"For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven"
- Ecclesiastes 3:1
We celebrate the excitement of a new life into the world. We laugh with family during holidays. Sometimes we have guilt for sin and a need for repentance. Other times we may find ourselves burdened for lost love ones. One that I personally have been faced with is grieving my sibling's death. This is the first loss I have ever experienced of someone so close to me. When you hear the news, its so shocking that is does not even seem real. It felt unreal for about a week...and then came the downpour of tears. I cannot tell you how many empty tissue boxes I folded into the trash. I do know there were many! I did not know I could cry so much or feel so sad. In the beginning I stood firmly on the truths of God's word. I knew them and believed them. A dear friend of mine told me to watch out for the enemy, who might tempt me with the lie that 'God is not good.' I brushed it off, It was during that numb stage when she shared that. Two weeks later, and I found myself on the floor with my Bible opened, my face next to it sobbing. It was dark. But who else could I turn to? I could only cry out to Him.
"I lift up my eyes to the hills. From where does my help come? My Help comes from the Lord who made heaven and earth." Psalm 121:1-2
In a sinful world and with our weaknesses, all of us can find ourselves under a dark cloud. Many in the world soothe themselves with things of the world: shopping, drinking, TV, food, and the list goes on. But as children of God, we have a greater Comforter, an understanding High Priest, and a perfect Friend. Those statements people say, about growing closer to God during dark times, seem to appear in every testimony. We might grow so used to hearing it that we miss the wonder in it. How can the darkest times bring a sweet fellowship with God? Well, I am going to join those people and say the same. In those early hours of the morning, I grew closer to the Lord. There is a greater intimacy after spending such times with Him. When all is quiet in the house, with others soundly sleeping, and it is just you and Him, there is comfort that passes understanding.
I would like to share some principles I find helpful during cloudy seasons
1. It Is Okay To Be Messy!
"I am weary with my moaning; every night I flood my bed with tears; I drench my couch with weeping." Psalm 6:6
Oh, what a relief! It is tempting to try to go to God and say what you think a good Christian is suppose to say. We might try to go to Him and tell Him all the truths we know. But, do you know what it is like to go to Him a complete "Wreck?" I mean with no fancy poetic sounding words or no words at all, just tears or heartache. That is authenticity. That is a child going to her father with all her hurt. We try to be so grown up, but He tells us to come as little children. I do not mean you should go to Him irreverently or without the acknowledgement of who He is. He is Lord of all, The Great I Am. However, know that He is with you and wants all of you. And lets just go ahead and admit we cannot hide anything from Him. He knows how messy we are better than we do!
2. Be Honest!
"Let not the flood sweep over me, or the deep swallow me up, or the pit close its mouth over me." Psalm 69:15
This kind of goes along with the first point, but we should tell Him our true emotions. If we are sad, angry, jealous, confused, anxious, hurt. Tell Him! This is something that helps me. I had to tell God that I was angry my sibling died, I was confused. I told Him I was in deep waters, and that I felt like I might drown. I asked Him why He allowed it, along with an abundance of others things. Graciously, He never left me there. After totally emptying out my emotions, He filled me. His Spirit reminded me of truths, just as Jesus promised in John 16:13. He comforted me! He wants you to come to Him with all that you feel and to tell Him, truthfully, the issues of your heart.
3. Spend Time In His Word!
"How sweet are your words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth! Through your precepts I get understanding; therefore I hate every false way."
I found this to be a saving grace. His Words are true, though it may not always feel true. Even If you feel that your brain is so tired that you cannot comprehend. God knows how to speak to you, in one verse. Reading good books, listening to sermons, writing, and praying are all helpful. However, do not neglect His word, where there is nourishment for your soul and truths about His character that will be a rock you can stand on.
4. Find Encouragement in The Body of Christ
"Bear one another's burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ." Galations 6:2
Let the body of Christ help bare your burdens. They will be a listening ear, and a voice of wisdom. When we are working through emotional trials, sometimes our views our skewed. Looking only through our hurt feelings is unhealthy and unhelpful as we walk through the difficult way. Another trusted believer can be used by the Spirit in reminding you of God's truth. What a sweet thought that as children of God, we can bring before Him the names of our sisters and brothers. How encouraging is it to know during hard times, the body of Christ can intercede for you. This is a great gift from God.
We all will experience the shadows of the valley, but we are not alone. He tells us that He will never leave nor forsake us in Psalm 55:22.
Go to the Father of mercies and God of all comfort and find rest.
Leave comments with your thoughts about relying on God during hard seasons.
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