When the storms are raging
When I was 34 weeks pregnant I tested positive for Covid-19. The tears ran down my face in the urgent care parking lot on a cold Friday that just happened to be my birthday. “What about my baby?” I wondered, “is he going to be okay?” My husband comforted me, and we called my doctor as we drove home devastated. Not even a week later my mother was admitted to the hospital due to Covid-19 complications. My dad had tested positive as well, but he was not bad enough to be admitted. He called us alone from the parking lot of the hospital because they would not let him see her once she was admitted. The tears came again as I worried about my parents. My mom was in bad shape and she was all alone. After several scary rough days in the hospital, by the grace of God, she was released the next week! My mom was out of the hospital for one day and we got that call that my husband's grandmother had passed away. Yet another tragic event that left us so sad. My husband had to drive 3 hours to his hometown to help with the arrangements, leaving me home alone while very pregnant. Days later, on the morning of the funeral service for grandma, we got another call… my husband's father passed away. This felt like a knockout punch. As we cried in the hotel room we felt completely crushed. I was so worried about my husband and heartbroken for our family all while being 37 weeks pregnant at this point. I did not know how I could get through all of this turmoil and bring our baby boy into the world.
January 2021 is a month I will never forget. We were in the middle of a storm and the thunder and lightning just kept coming. As I reflect on that month, I am reminded of
But immediately Jesus spoke to them, saying, “Be of good cheer! It is I; do not be afraid.” And Peter answered Him and said, “Lord, if it is You, command me to come to You on the water.” So He said, “Come.” And when Peter had come down out of the boat, he walked on the water to go to Jesus. But when he saw that the wind was boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink he cried out, saying, “Lord, save me!” And immediately Jesus stretched out His hand and caught him, and said to him, “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?”
As I read this passage I think to myself, ‘Why was I doubting?’ The answer is because I was focused on sickness and not on my Savior. I was focused on death and not the Giver of Life. I was focused on the storm and not the Storm Calmer.
As we continue to heal from two devastating losses, and as I sit here now watching my healthy mother hold my healthy son, I can say without a doubt that God is faithful. Looking back on what we went through, I am
overwhelmed with gratitude; I learned some very valuable lessons during this storm that I think are worth sharing. As Christians, how can we not only make it through the storms of life but claim victory in Jesus during those storms?
During the storm...
Pray with faith! We should be praying in all times of life so when the storm hits we know automatically who to call on. However, how many times do we pray but still “prepare ourselves for the worst outcome?” Is that truly praying with faith? James 1:5-6 says,
“If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him. But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind.”
Do we even believe that we are praying to the awesome God? One of the brothers from our congregation, Chris, explained it this way: as a child, we did not hold back when asking our parents for things; we did not care how much it cost. If we wanted it, we simply asked. Why do we hesitate when it comes to asking our heavenly Father for what we want and need? It is human nature to want to prepare our minds for certain things, but in doing that, we doubt that God is able.
Lean on brothers and sisters in Christ. Our society has made us think that needing help is a weakness when, in actuality, it is the opposite. It takes strength and courage to realize you need help and then seek out that help. 1 Peter 4:8-10 says,
And above all things have fervent love for one another, for “love will cover a multitude of sins.” Be hospitable to one another without grumbling. As each one has received a gift, minister it to one another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.
God created a community of believers for us to lean on each other. We should build those relationships and not be afraid to be vulnerable with our brothers and sisters.
Reflect on what God has done for you. This was not the first storm I had ever been through, and it won’t be the last. Reflecting on past storms and how God brought us through them was one way we coped. Remembering that God doesn’t run out of blessings for his children helped us so much. God is faithful. Hebrews 10:23 says, “Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful.” We have hope because we know that God promised us he will never leave us (Hebrews 13:5); he is faithful to his promises.
Once the storm is over...
Thank God. Don’t for a second think that you are the reason for your triumph. God deserves all of the glory. Let us offer the sacrifice of praise always, but especially when we come out of the storm (Hebrews 13:15).
Share your testimony. Sometimes we may feel that sharing our testimony is bragging. Well, we are correct—we are bragging on our Lord. Galatians 6:14 says, “But God forbid that I should boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.” Sharing our testimony should not be lifting up ourselves; instead, it should be lifting up Christ and how he has worked in our lives.
God is so good. He will bring us through whatever storms of life that come. I pray that, as they come, we will stay faithful and not doubt but lift up the blood stained banner on the other end because we have a mighty Savior who will always take care of His people.