The story behind this poem
I wrote this poem during a period of intense grief and loneliness, in my mid-twenties.
You know the type of crying you do when you’re completely dejected? Curled up in the foetal position on your bed, with the covers pulled up over your head, just trying to get some relief from all the pain. Hannah knew that feeling (1 Samuel 1:12-14, 15). Jesus knew that feeling too… (Mark 14:32-34, 35-36)
To me, it felt a bit like being dumped by a huge wave – except the waves in my life at that time just kept coming and coming, with no relief in between.
It really did feel like I was drowning, emotionally…
I felt like I just couldn’t quite plant my feet on the ground before the next pounding wave threw me into a somersaulting, spluttering, tumbling ball again.
The salty tears in my eyes; the breathlessness of my deep, wrenching sobs; the thumping of my heart as I tried to contain my weeping; the panic gripping my lungs.
It was truly awful.
Jesus, our Rock
Even now, twelve years later, I remember the pain. But what remains now is a sense of calm, deep in my spirit, when I think back to that time – a time when God showed me that he was strong and trustworthy (unlike the people who had hurt me).
I’m reminded of Jesus’ teaching about the Wise and Foolish Builders:
Everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. (Matt 7:24-25 – NIV)
Jesus never promised that life would be trouble-free. What he did promise was his peace – a supernatural, unique kind of peace. (John 14:27, Phil 4:6-7) And he has promised one day to wipe away every tear from our eyes. (Rev 21:3-4)
I don’t know why God allows some things to happen… We might never know the reason why particular hardships and tragedies occur…
But it’s a comfort knowing that our lives are firmly built on the solid rock of Jesus, who has “overcome the world” (John 16:33).
Thank you, Jesus, for giving us a firm and trustworthy foundation to build our lives on. Please help us to be like the wise builder, who built his house on the rock. Please fill us with your peace as we share our grief and anguish with you. Amen