Will God Let You Down?
Have you experienced moments when you knew your life was miraculously spared? Have you also encountered heart wrenching seasons when you wondered why you received such a lavish miracle before, but now here you sit - with unanswered prayers and an achy heart? Is God good? Can he really be trusted?
The crash was so loud, I sat stunned for a split second, then I whipped around to get my eyes locked on our baby boy and my youngest sister. There they sat, startled awake from a nap, and covered in broken glass. I frantically searched them as blood was sprinkling around, not realizing it was my head it was seeping from. That day a trailer swung off a pickup truck and slammed into our small vehicle. It bent the side of our car between the two windows so deeply that it hit my head, yet I only needed a tiny bit of glue to heal it up. Had that trailer hit just one inch differently, and gone through the window, one of us would not be alive today.
While living in Costa Rica, our family (at that time, we had two little rowdy Redcay’s) experienced the rage of floodwaters. We were trapped on a road with rising waters, both behind and in front of us. The water rose higher and higher above our tires. I still can’t believe we didn’t flip over, as we watched waves of water around us. We trembled in awe as we later held our babies on dry ground.
“Be careful that you do not forget the Lord, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery.” This was Moses’ warning to the Israelites. Much later God led Joshua and 40,000 men across the Jordan river - they literally walked on dry ground.
God instructed them to take 12 stones and keep them from the river where they experienced yet another miracle. The Israelites built a memorial with these stones. Listen to Joshua’s incredible message to his people:
Joshua 4:21-24 “In the future when your descendants ask their fathers. ‘What do these stones mean?’ tell them, “Israel crossed the Jordan on dry ground. For the Lord your God dried up the Jordan before you until you had crossed over. The Lord your God did to the Jordan just what he had done to the Red Sea when he dried it up before us until we had crossed over. He did this so that all the peoples of the earth might know that the hand of the Lord is powerful and so that you might always fear the Lord your God.”
Why are memorials important? History reveals that we humans have a selfish habit of forgetting. We stand in awe of our rescue one minute and then as soon as we find ourselves in need of help again, we feel abandoned and quickly forget all that has been won.
Is God good? YES!
Will everything in your life be good? Nope!
There’s a popular worship song called, “King of my heart”. The lyrics are simple but powerful. They were written from a place of pain by Sarah McMillan and her husband. I read an online interview (on hallels.com) where Sarah said, “I wrote 'King of My Heart' to remind myself that there was no joy or sorrow that could dilute the pure goodness of who God was. Everything I thought I lost, could actually be found in the force of His goodness."
The chorus in the song repeatedly declares, “You are good, good, oh”. I’ve noticed in more than one church that when we sing a refrain in this song that says, “You’re never gonna let, never gonna let me down”, some people will just stop singing. Why? I think it’s because we’ve felt like God let us down.
Laying beside our memorials of past miracles are also the unanswered prayers that we wrestle with.
Friends here’s the truth, he never let go of you, he didn’t let you down. He remains good even when life around you isn’t. I think this is more than semantics of words...I believe it’s truth, that must take deep root within us.
God will not change our circumstances every single time, we cannot understand the fullness of his perspective. Why are some rescued while others suffer loss? The simple answer is that we live in a fallen world with sin and bad things do happen.
My family and I have volunteered in places that felt dark and hopeless. Where children sleep on dirt and beg for food. Where orphans are abused and neglected. We’ve personally experienced unexpected and devastating losses over the years, when a rescue could’ve happened, but it didn’t. This was not the way God created life on earth to be.
How can we sing with confidence that He’s good even when we feel like, he let us down?
We shift our perspective.
We choose to remember that he saved us from eternal death!
He’s given us the Holy Spirit to empower us and comfort us through both the mountaintop and valley experiences.
We might feel like he let us down - but he never left us.
There’s another beautiful line in this worship song, it goes, “When the night is holding on to me, God is holding on.” I just love that image of His embrace when darkness is all around. This is what I picture as I sing the song. I’m not declaring that I’ll never feel like he let me down. I’m declaring that even when I’m desperately trying to reconcile loss, he will never let go of me.
We have a job to do, and it’s not to point out the suffering in the world and blame it on lack of goodness from God!
We must rise up to our calling, to be a light in this dark world. To physically be the hands and feet of Jesus, to those who long to experience the embrace of His goodness.
The Bible teaches us to persevere here in these short moments on Earth, a day is coming for believers when we will enter eternity with God and there will be no pain or sorrow.
This is why memorials are so very important. They are not a declaration that the tough times are over and life will be easy now. They are a reminder that the same God who rescued us will never leave or forsake us, he’s all powerful and he’s not finished yet.
We will have seasons of suffering. When we do, we must turn our heads to the memorial we built and remember.
In our kitchen is a heart locket, inside are tiny broken pieces of glass from our wreck. Also in our daily sight is a stone. We collected it from the road after the flood waters dried. We’ll keep telling these stories to our boys over and over again. Their little hearts have experienced loss already...but we will remind them who God is and what he’s done.
The same good God who saved us, will hold us through disappointments.
We will choose to trust God, even when we suffer loss and our hearts ache. Why? Because there is a battle going on. And each day the war intensifies for the location of our soul’s eternity.
The devil wants nothing more than for us to doubt and lose our faith when we suffer. He knows the power we have access to when we release our pain, and like a lion, roar with confidence - that God is good!
I invite you to join me, together we can silence doubts, remember who God is and what he’s done. Let’s picture him embracing us tightly and then declare with confidence, “You’re never gonna let me down!”
Deuteronomy 31:8 “The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged."