“When the storms of life are raging all around, I know to put my trust in Christ!”

I am not often so completely overwhelmed by the presence of God as I was this last week in service at New Hope Oahu, while my wife lay in the nearby hospital connected to more tubes, monitors, and wires than I could count.

On Tuesday night we had talked casually about needing to eventually pack a bag for when the baby arrived in October.  Wednesday morning we found ourselves on a medevac flight to Oahu, as she went into preterm labor at 29 weeks.  The team of specialists were able to stop the contractions and calm my wife’s body down, but the list of unpronounceable complications they named mean that she will have to remain on Oahu until the baby arrives—hopefully another 7 weeks from now.

Here is a portion of my journal this week, from Habakkuk 3:17-19:

Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls,  yet I will rejoice in the Lord , I will be joyful in God my Savior.  The Sovereign Lord is my strength; he makes my feet like the feet of a deer, he enables me to tread on the heights.

When today, and tomorrow, and the season after that are all unclear, yet I will trust my God, and be joyful in Him. Instead of giving me the temporary assurances of my own well-laid plans, He has enabled me to tread on the mountaintops like a deer in its natural home–free of the encumbrances of stockpiled personal gains, but supplied daily with all things needed for life.

My own plans fail. Time and again I try to map out a course, and plan for the future–only to find that the path doesn’t lead through farm fields, but over mountaintops. I love the memories of the mountaintops I’ve conquered–the sights, the smells, the air, the view.  I don’t often dwell on the memory of the climb though. The test is in the climb. The pain is in the climb. The make or break moments are in the climb–but my God gives me the feet of a deer, and the mountain peaks that would have overwhelmed me instead become my natural habitat because of the strength He gives me.

My hope is alive!