I’ve done a lot of leaning these past couple of weeks.
Leaning over from the storms of life that batter and bruise and knock one over when the gusts and tornados pound constantly. Where you do your best to try to shelter, but nothing works. Where you put your hands up against the battering rain, but the winds are so strong they pound at your very being.
Those beyond-tough-times…the unwelcome news, the frailty of another, the unexpected turn of events, the expectations too overwhelming. Storms. Storms that swirl and turn and keep growing larger against every attempt to make them stop. But they won’t.
And we get more and more battered and bruised. We bend from the pounding. We can no longer stand upright—it’s just too hard. It’s just too overwhelming. We lean downwards, because we have little strength to look upwards.
It’s been those kinds of weeks.
I would be foolish to think I am the only one. There are some of you in those battering storms right this minute. Your “weeks” are right now. You’re in the middle of storms that are tossing you like a pebble in a hurricane. And you’re doing your best to just stay one centimeter above the fray. I know. I know.
Sometimes, the weeks are actually years. Sometimes the storms that you barely make it out of, come back around and batter relentlessly again. One storm may subside, but another rises up. And you find yourself in the swirl that you thought was gone for a long, long time, but it hardly went away. I know. I know.
Dearest one, the grief you are feeling, the uncertainty you are facing, the sorrow you are navigating, the difficulty you are carrying, it will bend you and lean you downward as if there is no other way. You’re feeling it; you know it. But hear me dear one, you will not break! You will not break! God will not let you break!
“A bruised reed he will not break, and a smoldering wick he will not snuff out. In faithfulness he will bring forth justice.” Isaiah 42:3 NIV
I have held on to this verse for many, many, many days now. I am bruised, and battered, and leaning over like the reeds of the valleys, but I know God will not let me break. He won’t. His promises are true. It is these words, and so many more, that I find myself leaning back into. I am bent from the storms, but I choose to lean also into the refuge of that storm…
“But the LORD has become my fortress, and my God the rock in whom I take refuge.” Psalm 94:22
We have refuge. We have help between the tears and the heartache. Sometimes, that is all that we can cling to. It is the one and only thing that stands firm and solid, while everything around us breaks and moves; it is the anchored pillar in the midst of sinking sand.
We may not have control over the leaning from the storms, but we do have control over leaning into the One who gives refuge in those storms. When your storm has caused a battered bending, let faith cause an assured holding.
Precious friend, it is my heart for you to know that the shattered peacefulness around you, need not break you. It feels like it in so many ways, in so many circumstances—I’m right there with you—but the brokenness will not bind you, because the love of Jesus will release you. Cling to that. Know that. Trust that. Lean into that.
…A bruised reed, He will not break