As a deer pants for flowing streams,
so pants my soul for you, O God.
My soul thirsts for God,
for the living God
This time of year, I love to go hiking at Pere Marquette. The crispness of the air, the colors of the leaves…it’s good for the soul. But when it’s cooler outside, sometimes I forget to drink enough water. I’ll go for a few miles, and I’ll find myself losing steam, not realizing I haven’t taken a swig for a while. When I stop to drink, and I feel the cool water flow down my throat into my stomach, I realize how thirsty I truly was.
The last few weeks have been terribly painful for many in our church family. Agonizing heartbreak over death and loss, broken relationships with family and friends, financial struggles, unexpected illness…they say when it rains, it pours, and lately, it’s been torrential.
Something else has happened in the midst of this downpour, though…something extraordinary.
In the midst of suffering, God has quenched thirsty souls longing for His presence, mine included. God has mobilized His people. He’s made Himself known. He’s made Himself felt. In the midst of tragedy and feelings of helplessness, He has made Himself at home, weeping with us as we weep, and offering hope. He has proved – yet, again – that the Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not and will never overcome it.
I’ve seen His light in the faces of 8th graders as they’ve comforted their grieving classmates while they are grieving as well. I’ve seen His light in acts of kindness – large and small – each day among strangers trying to help in any way they can. I’ve seen His light in you, Bridge family.
Goodness, you have risen to the moment. You have responded to heartbreak by gathering to pray – with tear-stained faces and full-throated requests for healing. You have responded to desperation by singing songs of praise to a Father we trust, even in our confusion. You have responded to practical needs by making meals and giving sacrificially. You have met people in their pain and willingly entered into their sorrow. You have pointed to the only One who can save. You have been the CHURCH.
And I am thanking God for you today.