“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.” John 14:27
“God’s peace will be with us through every circumstance. Our struggles in life will change, but our focus should not. God is the author of our story and He is not yet finished writing it. That IS the Good News of the day.” Carolyn Canizales, November, 2010
The paragraph above is a little excerpt from something I wrote 13 years ago. I LOVE that the things of God NEVER change. Our circumstances come and go, but He remains the Great I Am!
When I wrote those thoughts, I had no idea how my circumstances would change some five years later. I did not know that my only biological child, my daughter, Shelly, would be diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, fight a valiant battle for 17 1/2 months, only to succumb to its ravages. I did not know the depth of grief I would experience and sometimes still do.
I also did not know the healing and blessings that would come to me during and after this traumatic season of my life. God has been so good to restore joy in my heart. As I interact with the little ones in our family who have been born since that dark period in my life, I see that God continues to write a beautiful story for me. He has also lavished His love upon me by giving wonderful family members and friends who have stood by me through thick and thin. I will forever cherish each one.
Yes, there are circumstances I’d rather have skipped, but truthfully, the hard times have served to bring me closer to my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Realizing I cannot make it on my own, I lean into His strength and guidance all the more. That’s exactly where He wants me to be, and I’m so thankful for that.
Friends, whatever you are feeling today, don’t let your circumstances pull you away from a strong dependence on God. The closer you get to Him, the more you will realize that He has been there all along. And…..that He will never leave you!
Prayer: Dear Heavenly Father, how we love You! You are the perfect One to save, love, and guide us. We aren’t meant to know what’s ahead. If we did, we could not bear it. But in Your love and power, You beckon us to trust You daily for things seen and unseen. In our dependency on You, we will have the strength to be aware of the needs and cares of others. Help us to love and serve You as those who have been through pain and difficulties, but have come out shining even more brightly for Jesus. I pray this in His mighty name. Amen.