This has been a favourite text of mine for many, many years. I have gone back to it often in good times and bad, but I had never leaned on it so heavily as I did the September my son died suddenly and unexpectedly at the age of 46. My world turned upside down in a minute, never to be the same again. This verse helped to steady me and to remind me of who our God is.
Difficult times come to everyone sooner or later, times in which darkness and unspeakable pain haunt every moment, times in which it can often be hard to believe God is anywhere in the province, much less actually present within us.
At such times, it is so much better to know God’s presence than it is to wait for the feeling to come. To be able to read these words of promise “God is gracious and merciful?abounding in steadfast love” and know that it is true is more than enough to give us safety, comfort and rest in God’s arms, a blessing beyond compare.
God of mercy, forgiveness and steadfast love, we believe you fill us and surround us with your healing presence; help us even in our unbelief. Amen. — SB