On an unusually warm mid-February morning, I let the early Spring soak into me for awhile on a bluff overlooking the Rappahannock River in Virginia, thankful for some “D.C. detox” as I visited friends. When so much is going on in the outside world, it takes some time for the inside world to catch up. My soul craves the quiet places, where I can hear the breeze without the traffic rush mixed in; where the stars come out like old friends I haven’t seen in awhile, and the expansive views awaken the longing in my heart to explore the mystery of God, His love, and His plans for me. I always somehow expect to leave with an epiphany, but it’s rarely as obvious as that. It’s just the being that I usually remember, and in the end, what I long for. Being with Him.
But in that being is some space for contemplating. So here is one thought from the bluff: What if believers all make up a picture of God’s true character of goodness through our combined testimonies of His goodness from wherever we are?
In The Hiding Place, Corrie Ten Boom’s sister inspires her to share their story when she regains her freedom, and to tell the world that “There is no pit so deep that God is not deeper still.” This statement is backed with the experience of a pit much deeper than most of us have ever come close to. Yet her words give us courage. The sisters’ voices ring out from the concentration camp, “We can still see Him from here! And He is good!”
John and Donna Bishop were involved in a successful pastoral and youth camp ministry in the 90s until aseptic meningitis stripped John of everything from his memory to motor skills. His wife literally retaught him everything from reading to walking to marriage. Since then, he has lived in constant pain, and recently his eyesight has deteriorated until he is now considered legally blind. And yet he can’t say enough about how good God is. He and his wife’s voices ring out from pain and interrupted plans, “We can still see Him from here! And He is good!”
There are Christians persecuted around the world that I read about in Voice of the Martyrs. From prisons and funerals, from underground churches and secret baptisms, from hospitals and refugee camps, their voices ring out loud and strong: “We can still see Him from here! And He is good!”
As I look out across the shimmering waters filling the horizon, bordered by distant hills dotted with houses and docks, I ponder. From the depths to the heights, He is there. We cannot truly understand the mystery of another’s experience of Him from their perspective, but hearing their voices encourages us to look for Him from our plain or valley, sea or mountain peak.
We all have a different story, different perspectives from various seasons in our lives. I wonder, is there anyone who needs to hear my voice…or your voice? Maybe you haven’t seen the deepest pit nor the highest mountain. But from your bluff, maybe you look out over a modest river of lonely, disorienting, or dark days in your life, maybe even during your mission experience. Maybe you can already add your voice to the chorus of believers, or maybe you will one day, and others will hear you say: “I can still see Him from here! And He is good!”
May God keep our voices strong and true–from the heights to the depths, from now through eternity. May He grant us the mercies of listening to, learning from, and encouraging one another with our stories of His goodness.
“Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good! His faithful love endures forever.” – Psalm 136:1
Once or twice a month, we send out a short devotional to our volunteers. This was written by Andrea Keele, and was sent to our volunteers on March 15, 2017.