***Our friend Amy shares a part of her story in this devotional that includes pregnancy loss. If pregnancy loss is a tender topic for you, please feel free to circle back to today’s devotional in your own time, if you wish.***
When we experience a crisis (I’m looking at you 2020 👀) it drives people two ways: towards faith or away from it. It often becomes easier to question our faith and allow panic to creep in than to replace that chaos with the peace that Jesus offers us. While it can be difficult to see how God is at work in our circumstances, we have a choice whether we will look for His faithfulness and anchor our hope in Him.
I remember Aug 12, 2009 like it was yesterday. Nothing could have prepared me for the loss I was about to experience. I was alone in a sonogram room hearing my OB tell me that the 16 week baby I was growing in my belly, no longer had a heart beat. I was devastated. I couldn’t think or understand words–everything just stopped. I left her office in tears, and quickly called my husband from our car. I said “Babe, you need to come home. The baby has no heartbeat.” He was silent and then whispered “Not even a little one?” Next, we had to call our parents and tell our friends. Sitting with our then 4 year old son and telling him that the baby was in heaven now was an experience I wouldn’t wish on anyone. I was experiencing feelings I didn’t know I could even feel.
I woke up one day, a week or so later, and knew I was at a crossroads. I knew I could either choose to cling to Jesus and trust His path for me (even when I didn’t like it) or I could choose to walk away from my faith and believe that a good God wouldn’t take my baby from me. I chose to cling to my faith, because I knew that this God I loved, this God I had had my faith in since I was a child, was a God who could work all things together for my good. Even this unbearable loss. I wasn’t sure how He would do it, but I knew in my heart that He would.
In the early days after our loss I would wake up with worship songs in my mind, most often it was The Old Rugged Cross, “I will cling to the old rugged cross, And exchange it someday for a crown.” God was reminding me through this song that hurt is temporary. Loss hurts and that is ok, we have to feel the pain of these situations, but through Jesus’ death on a cross, the loss is not permanent. God gives us hope when we are able to cling to the cross. In His faithfulness, He shows us that we can look beyond what we experience in this world. He will comfort us in our unimaginable pain. Choosing to believe that God is good even when our hearts are shattered into a million pieces, allows space for God to nestle deeper in our hearts and sooth our pain so that we can bring Him glory.
When we face personal crisis, global pandemics, senseless violence, divorce, a child who walks away from the faith, financial insecurity, addiction, disappointment in your spouse or whatever else your “crisis” is, it is easy to doubt God and His faithfulness and try to get through it on our own. We have the choice to cling to our Creator or to look to the world for comfort. The world doesn’t offer true, lasting comfort–only God can do that.
God’s word reminds us that God is ever present and always faithful. There are so many verses that show us God’s faithfulness, but one I love dearly is 2 Thessalonians 2:16:
Now may our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father, who loved us and by his grace gave us eternal comfort and a wonderful hope, comfort you and strengthen you in every good thing you do and say.”
2 Thessalonians 2:16
We know this world will hurt us, but ultimately those painful experiences can drive us into the loving arms of Jesus, allowing us to feel the comfort only He can give. Our experiences give us the opportunity to point others to that same loving kindness & heavenly faithfulness. Our initial response in the wake of hurt or uncertainty may be to run from the pain, or try to drown it out. But because of God’s faithfulness, we can bring our hurts to Him, experience the hope that we can have in Him, and draw others to His peace through the comfort He gives us.
We do NOT have to live like those who have no hope. As Jesus followers, we have the assurance that Christ died for us. We have seen His hand and His faithfulness in our lives day in and day out (especially when we experience crisis). So when disaster strikes we are not broken because we know that we will never be abandoned by our God.
God never promised us this life would be easy, but He does promise this: He is bigger than any storm we face in this world. And He’s always working for our good, even in the places where we can’t see, even in the circumstances that we don’t fully understand.
One of my favorite verses that I run to when my heart hurts, or my brain is panicking is John 16:33 which says, “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”
Did you catch where our peace comes from? Jesus! Jesus is the only place where we can find a peace that doesn’t change regardless of what problems we face. That is faithfulness at its finest. Nothing we do can change God’s love for us. And because of what Jesus has done for us, we can be encouraged because we know how the story ends.
One day, God will make all wrongs right.
I am so excited to be a part of Revive Ministries and have this opportunity to share what God has put on my heart. My prayer as I begin this journey with you is that today you would know hope & peace in a way that can only come from Jesus Christ. I want you to know that when your world looks shaky, that in Christ, we have an unshakable hope that doesn’t change based on your current circumstances. Please don’t live without hope. Please don’t live in fear of this world. Please know that there is a God who loves you, even when you don’t know Him. He offers the gift of peace and it is a gift you’ll never regret accepting.
“I pray that God, the source of hope, will fill you completely with joy and peace because you trust in him. Then you will overflow with confident hope through the power of the Holy Spirit.” ~ Romans 5:13