In this world you will have trouble, but take heart! I have overcome the world. (John 16:33)
Into every life, a little rain must fall. Sometimes it’s considerably more than a little. Sometimes it’s a flood. We can always quote happy scripture promises when things are going well, but when the deluge crashes in, it’s a bit harder to let those easy verses roll off our tongues.
This week I’ve had prayer requests from people I love that are seriously painful events:
One’s pastor fell and broke his leg in three places, requiring surgery. One’s husband’s memory problems got extremely worse and he had to be admitted to an Alzheimer’s facility. One’s son was killed in a tragic car crash. One’s daughter rebelled and ran off to marry against the family’s wishes. One who is ready to reconcile a troubled marriage doesn’t have the support of her family. One’s teenage niece is missing for a week now and no one has a trace of an idea where she might be. One suffers a debilitating disease that robs her of fulfilling her calling. I could probably list more, but my point is that many, many folks are struggling right now with issues that are far from easy.
I want to thank all of you who have loved us and prayed for my husband and me these past months. God does truly have a purpose in all things. Sometimes we can’t identify what that purpose is, but it doesn’t negate the fact that He is working behind the scenes. I already can see things in me that have surfaced that are not good. I’ve confessed and repented and realized places where my heart needs cleansing. He is teaching me many things about myself. He is also showing Himself to my husband in different ways.
When your storm is raging, find ways to remind yourself to stop, breathe, and step back. It’s necessary to not react, but to look up, call out to Jesus and let Him take over. I fully realize that several times when I over-reacted in distress, I totally flunked a test—and so yes, I got to take it over till I passed!! This process of refining is a good thing. It doesn’t always feel good, but no discipline ever does.
I talk a lot about resting in God. Resting in Him means you stand firm against panic attacks, despair or hopelessness. It means you trust God to the point that whatever the outcome, you can be at peace. It is possible. It might not be spontaneous, (and we wish it was), but if you allow Him into your situation, and you trust Him completely, you actually can rest and find peace in the midst of the storm. God is in control. We can become angry with Him for not answering our prayers the way we want, but if we truly believe He is sovereign and omniscient and omnipotent, how can we stay stressed?
I wish I could have miracles to pour out on your situation. I would gladly do it, and quickly. But more importantly, my prayer for you would be that you could trust God so fully that you sigh a deep cleansing sigh, look up and trust that He has it covered and He knows best.
That’s what I’m reminding myself each day. I still flunk some tests, but I’m doing better.
Jesus said He has overcome the world. That’s quite a statement. As for me, I want to be fully attached inside and out to the One Who has overcome the world! I pray that for you too.