Over the past few weeks, certain things have changed with regard to how I see things, how I see myself, how I see my circumstances. And the only thing that has kept me steady has been the thought that the Lord is my Shepherd. The thought that my Father is on it. He’s handling it, and so I can relax.
This inner rest has been on and off; one minute I’m very confident that things are all working together for my good, and the next, I have all these questions for God, and also questions for myself; questions to which I do not have the answers; which is why I look up, not inward. There are no answers inside us, which is why we look to Christ. It is difficult to write about a storm while you’re in the midst of walking above it, so I’m going to write about that later, when I am able to write about walking above the storm because of Christ, in addition to writing about the coming out of the storm.
So, rather than tell that story today, I’m going to tell you a story about my aunt.
Last Saturday, I attended a thanksgiving service/ ceremony for my aunt’s total recovery from an illness that had harassed her for months. She had been quite unwell, but, Jesus… Don’t you just love it when, in the midst of a story-of-challenge, there is a ‘but, Jesus’. I love it! You just know that the story is going to take a turn and become one of victory!
My aunt has made a full recovery. More than a recovery, I’d say that God has restored her to wholeness. The thing with God’s restoration is that He doesn’t just put you back to the way you were, He restores you to better than you were. My aunt looks and sounds amazing. She looks so much better than she looked even before the symptoms. She is a testimony to the might and willingness of God to be right in the midst of your circumstances.
As you can imagine, during the thanksgiving ceremony, a lot was said, songs were sang, food was enjoyed, and prayers were prayed. The one thing that really stuck with me though, is that during difficult circumstances, it is absolutely paramount to put the Word of God in our mouths.
During difficult circumstances, we generally have two options:
• Either choose to speak a running commentary of your circumstances and talk about how awful things are.
• Or have the Word of God in your mouth. Speak that which the Lord has said about your circumstances.
With both these options, there is going to be a lot going through your mind. Option one keeps attention on you and your circumstances, causing you to sink deeper and deeper into negativity, self-doubt, anxiety and depression. Let me tell you right now as a person who has been prone to negativity, anxiety and depression, that this is not a healthy path. Let’s examine option two.
In His word, God has a Word for every circumstance because He says that He is I AM. He is strength when you’re weak, provision when you’re experiencing lack, health when you’re experiencing symptoms. He is I Am. There are times when you’ll be so discouraged that you won’t even believe the words that you’re speaking when you say that God is in control of the circumstance. When you say that God is reigning as I AM, your present help in a time of trouble. These are the times when your negative circumstances may seem extremely loud. Times when the storm seems to rage so turbulently that it seems to be all consuming. During these times, it will seem easier to slip into option one; to start looking at the storm and take your eyes off Christ.
Against all odds, this is the time to speak the word of God even more. Write it on a card and ponder on it as you go about your day. Write it on a sticky note. Bombard your senses with the word of God that speaks to your situation.
The word of God brings peace, and an assurance that your Father, who calls you beloved, is taking care of the situation on your behalf.
During the time when my aunt was experiencing those symptoms, she spoke and meditated on Psalm 91. The last verse in that chapter says, “With long life, God will satisfy me.” Even as the symptoms got worse she spoke out and said, “With long life, God will satisfy me.” I really admire that. It’s a true testimony to looking at Christ, as opposed to looking and meditating on the circumstances. Circumstances are not constant, Christ is. And wouldn’t it be much cooler to keep your eye on that which is constant and unchanging?
I know what you’re probably thinking right now. You’re thinking, ‘What if I choose Option Two and it doesn’t work? What if my healing, or my provision doesn’t come? What if my need isn’t met?’
What have you got to lose?