In a previous post, I shared three verses that helped me cope through heartaches I was dealing with. Better than any other coping skill, Scripture gives strength and life.
Here are two more.
Deep calls to deep at the roar of your waterfalls; all your breakers and your waves have gone over me. (Psalm 42:7 ESV)
This one (and actually all of Psalm 42) befriends my aching soul like a loved one who simply says, “I’ve been there. I know it hurts.” Incredible, isn’t it? That God would inspire the psalmist to communicate his deep pain and sorrow, even as he cries out to Him. And the imagery is so powerful. Poetry.
- Deep calls to deep–pulling me down, down to the darkness. Like before creation, the chaos, the dark waters over the earth. Like the deathly flood. Like Jonah. Like Peter after he took his eyes off You.
- Roar of waterfalls–Loud, rushing sound. Powerful like Niagara, Snoqualmie Falls where I live, but more, great, deadly, thundering water roar.
- Breakers, waves have gone over me–Over and over. One crashes, then another, and another. When will they stop?
This verse frees me. I don’t have to pretend I’m okay. A fake smile is not what my Jesus wants. I’m not called to “buck up,” or “put on a brave face.” I can lay out all my sorrows, raw and real, before him. My tears don’t make him uncomfortable. My laments don’t weary him.
Yet, I left out a word, didn’t I?
- Your waterfalls. Your breakers. Your waves–This crisis doesn’t surprise you. It is from you.
That may seem harsh to some, but it’s a great comfort to me. All of this will work together for good because you have planned it–in your love. Nothing happens outside your love for me. Yes, these are your waterfalls, breakers, waves. Knowing that gives me courage to keep going.
And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. (Genesis 1:3)
On Easter Sunday, my pastor, Dan McManigal, preached, “After Darkness, Light,” about Mary Magdalene at the tomb (my favorite Easter story!). Almost in passing, he compared the resurrection to creation. Mary went to the tomb in the darkness. After the disciples left, she remained in the dark morning, weeping.
And then the “gardener” came.
But it wasn’t the kind of gardener she thought. It was Jesus! Risen, alive, and what did he say? “Mary.”
Jesus, you were with Mary in the shadowy garden as she wept. This comforts me–I’m not alone in the darkness. You are with me.
But the dismal gloom also didn’t last forever. Light came, just as it did in the very beginning. He said, “Let there be light” to the bleak pre-creation, and he will speak it into my darkness as well. I can trust that truth, even though the wait may be long. And meanwhile, he is with me, just like he was with Mary.
I hope these encouraged you as much as they did me. Please feel free to share verses that have been lifelines to you as well. I’d love to gather more.
Remember, he loves you like there’s no tomorrow.
Have you read the amazing story of how God brought me back to life after a cardiac arrest? The first three chapters are still free.