Right in the middle of it, right in the middle of it/That's where You'll be found/Right in the middle of it, deep in the center of it/That's where You are now
Kalley Heiligenthal, of Bethel Music, wrote "In The Middle of It" in response to watching wildfires rage through Northern California, impacting lives and destroying homes for many people in Kalley's city, Redding. The song's lyrics ask real questions–ones we've all asked ourselves–about where God is when life comes at us full force. The lyrics also give us some truthful answers to those questions. Let's talk about Jesus' heart towards us when we're walking through the storms of life, with a little help from "In The Middle of It," and a few stories in the Gospels.
#1 God is present.
Where are You when the wildfire is taking ground?/Where are You when the wind comes and knocks us down? /Where are You when the waters rise and it looks like we're gonna drown?/Where are You now? Where are You now?
In Matthew 14:22-33, the disciples get into a boat to cross a lake. A storm happens shortly thereafter. As the disciples are in trouble and afraid, Jesus comes to them walking on water. He approaches them and says, "Take courage, I am here." Later in the story, Jesus would calm the storm. But, my favorite thing about this encounter is that, before Jesus fixes the disciples' problem, He lets them know He is present with them in the midst of it.
When we're facing the storms of life, knowing that Jesus is there with us changes everything. There's not only a calm that comes to us when Jesus causes our storm to cease, there's a calm and comfort that comes from the presence of Jesus with us in our storm.
#2 God cares.
Where are You in the questions, the in-between?/And where are You in the waiting and the unseen?/Where are You in the aftermath surrounded by debris?/Where are You now? Where are You now?
In Mark 4:35-41, the disciples face another storm when traveling by boat. Jesus is sleeping on the back of the boat. The frightened disciples, unable to cope with the new trial, wake Jesus and say: "Teacher, don't you care that we're going to drown?"
Have you ever felt like Jesus was sleeping in the midst of your storm? Have you ever felt like He didn't care about the trouble you're facing? It's normal to feel that, and ask those questions when you're walking through hard things. Over the last several months, I've been facing some challenges of my own. And, in the midst of it, God has been speaking to me repeatedly, with this thought: God cares about you and what you're going through.
I've been meditating on these verses.
1 Peter 5:7: "Give all your worries and cares to God, for He cares about you."
Philippians 4:6-7: "Don't worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank Him for all He has done. Then you will experience God's peace which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus."
Psalm 62:8: "O my people, trust in Him at all times. Pour out your heart to Him, for God is our refuge."
The fact that God tells us to give our cares to Him, to pour out our hearts to Him, to talk to Him about what's worrying us, and to ask Him to meet our needs says that God cares about our hearts and our circumstances. Whether it's the magnitude of what we're facing or the delay we feel in God's intervention, the next time we're tempted to believe He doesn't care about our situation, remember the truth scripture speaks to us over that lie.
#3 God can help.
Sure in the storm, fixed in the flood/Oh, You will never run/That's who You are, there through it all/Our God is here with us
In the two stories we've been looking at, there comes a point where Jesus calms the storm. He has the power to intervene in what we're going through. Coming to God in prayer is a powerful way to unburden our hearts to Him and find fellowship with Him in the midst of hardship. But, prayer also enlists God's help and power into our circumstances (Luke 18:1-8).
I love that we follow a God who is not only tenderhearted enough to comfort us in our pain and trials, but powerful enough to do something about it. He may not always intervene in the way we thought He would or the timing we thought He would, but He works in our lives for His glory and our good. He answers prayers. He meets needs. He shifts circumstances. He transforms hearts.
He helps us grow: in character and in spiritual maturity. As you walk through your tough circumstances, remember that God can help you. Take that step in faith and ask Him to.
Do you find yourself asking tough questions? Do you find yourself asking God if He cares about you and what you're going through? If you find yourself asking where He is and how He's working in your situation, be encouraged by Kalley's song and by scripture. He's right in the middle of it.
You can find "In The Middle of It" on Kalley's EP, Faultlines Vol. 1. Buy it on Apple Music or stream it on Spotify. Read the full lyrics of "In The Middle of It" here.
NRT contributor Jasmin Patterson is a lifelong fan of Christian music who is passionate about helping others connect with Christ. She lives in Kansas City where she serves in college ministry and runs a blog to help seekers and believers discover and live biblical Christianity.
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