He is near…

As he walked out of the hospital into the sun with his frail nine year old son, he shook his head in disbelief. What a roller coaster of a month that was! Who would’ve thought when they boarded the flight to India for a vacation, that their lives were going to be changed forever! One evening they found their son looking extremely tired, and unable to make relevant conversation. The next thing they knew, he was critical, hospitalized, had an organ replacement surgery, and was battling life and death for the next 20 odd days. Tears, prayers, sleepless days, nights, and thirty days later, he was discharged, with just a couple more tubes left to be removed, and a long list of medications to be given at home.
One month ago, he was competing children older than him at debates and elocutions, a couple months later he was being given speech therapy and muscle strengthening exercises. Everything had changed, and they’d just about survived this storm as a family. The billion questions raging in his mind yet unanswered.
The fact that one could never be prepared enough for what life has to offer cannot be overstated.

Storms don’t really announce their coming in advance. We usually get to know when they’ve come.
Boarding the flight to do a residency program in the ‘City of Dreams’, I was excited and nervous at the same time, about how it’s all going to be- a new house to set up, a whole new atmosphere, and a big step out of the comfort zone for me. It’s only a couple of years, I told myself. And having done the drill once already, the second time around wouldn’t be so bad , I thought.
Looking back many months later, I know for a fact that nothing could have prepared me enough for what unfolded over the next few months. The ‘ruthless corporate’, is something one has heard over and over again in the past, but not a term I really believed, till I experienced it for myself.
To say the least, I found myself in the middle of a storm, unable to find footing, and unable to focus on my calling. I was left gasping for air, reaching out to familiar souls for help, advice, prayer and anything anyone could do to help me out.
What do you do when everything you are, and everything you do is challenged? Not on a single day, but almost everyday? Somewhere in the midst of this chaos in my head, I couldn’t hear my own voice anymore, couldn’t understand why anymore and I couldn’t hear the song in my soul anymore. I was exhausted.
On one of those days, when I had reached the end of myself, the disappointment and rage within me was asking, Do I even know who I am?
My husband gently looked into my eyes to echo what God was trying to get across to me all along- Remember whose you are! You are a child of God!
I looked at him, knowing fully well that that was all the truth that mattered. The only identity I wanted to go by was that I was a redeemed child of God. The storm inside of me raged to a screeching halt.
As I took a break to retreat to the scriptures, to hear from my Maker, I could only sit still as His love flooded my soul. The tears flowed. God had seemed very far away all these months, and yet He was not.
There was a beauty in that moment that one can never put into words. I was assured again of the fact that God never made a mistake with where He placed me, or what I have to face on a day to day basis. He knows exactly what He hopes to achieve through this season of my life. Placing my fears and doubts and billion questions down at His feet, I was reminded of this verse:
…and he marked out their appointed times in history and the boundaries of their lands. God did this so that they would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from any one of us. ‘For in him we live and move and have our being.’(Acts 17:26-27)

On a short visit to CMC Ludhiana, one of the things that caught my eye, was a board in the hospital , that echoed the founder’s refrain , ‘My work is for a King’. I was reminded of that phrase again, as I went back again to the workplace. I walked into the same set of circumstances holding on to my identity as a child of the Most High King, whom alone I wanted to please. The focus had changed.
As the dark clouds passed, and the sun rose, I can only look back and marvel in disbelief at the story God was weaving as it rained and poured. Most of my life I’ve believed that His presence moves ahead of me, but these are days when I realise, as David sang in his psalm, His goodness and mercy will also follow me…all of the days of my life.
As I write this, a familiar tune rises in my mind:

Be still and know
That the Lord is in control
Be still my soul
Stand and watch as giants fall

I won’t be afraid
You are here
You silence all my fear
I won’t be afraid
You don’t let go
Be still my heart and know
I won’t be afraid

Dear reader, are your circumstances a rude shock? Or do you find yourself in the middle of a storm wondering where your God is? Burnt out?
Take heart, for He is right there in the furnace , walking with you. Hold on to His hand, and remember whose you are. His goodness and mercy will follow you.

Be still and trust
What the Lord has said is done
Find rest don’t strive
Watch as faith and grace align

Surely love and mercy
Your peace and kindness
Will follow me
Will follow me ( Ben Fielding & Reuben Morgan)

The world can challenge everything else about you, and it really doesn’t matter, as long as you are assured of your identity in Christ. And yes, He is in control.
As the verse above reminds us, ‘In Him we live and move and have our being.’
Friend, He is not far from any of us –Elohei mikkarov.

One thought on “He is near…”

  1. Beautiful post, encouraging to be reminded of the comfort that comes in the storm and after comes from the Most High God who is above all. Thanks Ann.


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