by Lexiann Grant
“I sink in deep mire, rescue me from sinking in the mire; Do not let…the deep swallow me up. Draw near to me … Where can I go from your spirit?
…if I make my bed in Sheol, you are there.” Ps 69:2a, 14a, 15b, 18a; Ps 139:7a, 8b NRSV
We are in pain.
Sorrowing, grieving. Furious, frustrated. Afraid.
Filled with angst.
In a world gone mad, more out of control than what most of us have previously experienced, we ask: where is God as we destroy ourselves, as creation is in chaos?
When so much un-rightness crushes us into the mud, when we sink into the depths of despair, when the heavy cloak of depression drags us downward, surprisingly God is there too. Beside each one of us, even as we feel we may never be released from the muck, Christ who has known the deepest darkness, also awaits us at rock bottom.
God is not only the high, ultimate Light to whom we strive to rise while struggling to transcend the world and the worst side of human nature. Rather, God is the bedrock upon which all settles, the foundation that even holds the mud and all of us who are mired there.
Christ is the life preserver in the dregs of this world, transmitting the light of his caring through this present darkness. Reach through the sludge for Him. Let the Holy Spirit lighten your load and shine light through you on others who are also enmired.
Nothing lasts forever except God. Be at peace, rest on the bottom. He is there. We will arise in His time.
“Fear not I am with thee; O be not dismayed!
For I am thy God and will still give thee aid;
I’ll strengthen thee, help thee and cause thee to stand,
upheld by my righteous, omnipotent hand.
“When through the deep waters I call thee to go,
the rivers of woe shall not thee over-flow;
for I will be with thee, they troubles to bless,
and sanctify to thee thy deepest distress.”
The Hymnal 1982,” How Firm a Foundation” verses 2&3
K. in John Rippon’s Selection of Hymns, 1787
Lexiann Grant is a retired writer & author, a former chalicer and layreader, but still an Episcopalian who enjoys encountering God in the mountain backcountry.