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Thursday, 27 August 2015

Adrift on a Great Sea of Unknowing

I’ve been reading the story of Noah this morning, thinking of the fear and apprehension the family must have felt as the great ark rose and rocked on the waters and was thrown around in the waves and wind. All stability had disappeared and they had nothing left to cling to – except the Rock of Ages.

The last few months have been similar in some ways. Change of circumstances and emotional traumas of bereavement coupled with the pain of shingles threw my dear mother into waters over her head and she grabbed out like a drowning person, desperate to regain stability and familiarity. Those closest to her in the water at the time, Mhairi and I, were the ones she reached out to and nearly submerged us in the roiling waters. 

The last thing I would ever have tried to learn how to do was life-saving in the swimming pool. It has always been much more likely that I would be the one needing the saving, and the thought of some desperate and frightened person using my head as a foothold to safety, thereby submerging me, is enough to fill me with dread and panic. And yet here I was, with Mhairi, the two people closest to Mom and so the natural ‘rocks’ for her to grab on to. In her panic, that desperation came out in angry disbelief that we could be so treacherous as to remove her from her familiar surroundings and then abandon her in a new place full of strangers. There were times when Mhairi and I felt we could go under ourselves. When the fleeting temptation came that maybe we should just run away. Give up. Abandon the whole situation. 

But underneath were the everlasting arms. Jesus’ promise is never to leave nor forsake us and boy have I found that to be true over these turbulent months. He has been the rock on which we have stood and now, as the storm abates and the waters grow calm, he is the one in whom we rejoice. He has brought us safely through. He has filled my heart with songs of deliverance and he has once again proven himself faithful, loving and true. 

Thankful seems inadequate – deeply deeply grateful for his navigation and life jackets. I am so grateful that though our lives often feel like they are a great sea of unknowing, we are never really adrift or alone. Jesus is always there.

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