I remember this moment like it was yesterday. I’d just hung up with a bill collector. They wanted more money than we could pay on our impossible medical debt. My nerves were worn thin. How did we get here? We weren’t frivolous spenders. We weren’t irresponsible. Yet circumstances beyond our control had tossed us into a storm that was too big for us. We weren’t to blame, but we were in a mess. And the woman on the phone spoke to me with such utter contempt that I wrapped myself up in it. I felt as bad about our situation as she wanted me to feel.
My son Luke tugged at my pant leg,
“Momma! You said you’d take us outside to play in the sandbox. Can we go now, pleeeeease?”
My three sons all looked up at me with no clue of how bad things were for us at the moment. I smiled and said,
“Yes, I did. Let’s go play outside, boys.”
We hurried outside to the backyard and plopped down in the sandbox to build sandcastles for the next two hours.
At one point I scooted back and sat on the edge of the sandbox just to watch my boys play. I felt the warmth of the sun heat up my face and I looked up at the bright blue sky, dotted with strikingly white clouds. The birds sang a happy song and I couldn’t help but smile.
At that moment, the Lord whispered to me,
“Susie, My grace is sufficient for you here. My power will be made perfect in your weakness. Look for and enjoy these moments every chance you get. You’re not your crisis; you’re not a have-not; and you’ll never, ever be the object of contempt in my eyes. Agree with Me on this; not the woman on the phone. You will get through this.”
Peace flooded my heart and soul in the most supernatural way. Nothing had changed in my circumstance, but everything had changed in my heart. I found rest. I found assurance. And I knew this crisis wouldn’t last forever.
And you know? That storm passed. Those financial trials are a thing of the past as well. I am SO grateful that God tilted my chin upward to notice Him at a time when my circumstances hurt so bad, they made my skin hurt.
Maybe you’re there now. You wonder where God is. You’re tempted to agree with your enemy, or your critic, or with your own berating thoughts about yourself.
But Jesus is right here with you. He wants to tilt your chin upward so you can see your life through His eyes. Even here, you’re more blessed and more loved than you know.
Recently on Middays, I spoke with pastor and bestselling author, Robert Morgan about his new book, Always Near: 10 Ways to Delight in the Closeness of God.
“In our chaotic world, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed and isolated, far from our Lord. That’s when we most need a reminder that God is in the room. He is here, in this place. God wants an intimate relationship with you, and He has gone to great lengths to make it possible.”
This was such a great conversation! We explored how time in God’s Word, time in His presence, and trust in His love for us, changes everything. Pastor Robert even gave us an inside glimpse of what his prayer/journal time looks like.
I asked him to speak to the person who feels stuck in perpetual worry. Here’s another great word from his book.
“If worries dominate your thoughts, you’ll be troubled. If Christ gets your attention, He will prevail over your mood and morale. Whatever you’re facing, let go and let God. Learn to relax in His presence.”
I want you to picture yourself years from now, way past your crisis or trial, offering wise, sound advice to the one in the storm. What do you think you’d say to that person?
Remember in the darkness what God told you in the light. Don’t mistake His silence for His absence. He’s nearer than you know and kinder than you can fathom.
I pray you sense His presence today. We’re praying for you. You will get through this.You will get through this