My sorrow was the unexpected death of my infant son, Parker, who was stillborn after living 42 weeks in my womb. Then I imagined myself mustering praises to God from this posture in my current assignment of suffering. I saw myself with my face smashed against the dirt, struggling between breaths as I pursed my lips in praise, declaring the goodness and faithfulness of the Lord who had been our Refuge all of our days.
The night he died it stormed. My wife and I were restless, weeping, and holding each other closely. I remember pleading with God in my distress, “Why didn’t you send these rains just a few hours earlier? He wouldn’t have been outside! This nightmare never would have happened! Why did you allow it to happen this way, God?!”
My unchangeable circumstances made my cries feel hollow.
Through nostalgia, we're really offering one another hope. If you are unable to bear the present, you can escape your pain in the fantasy of the past until the circumstance changes. Depression ensues because no one can be sure the future holds the “better days” to which we look back and in which we hope.
In the Old Testament when God wanted to guarantee a promise, he made an oath. He gave his own word based on his own character because it’s the most unbreakable, unchangeable thing there is. There’s nothing more sure than Himself. Because He cannot change, the promise is likewise unchangeable. When we run to God for our very lives we get to grab the promised hope of what He is offering and what we need with both hands.