To what will you look for help, if you will not look to that which is stronger than yourself? ~ C.S. Lewis; Mere Christianity
A few days ago, while at the kid’s grandparent’s house here in Hawaii, June (or “Tutu”, which is Hawaiian for Grandma) gave me a box of books that I had left at their house years and years ago, because I couldn’t fit them all into my suitcase when I was returning home.
It was like greeting old, familiar friends. Keller. Yancey. Lewis. Others.
These are books I clung too with a death grip, during a time in which I was not strong. A time during which my world had been shattered, seemingly beyond repair. Their pages are full of sand, and tear smudges, as I would sit day after day on the beach, reading them in an attempt to shore up my crumbling wall of belief that had just so recently been built, and now was being tested.
We packed up most of them and shipped them home yesterday, but I held on to one book to keep here and read during our final days on this island. It is a compilation of key writings by C.S. Lewis, who I often refer to as my “Uncle”.
Yesterday, I reached the above quote from him, and it gripped my soul once again.
By nature, I am fiercely independent. To the point that it is a source of pride—it is very easy for me to be sinfully proud of how independent and strong I am. The thought of needing help rankles me, even if that help comes from God.
But there have—and are–times in life when I find myself having to preach the words of Psalm 121 to my soul over and over and over again, until they sink down deep and I begin to grasp the truth of the words:
I lift up my eyes to the hills.
From where does my help come?
2 My help comes from the Lord,
who made heaven and earth.
3 He will not let your foot be moved;
he who keeps you will not slumber.
4 Behold, he who keeps Israel
will neither slumber nor sleep.
5 The Lord is your keeper;
the Lord is your shade on your right hand.
6 The sun shall not strike you by day,
nor the moon by night.
7 The Lord will keep you from all evil;
he will keep your life.
8 The Lord will keep
your going out and your coming in
from this time forth and forevermore. (Psalm 121)
My help comes from the Lord.
Not from my stubborn, sinfully prideful independent self.
It comes from the one who made heaven and earth.
Oh, my soul.
Sitting on the beaches of Hawaii, this truth hits me more deeply than anywhere else on earth. It was on these same beaches 10-11 years ago, when I first came to realize that God was real…and, that this creator God who made the vast ocean with the crashing waves that stretched as far as my eyes could see–the mighty one who was, and is, still creating earth through the erupting volcano on this island that I was standing on—this very same God….
…..knew my name.
That thought is overwhelming.
So when I read the words of C.S. Lewis, on looking to something stronger than myself (and yourself!) for help–while it goes against my very nature of independence—how could it not be truth? Many have said to me, “You are so strong.” But in reality, I am so weak. So tired. My strength to stand comes only from the only one stronger than I—my Lord and my God.
This morning, in just a couple of hours, I will have the gift of singing with my girl, at church here on the islands. We will be singing “It is Well”, as arranged by Bethel music. Last Sunday, we had the honor of singing it for our former church on Oahu. They stood by us through the tough days following my ex-husband’s arrest–as did our current church of Seaford Baptist, and so many others. It was so good to sing for them last week, to show them that, indeed, our souls are well. To thank them, for their love.
This morning, we will sing it one last time, as we sing it in worship with the kid’s grandparent’s church. The unique thing about this church is that it meets in an open-air pavilion, high up on the hillside, overlooking the vast ocean—the very same ocean that God used to teach me the very realness of Himself, so many years ago.
A couple of days ago, we circled the island and stopped at one of the most beautiful places on this island which is saturated with beautiful places….Lapohoehoe Point.
The wind was fierce; the waves even fiercer. I captured the moment, in the video below.
As I stood there, mesmerized by the waves, the wind and the water was so loud that I could hear nothing but its howling and the waves crashing. And it brought to mind these words, from the song we will sing this morning:
Grander earth has quaked before
Moved by the sound of His voice
Seas that are shaken and stirred
Can be calmed and broken for my regard
So let go my soul and trust in Him
The waves and wind still know His name
He is my help. My source of strength. He will keep me.
Let go, my soul.
Trust in Him.
He is the only reason these words are truth:
The waves and wind still know His name.
And, He knows mine.
It is well, with my soul.