Financial strain, health issues, unemployment, work stress, death, bad days, devastating news, relocating, hurricane destruction, heartache, sickness, total exhaustion. These are just some of the things people I am close to have experienced or have been walking through in the past few months, weeks, and even days. It is 100 percent true that we are all preparing for, in the midst of, on the tail end of, or saying goodbye for now to a storm or trying time in our lives. We all face them, sometimes daily. How do we even begin to prepare? Is that even possible?
The best way to prepare for tough times is to trust God, to surrender to the Lord and to know and claim his promises.
Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
and do not lean on your own understanding.
In all your ways acknowledge him,
and he will make straight your paths.
— Proverbs 3:5–6
Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the Lord your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you.”
— Deuteronomy 31:6
I have to say that my favorite scripture to claim when I just feel spent and like I have nothing left is found in Exodus:
The Lord will fight for you, and you have only to be silent.
— Exodus 14:14
God simply asks for our trust. Trusting God means to leave everything in God’s hands. He’s more than capable. He’s always ready to battle on our behalf, and He will never walk away. Imagine if we viewed every trial and obstacle that we face as an opportunity to watch God work! I long to do this more intentionally, because I know that in the times when I stick to his plan, surrender to his way, and walk in his Word, my relationship with God grows.
So often, calling on Jesus is our last resort, when it should always be our first response. We listen to the lies that our struggles aren’t that big of a deal, or that we can handle things on our own. What matters to me matters to God. If God, immeasurable, inconceivable, omnipotent Creator, and Lord of all knows the number of hairs on my head (Luke 12:7) and collects my tears (Psalms 56:8), the details of my life matter to him. Nothing is insignificant or beyond His control, but I have to give it all over to him: my mess, my trials, my family, my circumstance, my happiness, my disappointment, my frustration, my strengths, my weakness, my peaks and my pits. God wants it all.
I was reminded this week of the wisdom of children when I saw a video of two young sisters advising anyone who watched to “call Jesus.” Out of the mouth of babes. I can’t even begin to fathom God’s presence or power in my life if I don’t develop my default first response to be calling on him.