“God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.” ~ Psalm 46:1
As our lives unfold, each of us encounters occasional setbacks and disappointments. Maybe the way we planned our lives out suddenly falls apart. These occasional troubles are unfortunately a part of living; it’s simply a fact of life and none of us are exempt. When these times arrive, we are reminded that God’s love remains constant – even on our darkest days.
As a chaplain, my eyes have been opened to so much these last few years. Through hundreds of counseling opportunities and hearing people’s stories, very little surprises me anymore of what life can throw at somebody. There are people in your office, men and women that you talk to everyday that are dealing with some deep and challenging things.
Unfortunately, I am one of those people too. It would be nice if the chaplain was exempt from personal life challenges…but that’s far from the truth. I have mentioned once before back in October about the suicide in my family. Since then my wife and I have also experienced two miscarriages as well. I know we share this experience with many of you who read this blog as it is more common that I had previously known. It’s not something that is talked about often, because it is an unusual, unique death. I say death, because I have seen my, now 2-year-old son, Caleb on an ultrasound before, moving his arms and legs, sucking his thumb – very much alive. A miscarriage is a different kind of loss, but a loss none-the-less. And a significant one to any parent, both at the time it occurs, and even still possibly years down the road.
Psalm 145:18-20 and John 16:33 have been a source of comfort for me:
“The Lord is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth. He fulfills the desires of those who fear him; he hears their cry and saves them.”
“I [Jesus] have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”
I don’t know for what purpose we are going through all of this. I will tell you one thing, you learn a lot about yourself and your spouse when you go through times like this. I have fallen so much more in love with my wife these last few months. Her faith, her strength, and her willingness to trust in God even when life doesn't make sense, have been such a blessing and an encouragement to me.
I hope much good comes from all of this. Even if it were that someone else was going through, or has been through something similar, and my own experience would better help me to care for and love that person through it. Even that would make it all worth it.
Heavenly Father, You are my strength and refuge. As I journey through this day, I know that I may encounter disappointments and losses. When I am troubled, let me turn to You. Keep me steady, Lord, and renew a right spirit within me this day and forever. Amen.