“Then Samuel took a stone and set it up between Mizpah and Shen and called its name Ebenezer; for he said, “Till now the Lord has helped us.”” – 1 Samuel 7:12, ESV
Most of the time, we wish we could just forget the hard seasons we’ve been through. When you think about hard times, what comes to your mind? Was it a time when money was really tight? Or perhaps your marriage was on the rocks? Family trouble? I can feel you cringing now. For our family, we’ve seen many hard seasons. More recently, in the last year things took a poor turn.
It wasn’t anything terrible or earth shattering, just a blip in the scheme of 2017. Goodness, we know many people who certainly had it worse than we did. One of our brief seasons of hardship came while my first son was teething. He was losing weight and we were worried. To make our concerns worse, he didn’t have any energy. And if you weren’t holding him, he cried. It was a few weeks of little sleep and many, many tears. That’s when we found out we were pregnant again. And not just four or five weeks along… we were almost half way. And my milk supply for my eldest was almost non-existent.
It took a few days for the shock to wear off. Excitement turned to fear, which turned to joy, which jumped back to anxiety. Another child? So soon? What are we going to do? It wasn’t easy, but we opened ourselves up to God’s plan and made the decision to move back east a little earlier than planned. We also invested in a good formula for our son, because he wasn’t quite ready for all solids.
In that hard season, we learned that we were stronger than we knew. We learned that God really does have a plan and that He does work all things together for good– for those who love Him. (Romans 8:28) Trusting God was so hard then in the midst of so much being thrown at us, but now? Now His faithfulness and provision is so clear.
So much good has come from this wonderful child joining our family. I don’t mean to sugarcoat anything, life has truly had its ups and downs. But it is so important to reflect on the good that comes out of the bad, or what seems bad. Why? Because remembering His faithfulness increases our faith. If He came through then, He will come through today.
David wrote in the Psalms, “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.” (Psalms 46:1, KJV) When our faith is increased, we can believe that we will see the other side of this, that the season will change. And it will give you strength to carry on when you lose hope.
Maybe you’re in the middle of something now, and it’s hard to see the good. I don’t know what you’re up against, but I know it’s difficult. We’ve all seen our share of rough seasons. That’s life. It’s hard to see how you’re growing and being stretched in the moment. But, looking back you will see His faithfulness during your hard times. Remember the verse above? God is a “very present help.” He’s right there with you in the thick of it, and He’s with you when you come out.
Whatever you’ve gone through (or are going through), know that in the end it will be okay. Looking back, I see God’s hand when in the moment I couldn’t. There were so many moving parts involved with our move, we were desperately trying to find a place to rent back east, finding nothing in our budget. And He came through.
Consider this, maybe whatever lesson you can find in this season is preparing you for the next. For me, this exercise of trusting God, I believe, has prepared me to trust Him on an even greater scale. If He can provide us a home within a month of our move, surely He can do more than that! I love thinking about the Israelites and how God delivered them and fed them. Ladies, He is more faithful to us, than we are to Him sometimes.
I’ll leave you with one last thought and that is, don’t beat a dead horse. The past is the past. But we aren’t here to dig up a grave and kick the dead horse more. It’s healthy to look back with the goal of finding good, but don’t dwell in the past. That will bring up many negative emotions, and things that, for your good, are left there. So let me ask you this, how did God prove His faithfulness to you in your hard times? What lessons did you learn? How did you come out stronger?
Because seasons change, and it won’t always be this hard. You’ll get through this. Hold fast to Him, our Rock, our Strength, and our Comfort.