A couple of years ago, on the cusp of the toughest year of my life, I read something that changed my perspective on things for the rest of my life. The quote was, “Instead of asking why this is happening to me, I will ask what this is trying to teach me.”
I read the words nonchalantly, not realizing how valuable they would prove to be. They’ve turned my thought process around on many occasions and force me to welcome the shaping and molding that comes with being a child of God. It reminds me to enjoy the healing process. It reminds me to embrace change. It reminds me to look for the way God is working all things together for my good instead of my anxiety over the things right in front of me. It keeps my eyes on Him instead of the wind and waves. It reminds me to try to see the bigger picture, and simultaneously reminds me of the hope I have that I will get through whatever this is. Even death is victory after what Jesus paid for us.
So in this present storm, we still have reason to praise, reason for hope, and a sustainable joy and peace that surpasses all understanding. There is so much heartbreak during this time. There’s so much heartbreak in this world already. Still, we can focus on what’s being forged in this fire. For me, it’s made me rely even more heavily on the one steadfast thing in my life – the Lord. “Normal” and “routine” are not as guaranteed as we believe them to be, and especially right now we look at that through rose-colored glasses. Any moment can change anything. But the steadfast love of the Lord never ceases (Lamentations 3:22-23). He’s been there before the beginning and He will be there after the end. It’s also taught me to slow down. This is the age of instant gratification. We never stop, never slow down. Rest is crucial.
It’s been a slow journey all my days learning to rest – physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually. While I don’t always get it right, and while more often than not the Lord has to remind me that I need His help when I swear I can do things all by myself, I’ve made some progress on learning about and practicing rest, and it’s been delightful and humbling and beautiful.
This season has just solidified my belief that rest is holy and necessary. It’s also given us so many opportunities to spend time alone in the presence of the Lord. Take advantage of that time, and treasure it. In the middle of this storm and all of our storms that didn’t calm when this started, He is our peace.
Some verses that offer encouragement during this time are:
1 Peter 5:7, Lamentations 3:22-23, Psalm 46:1-3, Proverbs 18:10, Nehemiah 8:10, Deuteronomy 33:27, Deuteronomy 31:8, Psalm 32:7-8, Isaiah 30:15, Isaiah 43:1-3, Philippians 4:6, John 14:27, Psalm 34:4, Psalm 26:1-3, Joshua 1:9
I want to encourage all of you today to find out what the Lord is teaching YOU during this time. He’s a very personal God. He’s in the waiting, and He is always working things together for our good. Keep your eyes on Him, and allow Him to shape you, forge you in the fire. Strengthen your relationship with Him and pray hard. God is still moving, He’s still on the throne, and He loves you more than you know, with a steadfast love that isn’t going to change even though everything around us is.