Have you ever had days when you wished you had never bothered to get out of bed? Just when it seemed like you had all that you could take, you received another “blow” that seemed to take your breath away. What do you do when this happens? What can assist you in taking the next breath and keeping your soul “still” in the midst of a chaotic life?
I am going to share what has helped me, (even though I still struggle!) when life throws multiple trials to me at the same time. In this blog, I am going to openly share the thoughts and emotions that I have struggled with this past week. It has been a rather HARD week for me, but I am so thankful that I can proclaim that God is still GOD, and He is still GOOD!
If you have been following the recent events of our family, you will know that we have been extremely busy with our travels and ministry functions. After our motorhome “gave out” on the beginning of our last tour, we loaded our things into another ministry bus for the two week tour, while our motorhome was being repaired. We arrived in our home area on Friday to find out that the first problem was corrected, however, two more problems came up, so it had to go back to another garage. Since the bus has a wider wheel base and couldn’t be taken up our mountain road, we parked at my parent’s place. We anticipated a quick repair, but on the way back from the garage, the first transmission problem showed up again. For the next five days, we had problem after problem that hindered us from getting moved back on the motorhome.
There were two specific days when I felt like I was just trying to keep from drowning in despair. Everyone knows that April 15th is the tax deadline. For some strange reason, our tax returns from the accountant got lost and delayed in the mail somewhere, and we needed to spend extra time we didn’t think we had to take care of this problem. We had a limited time to accomplish the things that we needed to do before we left on this tour. Then, our domestic helper became sick, our oldest daughter, Brianna, fell and badly sprained her ankle, and our daughter, Alisha, began struggling with her allergies. There were multiple other events that took place, and I began struggling under all the stress that was coming my way. I knew that I needed to stay connected to God in order to cope.
During these few days, God spoke to me about the importance of having a “still” soul in the midst of chaos and storms. I realized that I had become afraid of hearing more “bad news” and rather than being optimistic and thankful, I was trying to prepare myself for the worst. I had a fearful heart. God gave me the verse in Psalms 112:7, “He shall not be afraid of evil tidings: his heart is fixed, trusting in the Lord.” He reminded me that He was looking for a steadfast person who could remain steady and constant — regardless of the circumstances. He desires for me to be calm and confident and to experience His peace DURING the storm. I can easily trust God when things are going well and I can see Him working on my behalf, but what happens when things go wrong? Does my trust begin to waver?
One of these mornings during my time with God, I was reading Psalms 23. “He makes you to lie down in green pastures…” I thought, “But God, this feels more like a dry and barren wilderness than a lush, green pasture!” His still, small voice responded, “I lead you beside the still waters…” I said,“God, the waters sure aren’t very still right now — they seem to be raging!” Then I came to the key verse: “He restoreth my soul…” Instantly, I realized that this was the essential key that was missing in that moment of my life. I wasn’t allowing God to restore my soul. To restore means to “return to a former position” and “to give back to the original owner.” I am God’s child, and I had previously surrendered my soul to Him. This means that HE is the original owner. I was in desperate need of giving my mind, will, and emotions back to God and allowing Him to bring my soul to the former position of complete trust and surrender to Him. After these direct passages from God, I confessed my sins of murmuring and fear, and placed my intellect (my mind, will, and emotions) on the altar before Him.
It was there in the stillness of my soul where I was able to find peace even though the events were far from peaceful. I believe that in this world, filled with much noise and distraction, many of us have also lost one of our greatest gifts from God…the stillness WITHIN our souls!