This past summer I had the rare treat of going water-skiing. And by rare, I mean that it’s been over 15 years since I last stood up on skis.
As I bobbed in the water before the boat took off, I called out to my husband, “If I actually manage to stand up, you better get this on video, because it might be the last time!”
By some miracle, as the motor revved and the boat sped up, the tautness of the rope lifted me right up and out of the water until I was skimming across the top, knees slightly bent, elbows fully extended.
To say it was exhilarating would be a gross understatement.
The sheer rush of bouncing over the wake was enough to plaster a permanent grin across my giddy face. Nevermind the fact that the boat was going so fast, I wouldn’t have been able to close my lips if I’d tried . . .
All of my energy was spent gripping the handle on the rope and keeping my legs as steady as humanly possible. I had little concentration left to think about anything else, besides what it would take to remain in an upright position.
Then all of a sudden, I looked up long enough to see the sun break through the gray layer of clouds. Bright rays shone all the way down until the water sparkled in brilliant radiance.
And I know it sounds strange, but in that moment, I had an overwhelming sense of the Lord’s favor.
It was as if that stream of light from heaven was God showing me His goodness.
And even as the boat rushed forward and muscles I never knew I had were pulled tight in an effort to stay standing, I had a flashback to three summers ago.
The darkest summer I’ve ever known.
The summer my mom stopped chemo treatments, moved into Hospice, and said a final goodbye to my family before we moved back to Africa.
The sun shone that summer, too. When it did, I felt like it was mocking me – taunting me with its brightness. Rubbing in the fact that life goes on even when it doesn’t.
I was too consumed by the dark hole of grief to appreciate the warmth of the light.
I even resented the light for not being swallowed up by the same sorrow that had sucked me down into the depths of despair.
And now three years have passed, and while the sting of that season is just as raw, I’m starting to remember to look up.
To notice the light and to be grateful for it.
To see it as a sign of the Lord’s favor.
To realize that He’s the One that has pulled me up and out of the murky lake of anguish and placed me on a sparkling surface of grace.
Sometimes I can be so focused on keeping my head above water that I forget to look up. I fail to see His goodness when my sight is trained on the choppiness of the water.
The rays of sunshine reflecting on the lake that day were a reminder to me. A reminder that even on days when the clouds threaten storms and thunder rumbles overhead, the light is still there. I just don’t see it. And while it might not come right away, the sun will break through and rays of favor will shine down – in rough waters and smooth.
Thank you for this beautiful post. Oh, I need this reminder right now!
I’m so glad! Thank you for reading and taking the time to comment! Blessings to you.
Lisa Blake says
Kate, thank you! I can relate so deeply to what you have shared. Two summers ago, my 5 year old daughter was diagnosed with a malignant brain tumour. The subsequent surgeries and days of treatment were so dark, and yes – those summer days and people laughing all around were mocking me as my baby girl danced with death. It has taken this long for the Lord to lift me out of the mire and I take each day as it comes, looking for the light in all the moments. I never know what tomorrow will bring and I don’t take my life for granted – everything has been turned upside down and there’s no going back to before cancer. That said, the Lord is so good and He does walk us through every moment and renew our strength and spirit. Thanks for sharing.
Oh, Lisa, I am so very, very sorry. We have dear friends in a similar situation. Their six-year-old son is having his final week of radiation this week, for a malignant brain tumor as well. So grateful for your testimony of sufficient grace and the Lord’s power made perfect in weakness. May He continue to grant you new mercies each morning. Strength to you, sister.
Lisa Blake says
Thank you Kate. So sad to hear of your friend’s son. I will lift the whole family in prayer, trusting and believing in the Lord’s sovereign power and grace to restore and heal and bring great strength and comfort to them.
Thank you for sharing…it is so hard to LOOK UP in the hard times; during the storms of life. I have been there – I have “done” that…and when I did look up, I also discovered that He was there for me in those times of grief or loneliness or sickness or whatever crisis I may be going through. He IS and WAS and always will be there!! Thank you for reminding me of that!
Joanne Peterson says
Thank you for this reminder. We have had a very long stretch of hard times. But, when looking up, I have seen God in little things, and big things, scripture, etc. But, when going through the dark days, sometimes the black can seem overwhelming. I do have to remind myself that His Presence is always with me, and it isn’t always me moving away, it is just my awareness of Him needs a nudge.
So well said, Kate. I need to remember to look up!! Thanks for the reminder
Kimberly Thompson says
Coming out the other side of a long 3 years it is hard to remember at times that though the pain is still there, He redeems. In His own time and His own way.
Brenda Lea says
As I read this, my eyes filled with tears. I could so relate to your article. I lost my dad last year on Christmas night. He had been ill and had come home to die just four days before Christmas. There is an emptiness that I feel will never go away. I need to remember to look up.
Leanna Williams says
Thank you for this beautiful reminder. I love how not only does God show us His favor, He lets us know He is doing it. I walked through a very dark valley in my life and I felt so alone….I cried out to God…”where are you God?” I looked around….I needed a rescue….and all I heard was silence. Years later, God reminded me that He had heard me and had rescued me. When I cried out, I didn’t even think God heard me. But He did and He rescued me!
Thank you for sharing this beautiful illustration of God’s faithfulness! I so needed to hear this today!
I was reading today about Mother Teresa and her decades of depression, which no one that saw her love for God and people ever suspected she struggled with. An Archbishop responded to one of her letters, in which she shared about her struggles, that God allows His children sometimes to have these times to help us rely on only Him.
God is good!!!
Katharine Everson says
To say that’s a fantastic story is an understatement. It is always SO encouraging to hear what God is doing in others’ lives. His timing is perfect, isn’t it? And how he can “download” so much into our hearts in just an instant. Always amazing.
Beth Williams says
I just love this paragraph: “A reminder that even on days when the clouds threaten storms and thunder rumbles overhead, the light is still there. I just don’t see it. And while it might not come right away, the sun will break through and rays of favor will shine down – in rough waters and smooth.”
We all need reminders that the sun will eventually shine through our dark days and there is hope on the other side. This year has been super rough for me dealing with many issues. My aging father moved into assisted living, had medication issues and balance issues that landed him in hospital 2 times. During that time I worked a stressful job that I don’t like, also my hubby almost lost his job. What a year. Now we are trying to fix my dad’s dementia. It can be so very hard to see the sun through all those cloudy days!
Thank you for a wonderfully written post!
First of all, so sorry for the loss of your mother. I understand. No matter how old you are or how long it’s been…it’s so hard.
I love your analogy with the light, and I feel the same way. I tell this to my kids…that the sun is always there…it’s just that sometimes there are things in the way. And that God is faithful, even when we don’t understand.
Thank you for sharing your heart. This is a beautiful post.
Wow, I was so touched by this.
When my fiancé broke off the engagement and started dating other women shortly afterwards, I felt crushed. I was in so much pain and confusion and anger and grief.
I felt as though I had lost a spouse. The dream and hope for a future wih someone had died.
But thank you for reminding me to look up. To look up to the One that holds my heart and will never let it go.
There was never a moment God (my bridegroom King) didn’t want me. Didn’t fight for me. and didn’t pursue me.