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March On, My Soul, With Might
When life becomes a torrent
“The torrent Kishon swept them away, the ancient torrent, the torrent Kishon. March on, my soul, with might!” (Judges 5:21).
2023 didn’t start well. We lost a dear friend and sister in Christ to an awful disease on January 1. Corinne and I found ourselves trying to shepherd grieving people in our congregation while also trying to grieve ourselves. In the midst of it all, Corinne’s grandma suffered a severe stroke and passed away after several days in hospice.
Sometimes life feels like the torrent Kishon, a river in the Jezreel Valley whose flash flood destroyed Sisera’s army of 900 chariots (see Judges 5). Things seem to be flowing well, and then, suddenly and without expecting it, life overflows its banks and sweeps you into the current, where you feel helpless to do anything but be washed away.
It is in these moments that I most realize how much is beyond my control. I can’t keep myself or anyone else from growing older, getting sick, or dying. People make their own choices, for good or ill, and there’s precious little I can do to change their hearts or minds.
I can, however, preach to my own heart: “March on, my soul, with might.” I can cry out to God for strength. I can lean on him when I’m weary. I can trust in his sovereignty when life becomes a torrent. And I can intercede for those I love, including my enemies (and I do need God’s help to love them).
In seasons like these, I understand the Apostle Paul’s words to the church in Philippi: “My desire is to depart and be with Christ, for that is far better. But to remain in the flesh is more necessary on your account. Convinced of this, I know that I will remain and continue with you all, for your progress and joy in the faith” (Phil 1:23-25).
March on, my soul, with might.