Monday, June 17, 2013

But in THAT Moment...

                             Daryl fell from a cliff and plummeted to his death
                                                                                                     ... IN MY MIND!

It began as we went on a hiking excursion with some good friends. We visited a spot along the Boulder River called the Natural Bridge. This time of year, the water was forcefully churning at the base of the cliffs.  As we shimmied through a crevasse in the rock, the ground gave way from under Phil's feet.  Oh, the terror in his eyes!  He had his small son, Sam, in a backpack as he started sliding and I knew Daryl was right below him, out of view.  A couple of kids screamed, but what haunts me the most was the curdle in Phil's voice. I can still hear it...

Because I'm a "move-to-action-person" when scared, I booked it back up the rocks to find the next closest venue to get down to the bottom of the cliff.  Certain there was a chance I'd find Daryl crushed under that landslide of rocks I'd just heard cascade down the hillside or see him drowning in the thunderous waters below, I ran.  I prayed.  I cried.  I trusted...with every ounce my soul could muster. 

All this happened within a few short minutes, yet to me it felt like life was moving  in          s  l  o  w     m  o  t  i  o  n.

How is this part of my story about grace and peace?  Well, in that moment, they both showed up.  Grace.  Peace.  As I approached the area below, I quoted every bible verse I could remember about trusting God to be my shelter, my comfort, my Rock. Saying these things aloud had nothing to do with showing off my bible memorization skills or trying to impress those around me with a stellar response in the face of adversity.  Raw fear pumped through my veins and God's truths were all I had!  Not knowing what I'd find at the bottom, I knew I needed to rely on God's strength to handle it because I could feel the panic, the terror, beating on my chest and yelling in my ears.  "This is it!  Your worst fear!  Watching someone you love die right in front of you!"

I remembered something else in that moment. I needed to speak truth right out loud so I coul hear it.  Drown out lies and fear with the very name of Jesus!  Just the sound of His name had never been sweeter than in that moment. "Jesus!" I called.  He answered.  It started as He wrapped peace around my shoulders like a shawl so that I could breath, for I felt as though I would faint before I ever got to the bottom.  He strengthened my legs, assuring me that I could bear whatever condition I found Daryl in because I understood He would walk through it with me...I wasn't alone.  He poured out his grace in divine doses because there is no way I could have trusted Him in my own power... and yet I was trusting Him with all my heart, with every step I took.   When God promised that he'd deliver peace beyond understanding, he meant it!  No matter what things looked like at the bottom of this cliff, God would be there with me!  "Even if the worst has happened, Jesus, I still trust you.  You are good, all the time."  I needed to say this out loud.  That moment of surrender was one of the toughest in my life.

"Thank you, Jesus!  Oh, thank you!" was all I could think when I saw Daryl and Phil walking around.  Both the guys were scraped up and a bit bloody, dusty, but they looked TERRIFIC!  The baby backpack showed the scars of what happened, and little Sam didn't have a scratch on him...just dirt.

To me, the beauty of this moment wasn't only that everyone was alright, but that God had used this moment in time to show me His presence in the midst of it all.  I don't think it can get much more frightening than thinking your husband just fell off a cliff!

I'm not sharing this story to say God is good because he saved.  He's just...good.  Regardless of the outcome that day, He was good. His grace and peace didn't arrive AFTER I saw all was well.  His grace appeared when I thought Daryl could be lying at the bottom, dead.  His peace showed up when fear wanted to consume me.  I was so weak, but in that moment, I realized how strong my God really was!

Hardship. Death. Pain.  These things will all appear sometime in our lives.  If we believe God is only good when things go our way, then our faith is in our circumstances, not in Him.

When we got back to our campsite that afternoon, I needed some time alone to think, to feel.  I cried for a long time... Relief washed over me.  Thankfulness.  Joy.  A new found Peace and Trust.  Though my God has the power to move mountains, the power he has to deliver my heart from fear in the midst of tragedy is even more amazing!

The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.
     He makes me lie down in green pastures.
He leads me beside still waters.
     He restores my soul.
He leads me in paths of righteousness
    for his name's sake.
 Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
    I will fear no evil,
for you are with me;

    your rod and your staff,
    they comfort me.
Steve and Karren
There is more to the story than just what I wrote, but this was what God was doing in my heart in that moment.  We are going camping this weekend with these friends.  I'm hoping it'll be VERY uneventful!

Workin' our way down




  1. OH, my dear friend! I am crying just reading this! I cannot imagine your terror, but I do know that grace and peace you speak of. God IS good! Even when the outcome isn't always what we want it to be, even when that call comes and the bottom falls out of our world, I can say that God IS good. His srength, His peace,His assurance, His presence, His grace...They are ever present.
    I am rejoicing that your outcome was life!!!!

    1. Amen!!! It's so difficult to put into words how powerful God's presence is. But I'm learning that his peace is always there. I just need to rest in his promise...easier said than done! How sweet to rejoice when the outcome is LIFE though. I like how you said that.

  2. My husband and I were just talking on the phone at lunchtime about those moments when you have such an incredibly close call with a horrific accident... those times when you feel the brush of guardian angel's wings sent from on high, and Jesus' presence right beside you. And when that terror has passed, the only words out of your heart and mouth are, "Thank You, Lord!!" Because for whatever God's reasons are, the outcome was not what it so very easily could have been. And we agreed, it's so amazing to know that He is good and He has it all under control - whether we see the "why" or not. Gratitude!!