Hope in the Storm

I became a Christian a decade ago. Luckily, I never believed for one minute that this would take away all of my troubles, because I sure did I have a trouble or two since. And of course I’m not the only one, every Christian has a load to bear, but we have a hope, a hope that there is a purpose in our pain and that this life is not all there is: our struggles are only for a while.

A story of hardship

But there are times when it still feels like it’s too much to bear and too hard to humanly carry on. My friend Emily knows that very well. One cold Canadian evening, she was home preparing dinner for herself. She thought she’d treat herself to french fries, a warm treat that goes a long way when the sun sets early on a monochrome frozen landscape.

So she put on a pot on the stove and poured in some oil, and waited for it to get hot enough before throwing in the julienned potatoes. The oil heated up faster than expected and started blowing fumes up in the kitchen. When she noticed it, frenziedly, she grabbed the pot on the stove, and started towards the exit. Trying to avoid starting a fire in her apartment, she quickly climbed up the stairs to go out, thinking that laying the pot in the cold snow would quickly take care of the problem.

The wooden, polished stairs on which she ran up seemed to give way under her as she slipped, tripped, and fell on her back. The pan slid out of her hands, flipping upside down, pouring the burning oil on her arm and part of her leg.

You can imagine the rest.

She was rushed to the hospital, suffering indescribably. She would later have to get a skin graft, and relearn to move her wrist with the new skin on.

A few very hard months were ahead of her. She often explains that this was one of the most traumatic and difficult times of her life. It sucked every bit of strength that she had to be able to carry on. During those days, she’d often tell me how she didn’t feel the strength to pray. So I tried my best to be a friend and to lend her some of my strength, and pray with and for her.

When it’s hard to pray

Do you have times when you go through stuff that seem to seal my lips? As if your heart was being trampled, your head threatening to explode. You may be going through such a time right now.

A time when all you want to say to God is:

I cry out to God; yes, I shout.
Oh, that God would listen to me!
When I was in deep trouble,
I searched for the Lord…
I think of God, and I moan,
overwhelmed with longing for his help.
You don’t let me sleep.
I am too distressed even to pray!

 

If this is how you feel, it’s okay to be mad. It’s okay to wonder what you’ve done to deserve this. It’s okay to feel discouraged, and it’s okay to let him know. It’s okay to cry. It’s okay to not have it all together.

That doesn’t make you any less of a child of God.

I want to encourage you to also consider that God can carry you through it. Remember who God is, just like the author of the psalm:

But then I recall all you have done, O Lord;
I remember your wonderful deeds of long ago.
You are the God of great wonders!

 

Boldness that heals

It takes boldness to do so, but declaring the truth of the Word of God in your difficulties has a way of strengthening one’s soul, it may be the beginning of your healing:

Let all that I am praise the Lord;
with my whole heart, I will praise his holy name.
Let all that I am praise the Lord;
may I never forget the good things he does for me.
He forgives all my sins
and heals all my diseases.
He redeems me from death
and crowns me with love and tender mercies.

 

He loves you, deeply and tenderly. This situation may feel like hell on earth, but he will usher you into a place of quiet peacefulness, give him your heart, he knows what to do with it.

If this is you today, if you find yourself in that spot where it seems like it’s too much to handle, I want to pray for you.

Father, for my brother and sister who is suffering, I pray to you today. I pray, knowing that you know their deepest longing, pain and thoughts. I pray that you may help them to see with the eyes of your understanding. Give them peace, refresh their spirit, renew their strength, give them courage, patience and resilience. Make them feel your overwhelming love and faithful presence.
In Jesus’ name

 

If that’s not you, but someone you know, feel free to share this article with them, and pray.

Let’s encourage one another. Write a short testimony, or a prayer request in the comments below!

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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