You know what I’m talking about.
Those days where it seems like everything that could go wrong, does.
Being a mom of six children, I can tell you that my “those days” have been going on since December. Sickness has moved in without being invited. In a family of 8, sickness lasts a long time. Strep after strep after strep, high fevers, pneumonia, colds, ER visits, doctor visits. It’s not a good thing when the urgent care nurses greet you with, “Oh, you’re back?!”). Toss sickness in with the Holidays and school extras, and you have one exhausted, dried mama.
There is no time off for most parents. No coffee breaks. (Although I have been known to sneak chocolate every now and again…shhh). You are on duty every day. And every night. These past few months have been very wearing on me. I am pretty exhausted. I feel like a very dried up well.
These words from Charles Spurgeon have been a refreshment over these many weeks:
“The path of the Christian is not always bright with sunshine, he has his seasons of darkness and of storm. In certain periods clouds cover the believer’s sun, and he walks in darkness and sees no light. There are many who have rejoiced in the presence of God for a season; they have basked in the sunshine, they have walked along “green pastures” by the side of “still waters.” But suddenly they find their sky clouded. Instead of the promised land, they have to endure the wilderness. In a place of sweet waters, they find bitters streams to their taste and they say, “Surely, if I were a child of God, this would not happen”. Do not say that if you are walking in darkness. The best of God’s saints must drink bitter portions; the dearest of His children must bear the cross. No believer can always keep his heart in tune. Perhaps the Lord gave you in the beginning a smooth and unclouded path because you were weak and timid. He moderated the wind on account of your weakness, but now that you are stronger in the spiritual life, you must enter upon the riper and rougher experience of God’s full-grown children. We need winds and tempests to exercise our faith, to tear off the rotten branches of self-reliance and to root us more firmly in Christ. The day of evil reveals to us the value of our glorious hope.”
"The day of evil reveals to us the value of our glorious hope." It’s in those days that we grow most fruitfully (see James 1:2-4 and Romans 5:3-5) if we have the God-centered building materials laid in our hearts. It is times of testing, exhaustion, “those days” that reveal what we believe about God and what our feet stand on.
It is times of testing, exhaustion, “those days” that reveal what we believe about God and what our feet stand on.
DECIDE BEFORE THE STORM
Friend, the storms of life are not the time to decide your theology. When we’re being tossed to and fro by the waves of life, this is when we depend on our beliefs about who God is and when we rest in our hope. Times of strain draw out our beliefs and cause us to hold strong to our faith in our Anchor. Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith is our Anchor to gaze upon so that we might not grow weary or faint hearted (Hebrews 12:1-3).
A.W. Tozer said, “What comes into our minds when we think of about God is the most important thing about us.”
Is He good?
Is He trustworthy?
Can you believe that this chaos you're in, isn’t chaos to Him?
Does He never change?
Is always in control, even when things are out of control?
If possible, these questions should not be decided in the storm. During trying circumstances we rest in and cling to the answers. (see Psalm 46:1-5).
LEAP IN THE LULL
You might be asking, “OK, Janice, I hear what you're saying. If not being in the storm is where I see and lean into what I believe about God, then when do I learn?” It’s in the lull. The lull between the storms. This is where you build your strong foundation on the Rock (Matthew 7:24-27).
In spaces of calm (which you may need to create with the help of others), you need to read the Word and learn about who God is (Proverbs 30:5). Meditate on the Scripture to get it into your mind, heart and soul (Psalm 119:15:16) Fix your eyes on Christ as you run the race. Tell yourself Truth (Psalm 119:10-11). Do this daily (Psalm 16:8).
Storms come in many degrees. They do not announce their coming and they often wear out their welcome quickly. During the multiple-vomit-cleanup sessions in my house, the endless doctor trips and the rigorous medical routine we endured this winter, I have had to lean into pre-rooted truth. I have had to remind myself of who God is:
Wherever you're at today, take a long look upwards. You are going to need that long look today, or that long look is going to bolster you for the next storm.
by: Janice Gold
Janice is the wife of one of RSBC's pastors, Thomas. She eagerly worships Jesus at RSBC through her gifts in music, leadership, and being a cheerleading partner alongside Thomas. She also fills the bellies and hearts of the seven others in the Gold home.