Nevertheless, God.

"I dance for the joy of surviving on the edge of the road." - Stanley Kunitz

The story of the boys' soccer team trapped in a flooded cave system in Thailand has dominated the top of every news story this week. 

The twelve boys and their coach have been trapped since June 23.  Eight of the twelve boys have been extricated from the cave as of this morning, but continued rains and difficult conditions are threatening the rescue operation. 

Like most of the millions of people who are following this story, I keep waiting for the news to finally come that they have all been rescued and that the nightmare for the waiting parents and families will finally come to an end. 

We all want this story to end well.  We long for happy endings.  We want to believe that if it were our loved ones trapped in those caves that there would be a way out for them.  And so we hold out hope. 

Not all of our stories end well, though.  Sometimes the flood waters rising around us, are too overwhelming, and they wash away our hope.  Sometimes the ending we long for isn't the ending we get. 

This morning I read Psalm 11:3, which asks a poignant question--the kind of question that so many of us ask when our outcomes aren't as we'd hoped. 
When the foundations are being destroyed, what can the righteous do? - Psalm 11:3
What do we do when everything is falling apart?  How do we maintain our faith when our hopes are dashed?  When the foundations are being destroyed, what do we do? 

There's no deep theological answer in the following verse in Psalm 11.  Only this: 
The Lord is in his holy temple; the Lord is on his heavenly throne. He observes everyone on earth; his eyes examine them.
In the often troubling and mysterious answers of the ancient Hebrew poets, the psalmist here chooses to answer his own question by basically saying, "Nevertheless... God."  

As we reflect on the response of the psalmist, we can find comfort in his uncomfortable words.  

When there are no easy answers to the problems of our pain, we can hold on (no matter how tentatively) to the knowledge that God is with us in those broken moments.  God identifies with our suffering, intimately feels our pain.  

And when the foundations are being destroyed... when the floodwaters are rising... when our hopes are dashed... Nevertheless, God.  Nevertheless, God.  

Cling to this knowledge.  Hold on to it when all seems lost.  God is with you no matter what. 

May the grace and peace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you now and always. Amen.  


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