Several years ago I found myself in the middle of the worst (up to that point) and longest crisis of my life. Something swept into my sweet little life and set up camp for 441 days (but who’s counting). And in the middle of all that, two of my best friends moved away.
To say I was sad does not even begin to cover it. This chain of events broke parts of my heart off.
And in that pain and depression and darkness and stress and fear, I did not feel God’s peace and I did not feel God’s presence.
This stunned me as I had been under the impression in the twenty years or so prior as a Christ-follower that I would have access to God’s unsurpassing peace when I needed it.
During that time, I was with a dear friend. And I said something to her that I’d never said to anyone else before. And I said it in a whisper as if she’d possibly disown me or Jesus would strike me down.
I said, “In all my years of following Jesus, I have to admit that I have not felt the comfort of God in my life and hard circumstances more than I have felt the comfort of God.” Then I winced.
And she said, “Oh yeah, totally.”
Here’s what I know though.
God promises peace. He never says in Scripture how that peace will manifest. We, as humans, are probably looking for it to pan out in certain ways, like a fixed circumstance to our liking or at the very least, some kind of feeling or steadiness that comes over us. I’ve felt that. But then again, I’ve not felt it more than I have felt it.
God promises his presence. He’s not going anywhere. He is never, ever leaving you. No matter how it feels or what you do or don’t do.
I also know this: the times I have felt something…..that unexplainable peace, that tangible Presence of the Most High…..those times have gotten me through the times that I haven’t.
And I know this: faith is not about feelings or what we can touch or see. It’s about believing in Something bigger than yourself, Something that has shown himself faithful and true and good.
I may not feel comfort in the ways that I want to feel it from God. But I rest in my faith that it’s there and he’s there and he’s not leaving my side.
For as we share abundantly in Christ’s sufferings, so through Christ we share abundantly in comfort too. -2 Corinthians 1:5
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