“Yet, You brought us out to a place of abundance.” Psalm 66:12 (ESV)
I live with the turmoil of chronic pain and illness. I have a friend who battles the ache of loneliness. Another friend walks the tough road of depression, which was brought on by the sudden loss of a child. Then there’s the friend who is trying to hold her marriage together. A neighbor manages to care for her autistic son and for her mother, who is in the final stages of dementia.
I’m sure most of us can relate to these examples and maybe add more to them because families everywhere are dealing with sickness, financial pressures, and many other challenging issues.
Sometimes, we must cope with failed relationships because our family and friends don’t understand the depth of our struggle. A loss or reduction of income threatens our sense of security. Illness robs us of our self confidence and leaves us with poor body images.
How do we continue to put one foot in front of the other when it seems like our lives are about to implode?
I think that most of us have realized that the answer lies in God.
If we can find the ability to trust God, to rely on Him, and to believe in His goodness, we will be able to state, like the psalmist, that God has also brought us out to a place of abundance.
Maybe your current circumstances make you skeptical. You might find it hard to believe or imagine that you will ever look at your life in a positive light again. However, if you will take time to think about things, you should be able to recall other situations that you thought would consume you. Can you look back and see how your faith was strengthened? Especially when all you had to hold onto was God and His word? Didn’t He remain faithful and true?
What about those times when God worked in our lives as our defender and protector, when He gave us the strength to carry on?
What we consider as our place of abundance may look drastically different than society’s definition of abundance. We may not live in the biggest house, drive a luxury car, wear designer labels, or have the largest bank account. There’s no way to put a price we’ve gained.
The treasures we have can never be taken away. But they can be used to share God’s greatness with others (II Corinthians 1:3-5).
Our lives will be characterized by love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control (Galatians 5:22-23).
When we maintain faith and trust in God, in spite of the hardships we must endure, we are allowing Him to mold us and to refine our character. Others will notice our hope, and it is our job is to be prepared to share how God continues to touch our lives.
I think we all want to learn from someone who’s been through a similar situation. What worked for them might not work for us, but we recognize the valuable insight they have. We find relief when they tell us that things will not always be this difficult.
I’d like to remind you that you have the same ability to help someone else. You know what it has taken to get you this far – the trials and the missteps as well as the triumphs. Your life has the potential to be an example to many because the Lord has been your strength (Psalm 71:7).
Prayer: Father, help us to trust you no matter what circumstances we have to endure. Teach us how to focus on You and give us the courage to use our life’s journey to uplift and help others.