Friday, August 30, 2013

High & Dry

This photo was taken in Wales during a trip we took there way back in 1997.  I snapped this shot from the window of Chepstow Castle (ca 1067) which sits high on a narrow limestone ridge above the River Wye.  What fascinated me was the major low tide they experience along that river.  The tidal range there is around 48 feet, perhaps the second largest in the world.  I just thought it was so weird seeing these boats hanging in the mud from their moorings -- high and dry.
 Have you ever felt like you've been left hanging high and dry?  I think we've all experienced that feeling sometime in our lives.  It's not a happy situation.  I'm sure if those boats in the photo could talk they'd probably be asking why they weren't happily floating in the river rather than hanging precariously with their hulls dragging in the mud.  Nobody likes to be left hanging.
There are times when we may feel as if God has left us hanging - high and dry.  David wrote in the Psalms:  "....Do not be silent to me, lest, if You are silent to me, I become like those who go down to the pit.  Hear the voice of my supplications when I cry to You..." 28:1-2.  Then, in Psalm 22, he becomes even more plaintive in his distress:  "My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?  Why are you so far from helping Me, and from the words of My groaning?"
No doubt, we've all had times when we've felt like God wasn't there or wasn't listening to our cry.  We've felt kind of like these boats, left hanging in the mud.  The thing we need to remind ourselves of at such times is that He is still there and He still hears.  For one reason or another, we just can't feel it at that moment. 
There's a song by Barlow Girls called, "Never Alone," and it captures this whole feeling.  The chorus goes: 
 I cried out with no reply
And I can't feel You by my side
So I'll hold tight to what I know
You're here and I"m never alone
Let's listen again to David's words as his feelings turn around and he is lifted out of the mud by God:  "I waited patiently for the Lord; and He inclined to me, and heard my cry.  He also brought me up out of a horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock, and established my steps.  He has put a new song in my mouth - praise to our God; many will see it and fear, and will trust in the Lord.  Blessed is that man who makes the Lord his trust..." 40:1-4.
This then is the truth we hold onto -- the one I wrote about earlier in the week -- God never leaves us alone.  Even when we can't feel His hand holding ours -- it's still there, just perhaps a bit more "invisible" than usual.  Re-read Psalm 23 and always remember the phrase in verse 4:  "...For You are with me..."

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