’s reminder to me that he was and has been and will continue to walk with me.
You see here’s the thing. We live in a broken sinful world. One where we have to live in the consequences of our own and others’ sins. Sometimes the suffering is so intense. The heaviness so palpable. The enemy so convincing. That even amongst people who know and follow Jesus, we can forget who we are in Him. We can forget that God’s love and forgiveness are not earned; they are given to surrendered hearts, with grace. (John 3:16) We can forget that God has wonder-working powers like closing the mouth of lions, freeing slaves, and bringing dead things to life. (Daniel 6:27), (Ezra 9:9) (John12:9) We can forget that God can give us joy in sorrow.
Since the day of the rainbow, it’s not like my problems, have just disappeared. Honestly, they have persisted and increased. But I remember again who is walking with me. For the Lord your God is a merciful God; he will not abandon you or destroy you or forget the solemn covenant he made with your ancestors. – Deuteronomy 4:31. God has given me moments of unexplainable joy amidst pain. I will be
glad and rejoice in your unfailing love, for you have seen my troubles, and you care about the anguish of my soul. – Psalm 31:7. My lips are again rushing to praise because despite my circumstances or even outcomes that I don’t’ desire, God is enough. The Lord will guide you continually, giving you water when you are dry and restoring your strength. Like a well-watered garden, like an ever-flowing spring. (Isaiah 58:11)
Written by Jessica Delp