Summer – hot humid days that break up in the hours before dusk and dissolve into wild thunder storms. Then in that last hours of sunset a rainbow will stretch itself across the sky, arms flung wide to the horizon. A promise from God that He would never again destroy the earth. But it’s not the only promise. Scattered throughout Scripture are many other promises that God has given to us.
I asked my husband which of God’s promises meant the most to him. He laughed and said, “That’s easy – the big one! The one about spending all eternity with Him.”
“Sure”, I thought, “the easy answer”. I pressed him to think of the here and now things that God also promised. “Which of those promises helps you today?”
He thought for a moment and answered, “I guess the one about how He will continue a good work in me and carry it on to completion (Philippian 1:6). I need a lot of work”, he half-joked. I like that one too. God promises to continue to shape us. He will not give up on us. Not when we are too stubborn to know better. Not even when we are rebellious. I know this one first hand.
Fair is fair and now it was my turn. I really didn’t even think about it – the one where He promised to never leave me (Matthew 28:20). I need that promise. Even though I like to be alone, I don’t like to be lonely. I want to know that I can count on Him. I need to know that in the midst of depression or anger or selfishness, He will still be there. In Sunday School classes we teach little kids that Jesus is our “forever friend” and that’s what I want.
I need to know that even when the darkness of my own thoughts threatens to overwhelm me, God still offers me the shelter of His wing. Even when I have convinced myself that no one could possibly understand my pain, God holds me close and whispers in my ear. Even when I refuse to listen to His voice, He waits for me to realize that alone need not be lonely and forever friends are for real.
That’s a promise.