When I was 6 years old, I became gravely ill and had a high fever for an extended period of time. One of my earliest memories is one of my parents holding me in a bathtub filled with water and ice in an attempt to break this fever. I didn’t understand at all what was happening.
That night, the fever broke, and I began to recover, but a result of the fever I lost 90% of my hearing in both ears and my world went largely silent. As a young boy my world became one with moving lips and actions that had no sounds. I felt alone and separated from everything around me.
My amazing parents jumped into efforts to solve my silent world that included lip-reading classes, hearing aids, and thinking through every possible way to help me function in a hearing world. Elementary teachers in my small town joined the army of helpers and I honestly believe this team of incredible people made my world so much better than it could have been.
But life was still difficult and I had some weighty questions. Why is everyone else normal while I have this hearing loss? Where was God when this was taking place? How can a God who is supposed to be able do anything sit idly by when I’m struggling badly?
I was convinced that life was unfair and that I was a victim.
I can’t remember how many times God reminded me “I’m not done with you yet. The story is not over. Why can’t you trust Me for the next chapter?”
Slowly, I learned to trust Him for one thing, then another. And now, daily. He’s still not done! My journey of faith continues, and I’m in no way disappointed with what He is doing!
“What would these lives have been like if they had never listened to God or been open to His help? How would their stories have been different?” It’s not difficult to imagine how badly things would go with any of these biblical characters if they hadn’t stopped, listened and obeyed.
I frequently think about where I would be today if I were “on my own.” I don’t like what I envision.
Have you wondered if God was done with you? Have you stopped entertaining the “what if” question that God sometimes surprises us with? “What if God were to do this work in my life, or answer this prayer? What if He were to give me next steps in the days ahead?”
Let’s remember some things we’ve learned:
Reminder #1 - God is completely aware of where you are and what is taking place. Sometimes this truth is uncomfortable, especially when we prefer things be hidden. At other times, this is the most welcomed truth in the world. I may feel lost, but God knows where I am!
Reminder #2 – You’re never alone. God is there. He is with you. This is generally true in that God is omni-present. He’s literally everywhere. .
Reminder #3 – God still gives promises and keeps them. Some of the greatest stories in the Bible involve promises God gave to His people that He kept, no matter how impossible the circumstances were. God still gives promises and keeps them.
Reminder #4 – God’s resources are endless. The wisdom displayed by Abigail and Esther in trying moments is impressive. God gives amazing insight, strength or resolve.
Reminder # 5 – Patiently waiting for God to speak or act keeps us from self-destructing. Moses’ anger and compulsion kept setting him back instead of moving him forward. If he’d only waited for God to work, his life would have been far simpler! It’s true of us, too.
Reminder # 6 – Grace and grit work well together. We can’t do anything well without God’s grace, but He also calls us to endurance. It’s important to hang in there while waiting on God to work. We hang in there when marriage is challenging or when raising kids is making us crazy. Those seasons will pass if we don’t give up. We have to hang in there when life feels awful, knowing it will change at some point. We must hang in there because the opposite is to give up. “But by the grace of God I am what I am, and His grace toward me did not prove vain; but I labored even more than all of them, yet not I, but the grace of God with me.” 2 Corinthians 15:10
That’s grace and grit.
Reminder #7 – During every difficult season, God is building our character to become more like Christ. If we remember that God is always at work to help us become more like Christ, then this reminder is a welcomed one.
“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. For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brethren.” Romans 8:28-29
He’s shaping us. He’s shaping YOU, and knowing He is using our circumstances to cause us to be more like Christ is a great encouragement.
Thoughts from John Meador and insights from God's Word.