***From the archives***
It is quite easy to trust and believe God when everything is going well but what happens when things don’t go as planned? How do we pull ourselves together and still believe that His thoughts for us are of good and not of evil?
Getting a phone call about your mum being terribly ill isn’t a news you would like to hear first thing on a beautiful Tuesday morning. But this was the reality i had to embrace some years ago. My heart sank and fear gripped me. Not hearing my mum’s voice when i called was a new thing for me to adjust to. Not hearing the bubbly voice I used to hear when i call her was very strange and devastating.
I was yet to recover from this shock when the devil struck again. Now it was my dad’s health. It was as if everything is shutting down.
As if these weren’t enough, on the day my first daughter turned 3, we were told that she might have autism because her speech development was very slow. Although they said she ‘might’, the panic that came with it was great. Appointment upon appointment. Instead of spending time with her on her birthday, i spent all day googling what autism is, where i can find a physician that can help with cure, etc. Autism is a disability that has no cure. At this point, it was as though life was taken out from me. I tried to pray but it was hard as I couldn’t find words. I asked a lot of questions that I got no answer for.
I was stressed and frustrated with everything that was going on. I started ticking all the boxes trying to find where we went wrong. I thought ‘we pay our tithes. So why isn’t God’s promises in Malachi 3:11 fulfilled in our lives?’. Trusting God in this season was tough.
One night, the Holy Spirit reminded me of John 14:27. It reads;
Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.
Instantly, I felt peace in my heart and I decided to take God for His words. God never told us that we will never experience challenges in this world. There won’t be any need for Him to promise us peace if there won’t be war and challenges. In the midst of the heat, He says He will never leave us nor forsake us (Deuteronomy 31:6).
In order for us to be able to trust God during hard times, we need to be able to rely on His words. And also acknowledge that panicking won’t fix the situation. When we panic, we create room for the devil to create fear in us. We begin to focus our eyes on the challenges instead of God. Whatever we focus on magnifies. When i took God for His words, I was relieved of stress and heartache. Did this make the situation go away? No. But I refused to fret about it. I stopped wrapping my life around what was happening. I learnt to take one day at a time. Although some days were harder than others, i decided to focus on what God is doing and what He is able to do.
Sharing my challenges with people who I knew could encourage and cover me in prayers also helped. At times I couldn’t pray, I felt strong because I had people praying for. This certainly gave me the courage to persevere.
The challenges we go through in life strengthens our faith in God. There is a saying that if there is no test, there is no testimony.
Your situation might be different. You might be going through stress with school, marriage, kids, finances, health etc. The principle of relying on God’s word does work.
After a while, things started changing for the better. My daughter was cleared of autism and she is a little chatterbox now :). My parents are recovering well. I am still trusting God that He will perfect everything concerning their health.
No matter what you are going through, remember God never sleeps or slumbers. Find comfort and strength through His word and watch Him saturate your soul with peace. God does not hate you. He loves you with an everlasting love.