Tuesday 11th May 2010
I went for a run this morning – to Blue Bend Beach (in East London), and felt so liberated. At one point – running up the hill – I was going against the wind, and it was strong and I felt like giving up, but I didn’t. In my mind I think it is so much like our lives. Life can bring such difficulty our way, and hard times are inevitable, but God knows how much we can handle and he knows our capacity. I am deeply comforted by the fact that he will never give us more than we can handle… even though we may think differently when we are in the midst of it.
There have been moments in my life when I have questioned God. I can tell you, in all honesty, that three weeks ago, on a rainy Sunday night, after church, I drove to this high point in Joburg – overlooking the city. It was very misty and not entirely safe but I was desperate. I parked my car, stood on this wall and literally screamed out to God.
I shouted and asked him all the questions I felt were threatening to consume me.
I tried bargaining with him. I tried threatening him.
I tried shouting till my throat and lungs were sore.
Nothing seemed to work.
So I stood there, with my hands in my jeans pockets, my grey hoodie pulled down over my face and glared out onto the beautiful city lights whilst a gentle rain poured down. I was angry. I was frustrated. And now, to top it all off, my best friend, my mighty Saviour was not answering me…
And then, as if wanting to surprise me, I felt his presence.
I heard him whisper into the depths of my heart.
So soft. So soothing. So stunning.
He took my breath away.
And I just stood.
Like a toddler who had just been disciplined for the first time, I felt the ache of a rebuke, yet the overwhelming, unconditional, understanding, joyous love of Jesus Christ flood over my heart and soul.
I stood there for what seemed like forever, wanting to soak in his presence.
And then I quietly walked back to my car, got in, and drove away.
I didn’t have any clear cut directions.
I didn’t have any neatly packaged answers.
But I had his presence.
And in that moment, at that time, on that night…
1 Kings 19: 11 – 12
“The Lord said, ‘Go out and stand on the mountain in the presence of the Lord, for the Lord is about to pass by.’ Then a great and powerful wind tore the mountains apart and shattered the rocks before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake. After the earthquake came a fire, but he Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire came a gentle whisper. When Elijah heard it, he pulled his cloak over his face and went out and stood at the mouth of the cave…”