The past few years have been a trying time of troubles and upsets for many of us. I’d say all of us, but some seem insulated in their worlds and oblivious to all the turmoil. This article is for the rest of us. Those who have been tested and faced trials and have at times felt overwhelmed by all confronting them.
Thomas Paine once said, “These are the times that try men’s souls.” People tend to remember that part but not what he went on to say in the same quote. It is relative and important to recall as well. Paine also said, “the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph. What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly: it is dearness only that gives every thing its value. Heaven knows how to put a proper price upon its goods…”
At a time when so much seems upside down, we need perspective. Just days ago, with Hurricane Ian we got a great deal of it. I am not saying God sent a hurricane to teach us a lesson. I am saying a lesson revealed itself in the hurricane.
Yes, we saw looting—and an intolerance for it. We saw rescues, those eager to help and restore, those who cried with the victims who lost so much and listened to aid them in acceptance and to guide them in recovering. We will continue to see these acts of kindness and compassion for a long time to come. It is the way of things in the south, and the way of things between people who see the challenges and recognize that the victims well could have been them—and in the future, might be them.
It’s a strange sight to see sharks swimming down the flooded street. To see empty lots or heaped rubble at what once was someone’s home. Miles and miles of destruction that makes the heart heavy and empathy swell.
There have been many tears shed and will be many more because the damage is so great, the swath of those impacted so large.
To those who suffered loss, know that many hearts are broken with yours. Many who live far away feel the pain you feel and the overwhelmed sense you are experiencing.
From experience, I offer encouragement. Be strong, be reasonable with your expectations in recovery, and do not fear. You are not alone. Others are eager to help as they are able, and God is with you always.
A Bible verse that has always been a pillar during troubled times is this one: “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.” —Psalm 46:10
In times when I was so weary, so ill, I didn’t think I could summon another breath, I repeated that verse to myself, and I breathed.
In times when overwhelmed and lost as to what to do, I repeated that verse and sat quietly, and direction came.
In times when I felt broken and alone, I repeated that verse and comfort found and healed me.
There is nothing special about me. I’m an average, everyday American just trying to do the best I can. That’s the case for so many of us. But there is a great deal special about God. He is our rock, our safe harbor, our healer, our redeemer, our guide, and he is with us always.
No matter how hard things get, He is there, and what we can’t do, He can…and does.
Seek Him and you’ll find your strength. Hold tight to His hand and trust His judgment. He knew you before you were born and has been with you every day of your life. Nothing about you surprises or shocks Him. Nothing is too big for Him to handle. We are at times fragile and frail, but He is not, and He loves nothing more than helping His children. He loves nothing more than His children. We are His family…
Be blessed and stay calm. Trying though times might be, they last but a season, and all seasons, trying or peaceful, pass. Lastly, you will discover you are stronger than you think.