The world is currently experiencing a storm on a magnitude that hasn’t been seen for quite some time. It’s like this twilight-zone-sort-of situation that has left so many of us in different levels of confusion, frustration, panic, and fear. During the COVID-19 pandemic of 2020, it’s so easy to get caught up in the fear of the unknown and feel like the world is coming to an end. While I know it feels that way, it’s important to recognize that over the course of humanity worse has happened. This is just the pandemic of our current position in time. That doesn’t, however, remove the reality that thousands of people have lost jobs, loved ones, and security for the future, and there is a mystery behind the entire situation that leaves some of us scratching our heads.
I actually began this blog a few months ago before everything hit the fan. I hadn’t finished it before I suddenly lost my job followed shortly after by the Covid-19 pandemic. It seems my personal world has been flipped upside down again, which makes this particular post all the more real. As I write this, I’m jobless, isolated at home, the country is currently on lock-down, and no one knows what’s going to happen in the next few months with schools and work. This is a huge storm, and we’ve got to focus on praising God amidst it. How does God call us to respond? Focusing on our spiritual wellness, how does God call us to respond?
I love the story of Joseph in Genesis, because it’s a great example of how God wants us to respond.
Joseph was betrayed by his brothers, sold into slavery, accused of sexual assault, thrown into prison, forgotten by those he helped, and then there was a famine. All in all he had a pretty bad hand. (Genesis 37-43) But Joseph never spoke against God. Through everything he went through he was faithful to the one who gave him life, and he was rewarded every time. He was elevated to high positions and given authority and redemption.
When storms roll into our lives it’s so hard to recognize what good could come out of them. There was a time, even as a Christian knowing how awesome God is and how amazing His love and peace are – I questioned His goodness because of all of the trials and storms I was going through. I know I’m not alone in this. If you’ve been through troubling and trying times that took you to rock bottom it’s quite possible you’ve done the same. God never leaves us or forsakes us though. He’s proven this over and over.
A few years ago I met an incredible woman who was my anchor during a very scary time in my life. I knew that God was calling me out of an abusive marriage, but I was still so afraid of everything surrounding the situation. My friend had been through the same thing and she gave me a wonderful mantra to repeat.
What God takes you to, he takes you through!
What a concept! When you really think about it, this is the foundation of our faith in Christ. Walk by faith, not by sight. Because what God takes you to He takes you through. Hebrews 10:23 says “Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful.” This text, Hebrews 10:19-39 is speaking specifically to persevering in faith.
God’s word should be enough for us but let’s face it, we are human. As humans we are stubborn and require hard lessons. Sometimes God has to bring us to our lowest points for us to realize that He’s got us. Sometimes breaking us is the only way that we are going to realize His goodness and faithfulness.
God tells us over and over that He’s got us, He’s in control, He has a plan, and that He’s not going to let us fall. Lamentations 3:22-23 tells us “Because of the LORD’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.”
“For we know, that in all things God works for the good of those who love him and are called according to His purpose.”Romans 8:28
In every situation that I have found to be devastating and frightening – God has ALWAYS shown me that He had a greater purpose for it, and there is ALWAYS a reason. It takes patience and discipline, but when we can tune into God’s spirit and look for His grace and mercy and faithfulness, He shows us that He is still in control. We can praise Him because He is a good, good Father. When it feels like our world is crumbling around us, we have to focus on the One who created it in the first place.
When Peter stepped out of the boat to walk to Jesus he was fine until he saw the storm around him. Jesus didn’t change, He didn’t move, and He didn’t sink. But Peter saw the turmoil that COULD be and he lost faith, so he began to sink. It wasn’t until he took his eyes off the Lord that he panicked and sank. What was Jesus’s response? “Why did you doubt?”
Turn your eyes upon Jesus, look full in His wonderful face — And the things on Earth will grow strangely dim. In the light of His glory and Grace.
Our spiritual wellness plays a huge role in stress management. By connecting spiritually, we are better able to see the silver lining and shift our minds to gratitude. Today I’m jobless, but I’m home with my kids and I’ve been provided for financially. Today I’m stressed about the stubbornness of my kids, but we are working it out in ways I’ve never had the blessing to do so. Today my career is interrupted, but I’ve been given the time and opportunity to move forward with plans I was called to in 2006. Today I’m at home, and I’m no longer burned out, I’m thinking about my friends more, slowing down, taking my time, and praising God because I know that He’s doing something not only in my life but in the world. Everyone’s story is different, but we’re all in the same book. Be patient and keep your eyes on the Author. It all comes together in the end.