Storms are inevitable. God never promises that our lives will always have clear blue skies or that our walk with Him will be without adversity. He does however promise that He will never leave us and that in our own heartache, He cares for us. It is in times of deepest hurt that we draw closer to God.
The LORD is my strength and my shield; My heart trusts in Him, and I am helped; Therefore my heart exults, And with my song I shall thank Him. Psalm 28:7
Even when the battle rages and our cries seem unanswered we always have the free will to control our responses to life’s challenges. This can be incredibly difficult to do but no matter the trials we face in this life, there are always some things of great value which we give up, rather than have taken from us. Some are worth holding onto, cherishing and embracing.
1: The quality of being honest and having strong moral principles.
2: The state of being whole and undivided.
Integrity is more precious than jewels. It is rare, it is of incalculable worth, and it should be treasured, pursued with unfailing enthusiasm and not left unattended for someone to take. Just as we protect priceless objects which are here today and will perish tomorrow; we should uphold, protect and value our integrity.
The grass withers, the flower fades. But the word of our God stands forever. Isaiah 40:8
Regardless of what happens in life we can choose to preserve our integrity. To act with faith, to trust in God and to persevere with hope. Not letting the blowing winds of life’s circumstances move us away from who we are and who our LORD wants us to be.
I have learned that choosing to be kind is not dependent on what I receive in life, or what satisfies my deepest desires. In my childish self interest I used to lash out at others when I was hurt. The more that the years deepen my understanding, the more I realize that kindness is not an optional extra. It’s not something we tack onto the end of good days and happy moments. If we allow it to permeate our very being; kind words, thoughtful gestures and encouraging hugs serve to bring joy to others even in our most difficult of days.
This is not to say that in times of deep pain I won’t ever say harsh words, or speak without regard for others; it simply can’t be so. I’m not perfect, we each are filled with our own weakness. I have learned however, not to use troubles and trials as an excuse to let down my guard and be unkind to others. Each interaction with a stranger, colleague, friend or family member is a moment where we have a choice of how we treat our fellow man. Our own pain, hurts, and anxieties do not excuse us from right conduct. At the very least we ought to strive for gentleness, love and kindness. It is worth the pursuit.
Do not let kindness and truth leave you; Bind them around your neck, Write them on the tablet of your heart. Proverbs 3:3
Our modern vernacular equates hope with something you wish for, strive for, and aim towards but in it’s deepest sense hope means to trust. In my journey towards healing, hope has also moved from the modern sense to a more deep rooted spiritual one. An understanding that when the waves rise and the swell of water climbs ever upwards, I still hope in the Most High. This cannot be drowned out by disappointment, it can’t be trodden underfoot. When we hope in the LORD we cannot be moved.
Rest in God alone, my soul, for my hope comes from Him. Psalm 62:5
And God will wipe away all the tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away. Revelation 21:4
Regardless of the trials and struggles we face in life, no one can take your hope by force. In troublesome times it is often said that many in fact draw closer to the One who sustains them. The lives of the Apostles richly attest to this. Through their darkest days they held onto hope. Their faith was indeed stronger than their deepest fears. They knew they served an Almighty God who was not absent in their sufferings. We too can choose to serve Him, in the most foreboding of storms, the most heart wrenching of adversities we can always choose to hold onto hope in the LORD.
Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths. Proverbs 3:5–6
Shalom is the Hebrew word for peace. Yet it’s meaning is much deeper than this. It is a sense of completeness, soundness, welfare and tranquility.
Life can throw all kinds of challenges at us. In my own life I have experienced uncertainties, pain, loss, heart ache and confusion. At some point we have all traveled through these emotions. They are present in all our lives and regardless of who we are and why these feelings manifest themselves we can be covered by shalom in every storm.
This doesn’t mean that the tears won’t fall, the heat won’t rise in your cheeks, your breath won’t be taken away and you won’t ever ask why? We all have times like these. Moments we don’t understand but when the smoke clears, the snow melts and the light of the new day rises over the horizon we can always choose to find peace in the LORD who builds our strength daily.
But those who trust in the LORD will renew their strength; they will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary; they will walk and not grow faint. Isaiah 40:31
“Though the mountains be shaken and the hills be removed, yet my unfailing love for you will not be shaken nor my covenant of peace be removed” says the LORD, who has compassion on you. Isaiah 54:10
In the face of every trial we have choices we make. We have been given the ability to respond in love in spite of our present or future circumstances, not because of them. I choose integrity and won’t be taken away by the swirling waters to waver from my deepest convictions. No situation is too painful to lead me to excuse being kind to others. No heartache is stronger than my hope in God. Peace cannot be stolen out from underneath me. They are inherently woven into the fabric of who I have become.
My life is beautiful right now. Right in this moment I am right where I am meant to be. For years I thought I had to be somewhere else, or worse; someone else. Now I realize I am just where I ought to be. I no longer seek my identity in chasing the wind, in uncertain hopes, in what ifs, or perhaps or I just don’t know. I am here, resting in my Fathers arms. I don’t want to give this moment away. This moment which cannot be replaced.
In the present, today, this moment in time, I am called to be a loving friend, an encouraging mentor and a devoted wife.
We can all choose to be strong and courageous.
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I write about wellness, faith and life and love to encourage women to live beautiful healthy soulful lives.
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