As I write this, life is in a very difficult place for me, my family, and my community. I’ve been reflecting greatly on these challenges and struggles over the past few days. Currently, my mother in law continues to bravely battle stage four bone cancer; my brother and sister-in-law are facing an incredibly tumultuous and volatile situation with their new baby; my own mother recently had a mild surgery and experienced some complications from that; our community and state just experienced one of the most horrific tornadoes in human history; my worship pastor just lost his father, I’m doing a funeral for a beloved member of our church this Saturday, and of course, our youngest son continues to fight daily for his life. So, with all that going on, you can imagine why I was crying out to God to spare our home as I sat in my neighbor’s storm shelter just a few days ago…I prayed, “Please Lord, I’m not sure I could handle one more thing right now.”
However, as I have been reflecting, I am coming to understand in a new way that there is NOTHING I cannot handle with the grace and strength of the Lord. If I would have popped my head out of the storm shelter and found my house leveled, God would have supplied what I would have needed to endure. I’m not saying I would have enjoyed that loss by any means…what I am saying is that somehow, someway, God would have provided what I needed. At the end of John 15:5, Jesus tells us that “apart from Him, we can do nothing,” while Philippians 4:13 says that “we can do all things through Christ who strengthens us.” So…what that tells me is that I desperately need to cling to the Jesus EVERY SECOND OF EVERYDAY, because with Him I can endure any storm, but without Him, I’ll sink faster than a boulder that’s dropped into a pond. If there is anything I know right now, it is this: I need Jesus like the air I breathe…every minute or everyday.
What happens in most of our American-Christian lives though, is we get comfortable. We get used to living the American dream and rocked to sleep with the comforts and conveniences of this world. And then…suffering comes…tragedy strikes…and we are awakened out of this worldly sleep and realize just how far we have drifted from our desperate and daily need to walk with Jesus. Suffering, on any level, causes God’s children to cry out for help, for deliverance, for strength, etc. When we suffer, we always find ourselves facing situations beyond our control and we feel helpless…BUT…it is in those moments that God shows up and becomes more real to us than perhaps ever before. In those moments, we find out if we truly trust the One we have entrusted our soul to. We find out that God is more than able to carry the weight we bear and has what we need to endure it. We find out that God is without a doubt ALL we need because He becomes ALL we have!
So, as I reflect…I’m grieving in many ways and for many people; I’m hurting with and for many people, and I’m also longing for patience and strength and grace for all…but I know this, God is the source of those things and He will gloriously supply all my needs and the needs of those who trust in Jesus Christ! As the Scripture says, “His grace is sufficient and His power is made perfect in our weaknesses.” Well…I sit here today weak, but knowing He is strong! I sit here today knowing I cannot, but He can! I sit here today not knowing what my next step be, but knowing He is directing all of my steps. So…today…in the midst of whatever you and I face…HE IS ABLE AND HE WILL SEE US ALL THROUGH!
“Lord, help us all to look to You and trust in You today! While our lives are constantly changing, YOU NEVER CHANGE! You are our Rock, our deliver, the only true God…and our hearts rest in You. We love You Lord!” Help us. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.”