I am proof that God uses hard seasons to get our attention. Life is going great, you have everything figured out, and then, out of nowhere, boom. The unexpected happens. The life you thought you had figured out falls apart.
For Ian and me, our first hard thing was in 2004 when my dear mother-in-law was diagnosed with lung cancer. We’d never faced anything like it. We felt helpless and out of control. We reached out to God.
After that, as a young teacher I was assigned to a classroom of challenging students that left me in tears each night. I’d had no say in the matter, and I dreaded going to work every morning. The situation was uncomfortable and unfair, but there was nothing I could do. Again, I looked to God for strength.
Years later we had a miscarriage. This was the most trying situation we’d faced yet. I was so sad I didn’t want to get out of bed some days. People around me didn’t understand. God did. He helped me as He had those times before.
The truly unimaginable happened in 2012. Ian was in septic shock and not expected to survive. For the first time in our marriage, I had to face the possibility of life without Ian. Then I remembered. I remembered how God had comforted me all those times. I recalled how He faithfully cared for us and saw us through when we faced each difficult thing before. Once again, I found myself on my knees begging Him for strength… for hope… for Ian’s life. My God heard me, and He answered.
Yet another time, more recently, my dear father’s health began to suffer. I witnessed his decline and death with no power to do anything to help him. But I knew who could. I prayed to God that He would bring mercy and healing to my dad. When He didn’t answer in the way I hoped, I asked Him to bring peace and comfort to my heart. He has.
I never saw yet another difficult situation. Due to misunderstandings and lack of communication, friendships I held dear in my life were lost. My heart broke into a million little pieces. My God held me as I wept, and in time He began carefully bringing those pieces back together. I’m grateful God is close to the broken-hearted, especially when that has been me.
In each of these situations I shared, God turned my eyes to Himself. I have no control over the hard seasons of life, but He reminds me that He does. Could it be that, once again as He has many times in my life before, God is using this season of COVID uncertainty and discomfort to get my attention? To draw me nearer to Him? Can this disruption of life, season of unrest, push me into something new to actually bear fruit in me?
And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them. Romans 8:28 NLT
Good can come from this COVID-19 lockdown season. I believe God wants His children to turn to Him now when things are hard for us. Only He can give us the strength when we can’t find it. Between watching riots on TV and juggling Zoom calls for our children’s distance learning, it is He who can comfort us. When we are tired of being at home cooking yet another meal and washing another sinkful of dishes, it is He who can give us strength. God is the only one who can supply what we need and give us hope that we will make it through this hard season.
The last five months have taught me to continue to seek God on my knees in prayer. I’ve spent hours pouring over the pages of my Bible, copying verses on notecards to keep in places where I can see them and be reminded of His faithfulness. I’m not fearful of what is going on. I trust God completely. I am, however, tired. I am weary. I’ve grown impatient. I can be really, really cranky when I’m frustrated. I’m fully aware of my weaknesses, so I ask God for his strength. I desire for God to supply my daily (sometimes hourly) needs.
How about you? How are you holding up? Are you trying to do God’s job of supplying your needs? Do you need His comfort and strength? Could you find hope in knowing He is in control when we are not? Friends, I encourage you to seek Him. He has always come through for me. Let Him come through for you.
If I can help you in any way, please reach out! My heart wants to encourage others in the same way God encourages me. I send you a BIG, LONG, HUG, dear friends!