“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” (Romans 8:28, NIV)
During those difficult moments where I had to adjust to living without a C-PAP machine while I was also weaning myself off of the addictive Zoplicone medicine, there were also plenty of other “fires” vying for my attention.
My mother, back in Belgium, wasn’t doing well at all, and we were afraid she wouldn’t pull through. We had to prepare for the inevitable and be ready to leave the country at any moment. Not knowing day by day what the outcome would be was a real challenge.
It didn’t help that my clientele at work was less than cooperative, difficult at best, and certainly doing everything they could to make it the most stressful year ever. Fires at my school had to be stomped out on a daily basis, and constant vigilance on my part was required.
To top it all off, we had financial woes as well, as the tax laws from my wife’s birth country had changed drastically and had to be addressed by a professional accountant. This took months to rectify, and his fee was well outside of our definition of “normal.” At least we didn’t owe anything tax-wise!
As a result of all this, anxiety took up residence at my front door, and it did everything in its power to bring me unrest. Sleep was elusive at times, and I hungered for support from above, which I gladly received.
How easy it would have been for me to temporarily withdraw from the ministry God had given me. After all, I had my own fires to extinguish, and these required lots of my time. Had I done that, however, I would have missed out on experiencing God fully. It’s during these stressful times when I experienced Him the most!
First of all, by praying for those who had their own fires burning brightly, it made me focus on others instead of on myself, and somehow that helped me not to let my problems get out of proportion. Thinking of others first helped me to see the world through Jesus’ eyes. After all, we are on a mission to help others, pray for them, encourage them and lead them into the arms of our Heavenly Father Himself.
Secondly, as I had nowhere to turn to, I leaned solely on the One who would see me through. Who else could claim: “He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart. You will not fear the terror of night, nor the arrow that flies by day, nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness, nor the plague that destroys at midday.” (Ps 91:4-6, NIV)
Although I would rather have skipped these stressful months, they were the best days of my life, for during that time I learned to rely solely on my Father. I found that nowhere else could I obtain such peace, comfort and rest. Jesus’ words are so true: “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” (Matt 11:28-30, NIV)
I learned during adversity that God cares for us much more than we may know. He sustains us when we rely on Him, and He will see us through, leading us to complete victory. I have completely abandoned myself to Him, and all my stress was dissolved into trust in the One who saw me through.
The previous year, right before summer arrived, my wife was diagnosed with breast cancer. I was shocked. How could this have happened? What were her chances?
I immediately confided to my Father and he gave me this promise on behalf of my wife: “And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast.” (1 Peter 5:10)
That day I started to learn how to leave my troubles at His feet. He fulfilled His promise not only for my wife, but for me as well, a year later. And He will do the same for you!
“Is anyone thirsty? Come! All who will, come and drink, Drink freely of the Water of Life!” (Revelation 22:17, MSG)
Come to Him and learn from Him. He will see you through, guaranteed. All you need to do is focus solely on Him and bathe in His love.
(To access the entire, “Flying Like an Eagle” devotional series, please click here.)