In April of 2012 my family experienced some major storms. I am in awe of that time and can never forget how great and big and faithful our God was during it all. And how great and big and faithful He is in the sunshine as well…although it is often the storms that grow us the most (just look at how green the rain makes the grass!) I pray these words and verses bring you encouragement today whether you are facing sun or storms.
I once thought that God didn’t give us more than we could handle but I now believe the opposite to be true…He gives us more than we can handle on our own so we have nothing left to do but cling to Him. We cannot do it without Him. I have learned that He will provide if we just let Him and He will calm us so much during the storms that all we can do is praise Him.
Two years ago this month, my family weathered some storms. The details of those few months will be saved for another day, but they did affect my husband and our two young children. These storms consisted of numerous hospital stays, multiple ER visits, surgery, a 20 foot fall, a lymphoma scare, one health issue we are praying and believing will be outgrown in God’s time, and two diagnoses that God has already healed (He is so good!).
Looking back through journal entries and messages to my prayer warriors, family, etc…I am overwhelmed with emotion at the supernatural strength God gave me during that time; at how strong my faith was during it all. It’s been both an encouragement and a wonderful reminder of how God will provide if I let Him and how if I’m not placing my trust and hope in Him, I will fear and feel the chaos of my surroundings when going through troubling times (which we WILL have in this world, the Bible tells us). Through it all, God was there, and He was BIG. He showed up, He held us up and in the course of it all we grew. I revisit that time and can’t help but praise Him some more! His hand was on everything and everywhere. I couldn’t have done it without Him; everything around me was chaotic and out of control, but I knew that HE was in control. I was on my knees crying out to Him constantly; so many people were praying for us…and He provided. He provided strength and a peace I’ve never experienced before. He carried me, He carried us, and we survived…
I want to share some verses that helped us survive:
Romans 8:28 says, “And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.” This verse tells us that when we love God, He can turn our circumstances into good to fulfill a greater purpose- His purpose. I assure you that the bad we went through that year resulted in good. We are not who we were before we walked through those storms and for that I am grateful. Our relationships with Jesus and each other were deepened and strengthened; we learned so much and depended on God in a way we hadn’t before. Daily I am reminded of that time and how it is a testament of the goodness and faithfulness of our Lord Jesus Christ. May we mediate on Romans 8:28 and know the greater good is for His Glory!
Psalm 121:1-2 says “I will lift up my eyes to the mountains; from where shall my help come? My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth.” Was He ever my Help…as I have mentioned before I couldn’t have done it without Him. His help came in various ways too; amazing family and friends willing to help however they could, phone calls, texts, hospital visits, home cooked dinners, sonic drinks, a song on the radio or in my head, a truck with Philippians 4:13 written on it, a sermon or devotional– everything coming at just the right time, which is more validation that He knows what we need when we need it and that His timing is perfect (why do I forget this sometimes!?).
A verse I couldn’t have done without and prayed daily was Deuteronomy 31:8, “The LORD is the one who goes ahead of you; He will be with you. He will not fail or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed.” I knew that my family was in God’s hands and I had so much peace knowing that He went before us and knew long before we did what was going on and what was going to happen. I tried not to think about the what-if’s and worse case scenarios because I knew we were in the thick of it all and God wanted me to trust in Him. It wasn’t always easy but, I promise you, trusting in Him and knowing He was in control was much more comforting than my other options.
The following verses were also constantly on my heart:
“You are my strength, I sing praise to you; you God are my fortress, my God on whom I can rely.” Psalm 59:17 (NIV)
“For you, O LORD have made me glad by what You have done, I will sing for joy at the works of Your hands.” Psalm 92:4 (NASB)
“…Pour out your heart like water before the presence of the Lord; Lift up your hands to Him for the life of your little ones…” Lamentations 2:19 (NASB)
“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Philippians 4:13 (NKJV)
“And all things you ask for in prayer, believing, you shall receive.” Matthew 21:22 (NASB) (our daughter’s life verse)
“For I know the plans I have for you declares the Lord…” Jeremiah 29:11a (NASB) (our son’s life verse)
If you are walking through a storm right now, look up. Praise Him through it. Pray without ceasing, stay in His Word, meditate on His truths and have others pray on your behalf. No matter how big or small the storm, He can handle it and He wants us to make our requests known to Him. You’ll be amazed at the strength, guidance, and comfort He can supply. He is enough. I pray this article will serve as encouragement to everyone who reads it. It’s as much for me as it is for you, if not more. To God be the Glory great things He has done!
*I originally wrote this article for the April 2013 edition of My Journey of Faith Online Magazine. Every April I am reminded of the storms we encountered in 2012 and the goodness and greatness of our God. Click here to be redirected to the original article and other articles of faith.