To say that this last month has been a challenge would be sugar coating it. Although, not being in the NICU is a definite improvement, the never-ceasing crying and colic that has ensued since coming home is way beyond any sense of normalcy. I am quickly learning that the best way to give God a good laugh is to try and make a plan, because we are totally off the reservation. We praise the Lord for the air He has breathed into her lungs and simply believe that she is going to be an awesome Christian recording artist or that she will reach multitudes through her speech.
What we have walked through, I would classify as a fiery trial; one that has lasted longer and burned hotter than I could ever imagine. Even in the midst of the flames, I sensed God was at work and I remain faithful that we will emerge from this fiery furnace without even smelling like smoke. When my faith drifted to doubt and when my confidence waivered towards self-pity, He would quickly bring to mind all the things I had to praise Him for. There is tremendous power that is released when we can praise Him in the midst of our pain and torment. If we can praise Him, even when fear and anguish bombards us from all sides, He will come alongside us to comfort us and when we can walk no further, He will carry us.
In times of despair, when challenges seem to be around every corner and when fear of doing anything paralyzes us, we must look to God for courage, guidance, and strength. When we allow the enemy to rob us of these God-given promises, we must remember that our God is faithful, righteous, and just. Then, instead of praying that God would send us a new supply of these promises, we should be praying that God will give us what we need so that we can take back what the enemy stole. Regardless of what we are walking through, Jesus is standing right beside us waiting for us to reach out to him and whether or not we emerge from our fiery trials burned or smelling like smoke is up to us.
Change and trials are inevitable and as I am entering into a new season of my life as a parent and as a pastor, I know I must continually stay on guard for anything meant to derail God’s best for my life. I must never lose sight of the big picture, while remaining faithful and true to my God. In one year, God has fulfilled my two greatest desires, while protecting me from certain death twice. I want my lips to continually praise Him and I want my actions to always edify Him, while bringing glory to His name. No problem is too hard or too insignificant for Him and He promises to watch over all those who love Him, so I encourage you to reach out to the Lord during your next trial. If you are in one right now, call out His name and He will lead you out and be quick to give Him praise through whom all blessings flow.