It's glorious feeling to know God will never let go

By Jeff Schumacher | Apr 10, 2013

It’s been a while since I have written a column. Many in the community say they have read and enjoyed my writings, and to hear that makes me feel blessed. I had one of the ministers of Long’s Chapel thank me for writing the columns, which made me feel real good about the messages I have been sending. I don’t write these columns to preach, but because I believe we all find ourselves wandering, or wondering, what’s up with my life, and where do I go from here?

A couple of weeks ago would have been my mother-in-law’s birthday. As you may know from a previous column, we lost Dorothy to cancer last fall. It was a tough Christmas for Michelle and her family, as it was for my children and me. But we hung on to the fact that God needed her. And, no matter how bad it hurt, we knew she was doing a different type of God’s work now.

The days leading up to her birthday, Michelle, her sister and the rest of the family were worried about how my father-in-law would handle this occasion. So, everyone thought it best to keep him busy. And, the plan worked. He was saddened that she wasn’t there, but from all reports, he handled it just fine.

I think, although I don’t know for sure, for the first time since her passing, everyone realized that she has another purpose. That purpose so far has been to strengthen relationships between Michelle, her sister and their father. And, to a large extent, remind me that they are my family as well.

This past week was a joyous week, as we celebrated the great sacrifice that Jesus made on our behalf. I don’t have to go into the story, but it left me further believing that God puts us on this earth, and then removes us when it is time, to do something specific. If you truly listen and follow, He places you in the exact place, at the exact time, in the exact position He needs you in at any given time.

How many of us can say we truly believe we are doing what God has intended for us? Or, is it just too hard to hear what he is asking?

Wednesday evening I watched a live online service from the church my daughter, Brandi, attends in Charleston. The church – Seacoast – had Matt Redman, an English Christian worship leader, songwriter and author based in Brighton, East Sussex, United Kingdom, as their special guest. He led us all in great songs of spiritual meaning. But, one in particular stuck out to me. It is titled, “You Never Let Go’.” The chorus goes like this:

Oh no, You never let go
Through the calm and through the storm
Oh no, You never let go
In every high and every low
Oh no, You never let go
Lord, You never let go of me

I have no idea what came over me, as I have sung this and heard this song a hundred times. But, this time was different. I felt this wave of joy and freedom sweep over me, and I began to weep. I thought about all the things that message means to not only me, but to all of us, and I couldn’t help the tears. I’m not sure if they were tears of joy, refreshment or freedom from all I’ve been through in the past year or so, but there they were nonetheless.

As I sat there, I realized that the chorus was so true. God never, no matter how hard we try to push him away – and believe me there were times when I was pushing because I questioned why this happened to me, or what it meant – the song brought me back to the fact that while I was wandering and wondering, He never let go. What a glorious feeling I had at that moment.

As the song ended, I thought about Dorothy. I thought about the text my daughter sent me just before she entered the church to attend that worship service telling me I should watch it online. And, the tears stopped. Because I realized at that moment, that I was meant to be in my basement, have my phone handy to read that text, and to watch this service.

And, I knew it was not only God’s work, but I just know it was Dorothy’s birthday wish for me.