The other day I was walking along in my new life thinking about all the things God has blessed me with in the past year. I say “new” life because in comparison to the life I once lived, everything has dramatically changed. While I once walked down the dark road of addiction, desperate to fill the emptiness inside of myself with anything temporary, I now walk in the light. The holes in my soul now shine with the light of Jesus and I no longer search for a fix. I am free.
I was running down the list of blessings, thanking God for each one, when I heard a voice say: “Would you still praise me in the storm?”
I recognized the voice as God’s, and was almost indignant when I responded with: “Well of course I would!”
I am smart enough and have been through enough in my life to know that life is very temporary. Life was great right now, but rough waters lay ahead. It is inevitable that I will be disappointed, saddened, and experience loss in this lifetime. While it has been very easy to praise God with all the good going on right now, would I still be singing a song of praise through the rough stuff that was sure to come?
I thought about all the hurt I had witnessed lately. People close to me have experienced tremendous loss this past year. I watched a couple lose their son to a rare disease, while another lost their unborn son. I watched my fiance lose his father, and a friend lost her life in what should have been minor surgery. So many questions left behind. Why would God allow all this suffering? I have written about where I think God is in all this, and how I am a firm believer in the fact God uses everything for the good of those who love Him.
Would I feel the same if it were my child? My parent? How would I even start to get over something like that?
I thought about a recent blog I had read written by a mother who had lost her son to a rare form of cancer. Reading the posts I could feel the sadness and despair of the author. “I don’t know where you are, but I just hope your safe.” she wrote in one post. “I woke up sobbing today and wondering where you are and if you are ok.” she wrote in another. I felt so sad for her, because this woman did not know God. She did not know that her son was indeed safe, playing in paradise, waiting for her to know where he was so she could join him someday.
Then I thought about my friend Yvonne, who had lost her son Nick to a rare disease back in February. Undoubtedly, her heart has been broken by the loss of her son. But when she talks about him, there is so much hope in her eyes. She talks about him “up there” and how she knows he is no longer suffering, trapped in a body that would not let him do the things he wanted to do. She told me she knows he is free now. She used that word, “free.” She doesn’t lay in bed at night, wondering where he is and if he is safe. She knows that someday they will be reunited, but until then she has peace that he is in heaven.
Even with something so horrible as death, people who know God can find a peek-a-boo of hope. It is what pulls them through the storm.
I thought about everything I had been through in my life with my addiction. I had tried so many different avenues to get our of my storm, all of them turning out to be dead ends. The only thing that had worked was trusting God, and walking towards His light to get me through. I have watched fellow believers go through terrible things and some how God’s light always breaks through the cracks of their despair.
I think I will praise Him when the tough times come. Because that is the only way I will ever get through the things this life will hand me. If I ever forget this, all I have to do is look behind me at my past to trust Him with whatever my future throws at me.
It is like the old hymn that says: ” Turn your eyes upon Jesus. Look full into His wonderful face. And the things of life will grow strangely dim, in light of his glory and grace.”
There is no other way for me.