We had another snowstorm this weekend in my part of the world. The snow is piled up so high, that the houses across the street, which I can normally see just fine through my basement apartment windows, are now blocked by giant walls of it and apparently, we are supposed to get even more snow this coming week. I haven’t experienced snow like this for some time as I had been living in other parts of Canada for so long and just moved back home to Newfoundland in Sept 2021 in which there wasn’t nearly as much snow that winter. Maybe this winter is making up for the last one but I must admit, I am kind of over it now. However, despite the daunting view of outside, I do choose to look at it with humour (laughter can be the best medicine) and most importantly, thankfulness to God. He has blessed me with a warm, safe and cozy home to shelter me from the cold; food to eat; my health; the tools and technology to be creative as well as to stay in contact with the people my life has been blessed with. My Heavenly Father has provided me with all that I need for these winter storms and I am thankful to him.
Of course, there are storms we go through in life that are much bigger than having to dig ourselves out of walls of snow. Storms which affect our physical, emotional and even spiritual well-being. Storms in which we as believers, may not entirely feel so thankful to God either because we have forgotten his faithfulness and goodness through the midst of our pain or maybe because we even began to doubt it. I’ve certainly experienced it. It might even be safe to say that those with the most strongest of faith have experienced it.
To remain joyful or even hopeful during our storms can sometimes seem easier said than done. We may put on a brave face and tell others, along with ourselves, that we are okay but deep down, we aren’t. We’re struggling. We may be fighting unwanted thoughts or feelings. We may feel discouraged, worried, tired, confused, lost and/or broken. We may start to feel like our faith is diminishing or we become afraid that if other believers knew exactly what we were facing, they may question our faith or walk with Jesus and because of this, we may even find ourselves trying to hide it from God himself.
Well, first off, we can’t hide anything from our Heavenly Father. He sees everything including our struggles but I truly believe he doesn’t just see them, he understands. I believe that his love, grace and understanding for us exceeds any struggle we will ever face (even with sin) and that we are called to imitate this. I do believe that as Jesus’ disciples we should encourage other believers (and non-believers if/when presented with the gentle opportunity) who are facing hardships to continue to have faith in the Lord and to remember his goodness. However, I don’t believe that we should expect for someone, including ourselves, to be able to get “over” it just like that. While we should never underestimate the power of prayer, reading scriptures, having faith or even the power of our mighty and sovereign God himself, we can’t always control how we feel just by shutting it off. That’s what I meant earlier when I said that we may be fighting unwanted thoughts or feelings. I truly believe that my God understands this and that we as followers of Christ should also be understanding of this. Everyone’s storm is different and we should never assume that another believer isn’t as faithful because they are struggling in some way.
I don’t believe that the presence of pain, sickness (physical and mental), disappointment or even worry always equals the absence of faith. I don’t believe that having faith is about denying our struggles or putting on a brave face and pretending everything is okay. I believe it’s acknowledging and admitting our struggles but continuing to trust in the Lord throughout it all. I believe faith is about continuing to pursue Jesus Christ even through our toughest and darkest times. For myself, it’s also about finding the joy, strength and even peace in knowing he is just a whisper away. That again, he doesn’t just see my pain, but he understands and he will always meet me in my current situation or circumstance. It’s in the midst of both our joy and pain that we need Jesus who may not always bring us right out of our storms but instead, lovingly carries us through them.
Until next time,
Thanks for stopping by and God bless! 💗
Featured Image Credit: Randy Fath via Unsplash