“In the middle of a storm, I am holding on to you…”
Those words from the song “I Am” keep resonating in my heart as I reflect back on the times I find myself returning to God. Lately I have been waking up in the middle of the night feeling a rush of urgency, like a sudden storm presenting the upheaval of its disturbance. It comes with accusations and judgments and a sense of guilt that feels overpowering. I feel trapped and caught in the darkness of my mind even as I attempt confession and prayer. When I don’t feel immediate results my mind wanders as I wonder if my prayers are working. Eventually I fall into a fitful sleep until it is time to get up with the residue of the storm still cluttering my thoughts.
“In the middle of the storm…” it is in the middle of the night when much truth gets lost for me.
“I am holding on to you…” is what has rescued me from the condemnation that has crept into my heart.
It is the truth in knowing that God loves me and holds the goodness of my heart close to His that quiets the storm. Sometimes during those nights I repeat the name of Jesus over and over again until I feel the soothing balm of his love overtake me. My mind returns to rest and there is no more condemnation. It is His name that brings light into the darkness. And in those moments I know I am holding onto Him and that I have returned to the goodness of His heart and my own.
Over the years I have experienced returning to God in ways that are totally unexpected at the time. For instance those years of struggling with eating disorders. I felt I was too messy to hold onto Him. I couldn’t imagine that He would want me. I had turned my back on Him and I was bent on self-indulgence. I wanted my own way and that isolated me from God. I was in the middle of a storm where I jeopardized my dreams, my relationships, my health and a clear conscience.
During those years I could not grasp fully the goodness of God’s heart for me much less the goodness of my own. He was gracious to me even though I held so much hatred for myself. I felt my heart was void of anything good. It was in this emptiness that I found myself returning to Him holding onto the name of Jesus for my life.
Actually, today is not so different from all those years ago. Some things just don’t change as I continue to return to Him. Each day brings on its own set of challenges that cause me to say, “Jesus…Jesus…” and trust that I have truth to offer. I’ll admit that there are times when my truth is scary and I wonder, “Could this really be from the goodness of my heart?” I’ve decided that it is because my truth is the reality I live with each moment of my life. Certainly I stumble along the way but I know the path that returns me to Him.
I don’t know what returning will look like for you, but my guess is that you, too, experience storms in your life. You do not have to gear-up to face those storms alone…Jesus will hold on to you. It is in the returning that you, too, will discover the goodness of God’s heart and the truth that you hold so close in your own good heart. I, simply, want to bless those times for you.
“I Am” David Crowder Band
Mary Jane Hamilton has grown to love her sense of style and her peaceful lake living. Mother of 2 and grandmother of 6, she has a wonderful capacity to love and is still active as The Tooth Fairy. She is extremely fond of her dachshunds, who rarely venture from her lap, and enjoys biking with her husband of 44 years. She is rekindling her writing skills and finding it life giving.