Each of us deals with days of darkness, sorrow, and pain. They are as much a part of life as times of laughter and sunshine. During such moments I sometimes struggle to believe that God loves me and hears my cries of pain. When you can’t clearly see God’s purposes, you too, may find it difficult to believe in his love.
Earlier this week a hymn and a story united into a visual picture that helps me trust that God hasn’t abandoned me when my sight is obscured by darkness. The image reminded me of the many instances when the psalmist cries out to God as his refuge, his rock, and his shelter. Visualizing God’s strength and presence encouraged his faith.
The hymn “O, the Deep, Deep Love of Jesus” includes these beautiful words: “Rolling as a mighty ocean in its fullness over me, underneath me, all around me, is the current of Thy love.”
Years ago my husband and his co-worker extended a business trip to Seattle to include a fishing excursion at the northwestern edge of the United States. They hired a seasoned fishing captain and crew to take them into the Pacific Ocean, which presented them with unexpected massive, turbulent waves. As my husband described it, when the boat went down between the waves, it was so dark that it almost appeared to be night. When they rode up to the top of the wave, the sun shone brightly.
As I read the words of the hymn, I could almost see the ocean of God’s love surrounding me, carrying me to both the tops of the waves and to the depths between them. In either situation God is there; he hasn’t abandoned me when it grows dark. His love is just as real there as it is in the sunshine.
We have to trust God when the darkness seeks to swallow us, believing that his love will carry us through it to bright, sunny days ahead.
"And we have come to know and believe the love that God has in us. God is love, and the one who resides in love resides in God, and God resides in him" (1 John 4:16).