Sometimes, the world feels like it’s falling apart, but, at ALL times, He has a plan, He is working wonders, and He is with me; therefore, I surrender my expectations to the will of my Father, the only one who knows my tomorrow, the one who has written my future, the one who holds me safely in His hand.
These last few weeks have been rough for me. I’ve been struggling with my depression, combating the stress of school, wrestling with inner doubts and questions, and, to top it all off, I have the flu. Go figure, right? Thanks to medication (Thank the Lord for Tamiflu!) and lots of self-care, I was finally reviving into a functional human being.
And then, my mom called and dropped a bomb on me that shook everything.
Mom: “Was that rhetorical, or did you actually not hear me?”
Me: “No, I heard you. I just wanted you to tell me it’s not true.”
Now, the details of that bomb are too personal to share here, but the details aren’t the point, anyway, so what do they matter? The details aren’t what inspired me to write; my reaction to them is. As soon as I hung up the phone, I let my tears run free, I bawled my eyes out, and I prayed to God. I asked Him the age-old question He somehow never tires of hearing from us when we’re going through tough time; I asked Him, “Why?”
I didn’t get a straight answer. I didn’t get any answer that in any way fit what I wanted, but I did get an answer. Without any hesitation, I grabbed my phone, went to YouTube, and looked up the song God put on my heart in response to my fervent question:
Like I said, not exactly a straightforward answer, but it is still an answer, and it is still comforting. Why? I’ll tell you:
Any answer means He heard my cry and recognized my need for an immediate reply.
This song is a reminder to me that He has a greater plan than any I could begin to imagine.
Through this song,God reminded me where my faith should be: in His will. His will is greater than my own. My will only seeks the snapshot of life I can visualize. His will serves the biggest picture that serves us all.
Verse Two. All of it. Life doesn’t always feel good, and it’s hard to “count it all joy” when it doesn’t, but God is always good because God is always God.
Though the sorrow may last for the night, His joy comes in the Morning!” Psalms 30:5
This “night” may last days or weeks or years in our eyes, but I believe in the morning He has promised. I will not lose hope for I know the One whom I call Saviour, Redeemer, Master, and King.
To be honest, I haven’t been feeling much like myself lately. I’m falling back into a depressive slump, and I don’t like it, but I don’t know what to do to fix it. Of course, I don’t have to know. Why? Because me knowing is all about “me, me, me” when it’s not about me at all; I should be focused on “Him, Him, Him.” That’s my problem when I start stumbling. I focus on my feeling helpless, my feeling lost, and my inability to quell this monster on my own. The thing is it’s not my battle to win! If I try to destroy my depression and anxiety on my own, I will lose every time. I need to give it to Him.
2 Corinthians 12:7-10 says,
“. . . So to keep me from becoming proud, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger from Satan to torment me and keep me from becoming proud.
“Three different times I begged the Lord to take it away. Each time He said, ‘My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.’ So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me. That’s why I take pleasure in my weaknesses, and in the insults, hardships, persecutions, and troubles that I suffer for Christ. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”
My depression, my anxiety – they are my thorn. I have cried out to God over and over again to remove them from me, but He refuses. He keeps sending me these verses instead, and so I will boast of this thorn in my side and use it to serve God’s glory. Through my weakness, He makes me strong. I place my trust in His will and His hand in my life, on my mind, and on my body.
“Even though the fig trees have no blossoms,
And there are no grapes on the vines;
Even though the olive crop fails,
And the fields lie empty and barren;
Even though the flocks dies in the fields,
And the cattle barns are empty,
Yet I will rejoice the LORD!
I will be joyful in the God of my salvation!
The Sovereign Lord is my strength!
He makes me as surefooted as a deer,
Able to tread upon the heights.”
No matter what seems to be going wrong, I will rejoice in the Lord my God and trust His path for my life. The road my not be easy, but I know it will be worth taking, even with all the valleys I must walk through. The darkness will not claim my life but give me a testimony to bring others to the Light.
“Though the sorrows my last for the night, joy comes sin the morning.”
Who can know how long the night will last, but the morning will come.
I suffer this thorn in my side, for I know that I am trading my sorrow for joy, my weakness for strength, my pain for comfort, and my past for my salvation – and each of you can do the same. Your thorn may be different from mine. Your story certainly is, but God can use your testimony to serve Him, if you let Him.
Don’t be ashamed of your journey; share it! Someone needs your story.
Even when it’s hard, even when I don’t feel I can be, even when my heart is broken and my soul is hurting, I will rejoice, I will be glad, in the presence of the Lord.
He is El Sheddai. He rules over every part of my life, every part of my world. The pain and the darkness may last for the night, but the joy of the Lord – MY Lord – will last forever (See Psalms 30:5). He restores my soul, and I will praise Him – through the storm, through the fire, through it all (See Psalms 23:3).
It’s been a hard week for me and for my family. Tuesday morning, I lost my grandma. The possibility had been there – she had been sick – but she had been getting better, and I just wasn’t prepared. I’ve been fighting to keep myself together, and I have lost that fight and gone to pieces more than a few times. Sunday morning, I broke down during service when we sang “Wonderful Peace” because I just have not been able to find that God-given peace. I can’t understand why. I know she has finally reached her better, and I know she’d tell me not to worry because all is well now that’s she’s with the King, but the truth of the matter is that it doesn’t matter how much I know these things, I also know that the pain of her loss is still heavy on my heart regardless of how much I know.
When I hit the altar yesterday morning, I told God how much I’m struggling to find His peace, and he reminded me:
“You are not in this fight alone. Lean on those who love you: your friends, your family, and especially your church. They are in place at my command to help you through.”
For these God-sent people, I am ever thankful.
My eyes are red and raw, but I will carry on with the strength of the Lord my God, my Keeper, my Provider, my ever-present help in times of need.