An Ocean of Sorrows

It was Sunday morning and much to my surprise I was not only on time for service, but I was early. I fumbled through the parking lot juggling my keys, water bottle, tumbler filled with hazelnut coffee, inhaling the last half of a cinnamon raisin bagel, and made my way to the front of the sanctuary. I remember sitting there eagerly anticipating worship. When our singer came on stage, these words poured out of her mouth and into my heart and time seemed to slow: It feels like an ocean of sorrow is under my skin. 

The song is called “You Hold It All Together” by All Sons & Daughters and when I heard it for the first time that morning it took away all the busyness I had built into my life to distract me and slowed my heart and mind in a way that acknowledged the sorrow in my life and the way God was meeting me in it.

The song goes on to say:

Sorrow on sorrow, I’m waiting

Heavy I’m anticipating

Trusting the current will carry me

You are my strength

You are my song

You are my salvation

You hold it all together

The weeks and months prior to that morning, I diligently started every day with news. What I was reading often left me feeling helpless and without hope. The stories were filled with worldwide acts of hate and vitriol, division and derision. Humankind is actively hemorrhaging its losses and I felt as if a general pall had gathered its gray clouds and shrouded myself, my friends, this nation, and our world in despair. In 2019 alone, the number of mass shootings in the U.S. has averaged one mass shooting a day, and as of October 01, 2019 the number of mass shootings has outpaced the number of days in the year

When I sat with a statistic like that, the heaviness threatened to drown me. Initially, I placed my hope in the change stirring around gun policy. Students, politicians, families, and even huge corporations are taking a stance on gun violence. Sure, listening to a recent gun forum from the Democratic Party candidates lit a small candle of hope inside me, but it was short lived. I was furiously paddling underneath the waves of sorrow trying to stay afloat, and I was losing. 

In our broken world, relationships with each other, with God, with ourselves, and with our world are fractured. Jesus came to mend the broken and wounded, and make it known that the table is set, and that the table is open. He came to heal humanity and pay the penalty of sin once and for all. After service that day, God led me to another song called “Rest In You” by the same band that has comforted me time and again since that day. 

As we continue to navigate a world still groaning in pain, as we wait eagerly for the day that Christ returns or call us home, my prayer is that if you find yourself in an ocean of sorrow, you trust that His current will carry you.

Who is Lord, but our Lord

Who is God, only God

You are the highest

You are most good

Matchless is Your love

Our praise will rise above

Your peace like a river

Floods over us

Our hearts are restless 

Until they find rest in You

Our hearts are restless

Until they find rest in You

This is where my hope lies

This is where my soul sighs

I will always find my rest in You.

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