It’s been a hard few weeks at our house; nothing specific to point to, just a lot of teenage angst and drama, some decisions to make and a lot that needs to be done, sprinkled with several significant crises within our church family. For us, church family isn’t necessarily just here in the town we live, it’s a combination of people from all the places we’ve worshiped over the years, and we rejoice with them, grieve with them and we pray for them. It’s been a time for prayer more than rejoicing recently. To sum it up: life is hard but God is good.
I was talking with God this morning, and found myself thanking Him for these tough times. Let me assure you, this is not normal for me. I realized while I was praying that these last few weeks have been opportunities to make wise decisions, to connect more with one of my teens and to pray more specifically for people I love, who are not nearby. Maybe this is what spiritual growth looks like; sitting back and relying on God for answers, resting in the peace that He provides and finding positives in the hardness of the daily.
Several years ago during a particularly difficult season, a friend of mine said that she felt led to tell me that I needed to thank God for the storm we were in. I listened to what she said, and respected her words but didn’t whole heartedly thank Him. I may have given the same thanks you give your Aunt when she knitted you a kitten sweater for Christmas – obligatory, with a side of attitude and zero eye contact.
Today I am trying to look up, to look in, and to thank Him for the hard. I want to be used in any way I can to bring His glory, and I want to see the bigger picture. Life is hard but God is good.
Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. James 1:2-4
In the middle of some hard things here too and God brought me back to Ps 107 last week. My thirties taught me the importance of thanking God out loud and for the last several months I could almost feel the enemy clamping my mouth shut. Last week I pushed the words out of my mouth. Though none of the issues we’re facing have changed, my heart has. Praying for you today!!!
Come sit under my umbrella!
This must be done! Ella, ella, ella, under my umbrella… I was listening to that song when you posted this. Simply meant to be.
Amen. Seems God is speaking equally to us 🙂
I thought the same thing….but honestly I’d rather have my own storm than yours…
I have been learning some rather difficult lessons myself recently, and somehow you are uncanny at being able to speak relevance and truth into my circumstances, even when I haven’t been on in a while. I am back now though. Praying for you! 🙂
Welcome back! Can’t tell you how much your words meant to me last night as I was winding down for the day. And I can’t wait to read anything you’ve written!
Jennifer, again this is a wonderful post! I just came out of a storm period of my life, as early as yesterday. And I can tell that praise and giving thanks is the only way to keep from being swept off by the storm. It is the correct season/time to stand firm in your faith. Because He is faithful, who has called you! He will bring you out victoriously!
Keep believing. Keep praising. That’s your way out! 🙂
Thanks Vincy. I really appreciate your comments.
He purifies us through fire and guides us through darkness. Sometimes it is difficult to simply let go and trust Him. We speak of it often, but in reality it is our nature to try to change things – make them better, different, our way. Yet, through our struggles He knows his plans and this too is refining us. Thank you for the reminder!
Love this. It’s not always easy to praise Him in the storm or thank Him for the hard places. Some days it feels impossible. There is always light in the dark, even if we see it much later. Thank you for sharing.
Seems like we’ve been in similar storms….