I thought I would dig deep into His Word to draw nearer to Him and get more insight, more direction, and more encouragement for my life.
I thought I would get together with close friends to talk to about God and grow together in Him.
And I did all of those things, but it was no way near to the way I originally imagined it to be.
Yes, I spent hours upon hours of prayer but it was not because I conveniently set time aside to be alone with God.
It’s because I found myself in such a dark place that the only way I knew I would get through was by crying out to Him daily on my knees.
Yes, I spent hours upon hours poring over my Bible but it was not because I wanted to catch up on my Bible reading plan and get insight and conviction for myself
It was because I found myself in the middle of a storm and I knew the only way I would make it out safely to the other side was by holding on tightly to His Word and claiming His truth and promises for myself.
Yes, I spent time talking to my friends about what I was going through, but it was not because it’s just what we normally do but because I needed them not to laugh with me but to hold my hand, to pray for me, and to encourage me.
I went into August thinking it would be this amazing month dedicated to spending time alone with Christ, and it was.
But it seems like the minute you try to get closer to Christ the enemy sees and he attacks you in every single way.
I would get hit with one arrow one week, and after much prayer and reading God’s Word I would make it back up, only to get hit once again.
I was tested, I was broken, I was tempted, and I was tried.
There were moments when I got scared and all I could do was cling to Christ because I knew He was my lifeline.
There were moments when I couldn’t fall asleep because I was worried about what the next day would bring so I would open up my Bible and repeat God’s promises and truth into my heart and mind over and over again.
There were moments I got so hurt and angry at people and situations that I had no control over but I held my tongue and clung to His peace knowing He had even those questionable areas in my life all under control.
There were moments when I felt like God had forgotten me so I dug out my old prayer journals to re-read and be reminded of how faithful He has been in getting me through every single battle, storm, and trial I have ever faced until this day.
There were moments I felt so broken inside all I could do was get down on my knees and pray for God to comfort me and carry my burdens for me.
And the funny thing is I know exactly why my hard days came.
It’s because I prayed a prayer that God answered so faithfully.
I asked Him to help me do hard things in life.
Things that required me to trust in Him.
Things that tested my faith.
And so those hard things came.
See…it’s easy to say “I’ll praise God in the storm” until you find yourself directly in the midst of rolling waves, thundering skies, and a shaking boat.
It’s easy to say “I’ll trust God in the middle of my desert” until you find yourself stuck in the desert, seeing nothing but wilderness ahead, not knowing which path to follow next.
It’s easy to say “I won’t give up” until you are standing directly in front of a mountain with no strength left to take one more step.
It’s easy to say “I won’t worry about tomorrow” until you find yourself staring darkness in the face, not knowing how you will even make it through today.
If there is anything that I learned this month it’s that Jesus is closest when He seems furthest away.
He loves you even when everything starts falling out of place.
And He walks with you every step of the way.
Because storms were never meant to break you but to build you up.
Just like a trainer puts on that extra weight on you to build up your muscle so you can handle even more next time so God allows you to walk through one more storm with Him so your faith in Him will grow as you learn to trust Him in the middle of your chaos, of your brokenness, and your pain so you can be prepared for what is to come.
He allows you to go through hard things so you can have an opportunity to trust and believe that He is truly who He says He is, a gracious Heavenly Father who is faithful to hearing and answering His children’s needs.
“If you’ve never been sick, how can you know God is your healer?
If you’ve never been broke, how can you know God is your provider?
If you’ve never been hurt, how can you know God is your comforter?
If you’ve never been afraid, how can you know God is your shelter?
If you’ve never been persecuted, how can you know God is your vindicator?
Every situation you face, will be used for God to show His glory in your life.
Every challenge you face, is just a set up for praise.
Never forget that no matter how tough times are.”
There will be some moments in your life when just like in Job’s situation God will ask you “Will you still love me when your world starts falling apart? Will you trust me when what you are walking through makes absolutely no sense? Will you believe in me when the world around you tells you to do otherwise?”
It’s when we are most tempted to run from God and doubt His love for us that we must run to Him even faster and trust Him most.
Never forget that it was in the desert, running from his enemies that David learned there was no battle he couldn’t fight because God would always go before Him.
It was in the prison cell abandoned by his own brothers that Joseph learned that God would never abandon him.
It was being barren at 90 years of age after years and years of waiting, and praying, and probably too many tears that Sarah learned that nothing is impossible for God.
Sometimes God allows valleys, and deserts, and storms into our life simply to show us what He has been showing His children for the last few thousand years: He hears our prayers, He is faithful, and He will always be there.
It is the valleys, and prison cells, and deserts that He molded His greatest warriors of faith.
It is in the fires, and the trials, and in the brokenness that He developed the most beautiful men and women after His own heart.
And as hard as it is to say I am thankful that He took me through my share this month because I know it’s only for my own good and my own growth in Him.
My storm might still rage on but my hope is in the One who can calm it with a single Word from his mouth.
My desert might still extend farther than my eye can see but my hope is in the One who will direct my every step until I reach the Promised Land.
My battle might still continue but my hope is in the One who fights every blow, every shot, and every attack that comes my way.
Never forget that God is good and He is faithful no matter what you are going through today and what you will face tomorrow.
Trials, darkness, and storms don’t exclude anyone.
Hard times will come.
But so will good times.
So will answered prayers.
So will glorious blessings.
So will open doors.
So will victory.
So will healing.
So will a brand new day.
God loves you no matter where you’re at.
If He’s taking you through a difficult season, trust Him.
That’s not your final destination; it’s just a stepping stone along the way.
A challenge made specifically for you to strengthen you for the rest of your journey with Him.
So keep on fighting, keep on trusting, and keep on holding to His promises.
Today is just one day…. He’s not finished with you yet.
I hope you all have a wonderful day! -Anna… ♥
“He calms the storm to a whisper; the waves of the sea are hushed.” – Psalm 107:29