At the age of three I was sitting on the side of a pool watching adults splash and it made me want to join the water flying fun! As I leaned slightly toward the water, I reached my little hand in to let water fly and just as I did, I fell in and began the fight to rise back up. Just as vividly in mind today as it was happening then, I can see myself peddling underneath trying to get my head above the water as I raised my arms trying to help lift myself up.
Even after I was rescued I have lived with the fear of being under the water so much that I have never learned to swim. These frightful memories come flooding back as I reflect on the last few years of our lives and the trials we have faced. As I was talking to a precious friend just the other day about the trials that she too was facing, the feeling of not being able to get my head above the water to breathe came rushing back to me.
As I stood there seeking to encourage her, I felt God’s encouragement nudge my heart. Even though we have been through many difficult times in what seems to be a constant battle to raise our heads above the water just to breathe, we have had more victories and celebrations that outshine them, and that’s in the midst of those very same trials!
Trials are very difficult, and test us to the very core, but they can also be rewarding and strengthening to our faith! I have to remind my flesh that without those difficult times, I wouldn’t have seen God’s hand at work so colorfully! There’s nothing quite like the feeling of seeing Him move on our behalf, to feel His Presence ever so strongly, and to watch as He weaves these difficult moments into this beautiful tapestry of His story and plan for our lives!
A memory that God has prompted my heart to recall recently was this, after one of our trials were over, I distinctly recall feeling saddened, and I couldn’t understand why! But as I prayed, I felt Him say to me it was because I saw Him more vividly than I ever have. But why was that? I believe it was because things were happening all around me that I knew couldn’t be anyone but Him and my eyes were more open to see Him!
Sure, we have walked away with a lot of scars from every single one of those trials. But, with every scar there’s a story, a story that God needs told to some heart that just needs to hear about the hope that they, too, have because of what God has brought us through!
What God continues to remind me is even when we fall into the deep waters, we’re not alone! God is always there to lift not only our feet, but our head above the water and because He’s the one lifting us, our hands are free to be lifted in praise of Him!
God always has a lot to show us and it’s often in the midst of uncertain circumstances that we can see His hand move in ways we couldn’t in the greatest of circumstances! His hands are always moving, but we seem to be looking a little more intently during the not so certain times.
The last few years of continual trials have taught me that the best prayer isn’t always to get me out of these dark times, but better yet, help me to see You, God, through them! As we’re seeking Him, we just keep praising!
“But now, this is what the LORD says– he who created you, Jacob, he who formed you, Israel: “Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze.” ~Isaiah 43:1-2