“Literally, none of your emails are finding me well.” I saw this on Twitter recently and had to laugh because it’s so true. All is not well with us, or in us, and all is not well in the whole world.
How long until all is well? Can we keep our heads above water for another day? Another month? What will become of us if another wave comes? Will we go under? Will our lives be shipwrecked; our futures dashed before we’re rescued?
Charles Spurgeon was a man well acquainted with the sinking dread that accompanies people who find themselves, hour by hour, struggling to live in the uncertain deep.
If you’ve not heard of Charles Spurgeon, please allow me to introduce you. Spurgeon was a British minister in the late 1800s who preached to over ten million(!) people in his lifetime. In addition to his indefatigable preaching, he also published thousands of sermons and established multiple orphanages across England for boys and girls.
But Charles also suffered from severe depression for much of his life, with frequent thoughts of suicide. He was a man well acquainted with the drowning nature of despair and knew full well what it meant for all things not to be well.
At age twenty-two, Spurgeon was a pastor of a large church and the father of a young family. One day as he preached to thousands in a large Music Hall, pranksters yelled “fire!” starting a mass panic for the exits. Seven people were killed; trampled to death, and twenty-eight were severely injured. Spurgeon’s mind was never the same again.
His wife later wrote, “My beloved’s anguish was so deep and violent, that reason seemed to totter in her throne, and we sometimes feared that he will never preach again.”
And yet, here is what Spurgeon said after many years of living, day by day, in the darkest waters of depression: “I have learned to kiss the wave that throws me against the Rock of Ages.”
The whole world is experiencing a wave of tsunami-like proportions. Suddenly we’ve found ourselves unmoored from the familiar, swept out to sea, and treading water for our lives. How did this happen so fast? Will things ever be the same again? When will dry land appear?
Like Noah, it seems that the entire world is watching from their portal windows, scanning the horizon. Will this be the day the dove returns? When can we come ashore and start rebuilding our lives? How much more water can we really take?
The people of God are not exempt from the waves of this world. We aren’t immune to all that threatens to break a body or spirit. But the people of God know that whatever causes us to cling to the Rock of Ages is for the well-being of their eternal souls. In whom will we trust in our deep?
Even today, as reason seems to totter in her throne, can we learn to welcome the waves that throw us against the Rock of Ages?
My prayer for you, and for all who find themselves unmoored, weary, and afraid in this time, is that you remember who holds you fast. Christ has secured your soul and you are anchored firmly to his resurrected life – sheltered in him – now and forever.
No depth; no storm; no shipwreck; no world-wide tsunami wave can ever separate you from the One who rescued you, keeps you, and even now is making all things well.
Shalom to you and yours,