All My Hope And Stay

When all around my soul gives way,
He then is all my hope and stay.

--Edward Mote

I typed the above words yesterday and stopped, not returning to them again until this moment, more than 24 hours later.

Just before typing those words, I had been seated at my piano, singing them over and over again. As I sang them, my voice would tremble at the first part for at the moment it did seem as if everything around me had been giving way not just for days but for months and even years. Every step forward seemed to result in two or more steps backward and life seemed to be a continual crisis for either myself, my family and dear friends. Sometimes everyone seemed to be getting hit at the same time.

I tried to remember the promises of God but more and more often I would find myself crying out, "How long, Lord? How long?" This world is not our home but I longed to at least come to an oasis.

That was when I realized that though I longed for an oasis, that could not be my hope and stay. Christ is my hope and stay. I could not just say those words, I had to believe them and live them regardless of my circumstances.

While I was going through cancer treatment a few years ago, I recalled an incident that had happened a year or two earlier. I had just gone to bed one night when suddenly I felt like the room had tilted and I was rushing downwards and then up. I knew I must be dreaming or something for I was aware that I was safely in my bed and this couldn't really be happening but I still found myself trying to cling to the bed because all of my senses indicated otherwise. It seemed like I was adrift among monstrous waves that crashed around me, caught me up and hurled me forward. I strained to look beyond them but it was too dark to see anything. Despite telling myself that I had to be dreaming, I was still afraid.

Suddenly, though I saw no one, I knew that I was not alone on this "sea". Jesus was out there. If I could only catch a glimpse of Him, I knew everything would be all right. I strained my eyes but it was too dark. I had a sense that He was behind that wave over there and if I just waited a moment, I would see Him but another wave quickly followed obscuring my view. It was too dark, the wind was too loud, the waves were too high and I was too small. I was at the mercy of the water, the wind and the waves and my hope of rescue was waning rather quickly.

Finally I cried out, "I know you are out there but I can't see you!"

Then though the waves still crashed and the wind still screamed, I heard these words above the noise: "But I can see you."

Oh the peace that filled me at that moment! No, I could not see Jesus but He could see me and that was all that mattered. He could see me and therefore all was well.

No matter how fierce or long the storm in your life is at the moment, remember, Jesus is in the storm with you. While you might not see Him, He sees you and He is Lord over every storm.


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Joyce Bethy Ferguson @bethy ·

Last night at midweek we were talking about this very same thing, about how He is ever closer even when we are in the midst of a storm or a spiritual winter. Though we can't see or feel Him He is nevertheless there.

John Knox @watchmanjohn ·

Wonderful just wonderful is my saviours love for me - How can it be?