The Third Cairn
One night, several years ago, I was struggling with the some very severe challenges in my life and my ministry at our camp. The terrorist attack had just happened on the World Trade Center a few months earlier and every business and ministry was suffering. I did not know how in the world I could survive the demands made upon me for mortgage payments, overhead, payroll, taxes, and so forth. I could not imagine anyway out of this miry pit. I was sinking deeper and deeper into depression and could not sleep at night.
Finally, one night, around 3:00 am. I sat up in bed and pleaded to God for peace. I admitted to Him that I could not figure out how to survive and how to live. I opened up my heart and was as honest and transparent as I could be. I admitted to God that I did not deserve anything from Him, but based upon His call upon my life and His hand upon me, I asked Him, “What have I done wrong and what am I going to do about all these troubles?”
Have you ever been so lonely and felt so absolutely abandoned by everyone that you wish you could just close your eyes and never wake up? I was wishing that I could simply open and door somewhere and walk into heaven. I would never look back and not think twice about stepping across that threshold. “Lord, take me home tonight”, was my plea to God.
Then, for the third time in my life, I heard Him speak but this time as sweetly, distinctly and affectionately as anyone has ever spoken to me in my life. He said simply, “But I love you.” And I reasoned, well that’s quite enough. If God loves me, what can anyone do to me? If God is “for” me, what have I to fear. At that moment a sense of “security” overcame me; my anxieties were gone and I was at total peace. “God loves me”——that’s all I need to know.
And then the most extraordinary thing in my life happened. I told Him, “Lord if I could only hear you say this all day long, I could do anything and never be afraid of anyone or anything ever again…” And then, instantly, and for the next thirty minutes, as tears rolled down my cheeks, He said, “but I love you….but I love you….but I love you….but I love you”. I did not want to move or ever leave that bed——and I did not want for the recitations to stop.
God loves me—-what else matters? There are no more significant words He could have uttered to me that night.