My story is one of turbulent seas of trouble mitigated by the ever-present hand of the master mariner. Really!
He showed up when I was a child of four. To young to question, or dismiss he spoke; I listened, His question implied a response of obedience or independence – I obeyed. Then the real trouble started.
Trauma, abandonment, abuse, neglect, confusion, fear, doubt insecurity : all the common complications of life in a broken and dysfunctional family system. He of course, showed up just in time!
Through it all He walked by my side, guarding, entreating, counseling – Shepherding me into real life.
It is not easy, it is not necessarily fun, it can take all I have to trust, and when my trust fails and I lose it, he sits with me in my cesspools of denial, indulgence or despond. Yet unsullied by the degrading filth of my self indulgence, He waits. When I am ready to get up and move on, he helps wash me off, and we go on together again.
OK mixed metaphors but life ain’t so straight forward now is it?
The point is it’s just the way real life really is. We do not walk alone through our trouble. In fact one fellow sojourner on the path to true life, said to me once ” you only get the trouble you need!” In trouble we learn to hear and respond to the helpers.
As King David of ancient Israel said ” though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil, your hand guides me…”
Any one who has been to the city of David ( or understands the history and geography of the place) knows he was not talking about his death, simply going out his back door, down the way, through the gangs of thugs living in “The Valley of the Shadow of Death”, past the brothels and altars of foreign gods-false gods; to get his morning coffee.
Abraham Heschel writes ” There are no proofs of God only witnesses” -I am one.