Swirling thoughts of uselessness, hopelessness, and despair encircle me to the point of near devastation and yet somehow I keep my head up or rather, I keep moving forward.
Recently, a friend of mine with a very similar personality to my own, texted something to me that made sense of my swirling thoughts and my seeming inability to formulate them in to words. I usually keep those kinds of words/texts and dwell on them for days, weeks, months, sometimes even years. However, I also occasionally tend to “clean out closets” in an attempt to not be a hoarder (even of words). And, unfortunately, this apparently is one of those times. Otherwise, I’d share with you the exact words this friend used.
As so many of my fellow Christians say, “I went to church on Sunday.” I’m trying to change my vocabulary and say, “I went to a worship service on Sunday.” I realize I’m being a bit “nit picky” and yet words and descriptions really do have an impact on how things are viewed. The discussion regarding how to define the word “church” is better saved for another time. My point to all of this is to tell of something I heard while at said aforementioned service that relates to my swirling thoughts and to what my friend said about me.
The pastor of this particular group of believers has been working through the book of Acts. This past Sunday, he indicated that he’s never heard chapter 27 preached quite like he had at the Calvary Chapel 2017 International Senior Pastors & Wives Conference. He shared the video of Damian Kyle teaching/preaching. The following is part of what struck me as significant.
Acts 27:20 says this in the second part of the verse,
…all hope that we should be saved was then taken away.
This comes after they faced Euroclydon in verse 14. Euroclydon is described as:
- a tempestuous head wind
- a wind of hurricane force
- a violent wind
- a wind of typhoon strength
- a gale-force wind
It was seen as an infamous northeastern storm, not unlike the winter storm that recently hit the northeastern part of the United States. Damian Kyle explained that he feels this particular story of a shipwreck was included to show us that even when all hope is lost, God is still there. He went on to share the famous Footprints in the Sand poem. I remember truly loving that poem as a child/adolescent and yet now I somehow feel as though it is over-used. But, my mind is wandering again. Back to what I considered ‘significant.’
I suppose one must realize that part of the significance comes from what the pastor did/said after the video of Damian Kyle was finished. The pastor asked for people around the room/auditorium/sanctuary to stand if they’d been through a Euroclydon-type storm and come out “victorious” on the other side. I remember feeling like I could perhaps half-way stand, and yet… I still so much feel like I’m in the middle of a Euroclydon because of my swirling thoughts that I’ve already mentioned… (numerous times, if you follow my blog at all). After he had people stand as a “testimony to God’s faithfulness,” he then asked for people to stand who felt as though they were in the midst of a Euroclydon. I stood, but then I immediately started crying and could not stay on my feet. My younger daughter was with me, and she held out her hand to mine. A man I’ve never seen before or since came and placed his hand on my shoulder or arm and asked if I was okay. I nodded my head amidst my sobs. (What else could I do or say?)
Why am I sharing this with any of you? I don’t know. I honestly don’t know except to say that somehow, not by my own choosing, God has given me a faith in Him that cannot be explained. It is this faith that keeps my head above the waters, or as I stated earlier, keeps me moving forward.