Have you ever watched a friend or family member walk through trial after trial and thought to yourself, “I don’t see how they do it. If I were them, I would crumble under it all.” At an even deeper level, have you yourself been walking through a season in which you feel like if one more thing is added to the weight of it all, you are going to fall apart? It seems that in recent months, I have heard more stories or watched people I love walk through just plain hard things. The wreck that killed the innocent. The cancer that keeps coming back. The child that died suddenly. The assault that came out of nowhere. The miscarriages that keep coming, one after another. Life after life being wrecked by tragedies that just won’t stop appearing. Sometimes, even, it’s the little things that keep piling up and leaving us overwhelmed. One more assignment at work that’s due. One more tee ball practice in a line of other activities. One more unexpected bill that we aren’t sure how we are going to pay. Stress over stress over stress that leaves us anxious and wondering when we will just get a break. For once, when will things just come easy?
We had a test done last week to make sure that our girls were swallowing properly. Long story short, they aren’t. It wasn’t the worst case scenario (they are not constantly aspirating, thankfully), but it wasn’t the best. We now have to thicken their liquids for an indefinite amount of time. It’s not a huge deal; but it’s just one more thing on top of a list of many. I found myself complaining to the Lord most of the weekend. Last night, I just simply asked Him, “Lord, for once can I just take a breath? For once, can one thing just come easy?” Suddenly, my vision became less blurry and I looked around. I have a roof over my head. Food on the table. Clothes to wear. Family and friends abundant. An incredible church community. A God-fearing, hard-working, might I add very good-looking husband that loves me to the moon and back. Two beautiful, precious girls that teach me more about God’s love for me every day and have given more weight to the word servant than anything I have ever done in my life. Most importantly, a Savior, a God who rescued me on the cross and rescues me from myself each and every day. The thing is, I have gotten a break and there is a list that could go on for days where things have come easy. “But, Lord”, I said. “You know my heart so You know what I mean. I am just tired. I am drained, God.” As He so often heard, I sensed Him whispering to my heart, “Morgan, whose strength are you relying on? Look to me. I am the One who has always stayed the same. Don’t look to the world around you, to your circumstances or your own ever-changing emotions on the current situations. Look to the One who doesn’t change.” Deep breath in, deep breath out. Deep breath in, deep breath out. A beautiful truth for our weary souls today: No matter what is going on within us or around us, He is the same yesterday, today, and forever (Hebrews 13:8).
Yesterday. If you would have told me that I would have walked through a year with special needs twins, filled with all the hardships and unknowns we have already experienced, I would have said no way. I would have honestly thought I was too weak. But, He is strong in our weakness (2 Corinthians 12:9-10), and not only has He walked us through this time, but He has made us stronger because of it. Sometimes, He calms the storm and sometimes He calms the child, and He has chosen to not take away this trial but to gracefully walk us through it. He has been the graceful One might I add. There have been days where faith and peace have felt far from me, where I didn’t want to see Him in the midst because I was just plain mad about it, but He has stayed the same. I have often thought that He brings really tough things to those of us who are the weakest because there is that much more room to show His strength. In all our yesterdays, He has stayed the same. Beyond my own life, I can look through the Scriptures and see this to be true. Think about Paul. In 2 Corinthians 11:24-30, He writes:
“Five times I received at the hands of the Jews the forty lashes less one. Three times I was beaten with rods. Once I was stoned. Three times I was shipwrecked; a night and a day I was adrift at seas; on frequent journeys, in danger from rivers, danger from robbers, danger from my own people, danger from Gentiles, danger in the city, danger in the wilderness, danger at sea, danger from false brothers; in toil and hardship, through many a sleepless night, in hunger and thirst, often without food, in cold and exposure…who is weak, and I am not weak? Who is made to fall, and I am not indignant? If I must boast, I will boast of the things that show my weakness.” (emphasis mine)
If he must boast, he will boast in his weakness. Why? Because in His weakness, He knows Christ is making Himself known as strong. This is a man who in his flesh must have felt beyond pushed. He had to have thought that the pressures were piling up, yet his faith stayed firm because He saw the Lord making him strong in the midst. The greatest news is this: The same God who strengthened Paul is the God who has promised to strengthen us, if yet we would ask. I have found that with Christ, we can smile at the storms because He is the One making this empty vessel strong. Stop and think about that for a minute. With Christ, we have the option to allow the God of the universe steer our ship. The school of sorrow can become a school of faith for us. Our connection to the throne becomes more powerful than ever in times of trial, if yet we would look not in fear at our emptiness and weakness; but look to Him in the midst of our own emptiness and weakness and ask Him to fill us. The same power that raised Christ from the dead is the power that He offers us, no matter what we are going through (Ephesians 1:19). He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak every. Single. Time. (Isaiah 40:29).
Friends, I do not know what you or your loved ones are walking through. The television screams of tragedy after tragedy, and it often seems as if all around us is broken. However, what I do know is this: God is the same. His power is the same. His offer to us that believe is the same. He desires to use whatever you are going through or have gone through in the past for His glory and your good. Whatever it is, whatever your worst nightmare or worst case scenario might be: With Him, you could get through it. Not only could you get through it, at the end of it all, you could be better from it. We have always been told that trials can make us bitter or they can make us better. He desires to use it for the better, but we cannot do that on our own. That requires supernatural power and the best part is this: His power is the same as it was yesterday and it is limitless. As long as you are breathing, it is never too late to place it all in His hands and watch Him work. Today, trust that He is a God that never changes and that He is also an ever-present help in whatever this day holds (Psalm 46:1). Always working, never changing. A beautiful combination! Our strength and our song yesterday, today, and forever. No matter what is piled on top of seemingly little or seemingly mountainous tasks and circumstances today, He’s got this. If you are reading, I know that He desires that you connect with this truth at the deepest level. My prayer for you today, whoever you are, is that, “according to the riches of His glory He may grant you to be strengthened with power through His Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith- that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God (Ephesians 3:16-19). To Him who is able to do far abundantly more than I could ever ask or imagine, to Him be the glory forever and ever (vs. 20).