Zephaniah 3:17 “The Lord your God is with you. the Mighty Warrior who saves. He will take great delight in you with gladness. With his love He will calm all of your fears.”
I gazed out of the hospital waiting room window, comforted that the ocean was my companion that day in the hours of not knowing. It was peaceful to watch the birds dance among the crosswinds and dive into the water. As I leaned into the window to capture more of the outside’s warmth, I watched with intent as a nearby boat stirred up the currents.
I knew if I turned my gaze too far away from the water, the lump in my throat and the hot tears that I had desperately been fighting to hold back would spill and I wouldn’t be able to stop them. I was determined to keep it together because after all, this was a standard procedure done all the time, by a respected doctor and it wasn’t an emergency situation this time. I told myself all of the reasons logically why I shouldn’t be afraid and yet I grappled with fear that I would be left to navigate this world alone without my best friend and the love of my life. A heavy sigh escaped me as once again, I felt so incredibly helpless.
Have you ever faced a situation that left you feeling powerless?
When life is humming along, we may not be as aware of His ever-presence.
It’s easy to have faith when you know how your bills will be paid next month.
It’s easy to trust God when you are feeling well and healthy.
It’s easy to praise God when your marriage is humming along, and your kids are making you proud.
And then comes the phone call or the knock at the door, the pink slip, the diagnosis, the thing you never saw coming… and it flips your world upside down.
Life can come at you fast and take some hard turns and it doesn’t matter how seasoned you are at dodging dropping shoes, things can get messy. WE can get messy and it’s often in the messy that we are forced to reckon with the fact that we aren’t in as much control as we thought.
So How Can We Take Back Control?
John 10:10 tells us that the enemy is here to steal, kill and destroy, and 1 Peter 5:8 tells us, “Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.”
The deceiver of this world, Satan, is a liar and thief and he is out to take us down any chance he can get. He preys on our insecurities, he weasels his way into our weak spots and whispers deceptions about our circumstances and he delights in our demise.
As I continued to fix my gaze outside, fighting the internal struggle to keep my focus on the one who held my love in His capable hands, a doctor came out to speak with a distraught man and by the looks of the conversation, it was not good news. In that moment, I felt like Peter who had stepped out onto the water and had taken his eyes off of Jesus and started to sink. I begged God – Please, please, Lord, please, don’t take him from me, help me to trust you. I was frozen with fear that I would be the next person to get the bad news. That I would go home alone. I had almost lost him once before and the memories came flooding back with acute clarity and a weight that tapped every root of anguish that, I now realize, I had allowed to follow me for the last many years.
Scripture warns us that there will be trouble in this world (John 16:20-33) and the enemy has no qualms about messing with every part of your life. He will take every shot he can at stealing your joy and your peace, every chance he gets, BUT…
and this is a big BUT, he isn’t going to win because Jesus has already defeated him on the cross.
That bears repeating, JESUS HAS ALREADY DEFEATED SATAN. HE HAS OVERCOME THE WORLD!
And yet….our flesh is weak and we can waver in our seas of unknown, which is why it so important for us to keep our eyes fixed on Him.
I lift up my eyes to the mountains—
where does my help come from?
My help comes from the Lord,
the Maker of heaven and earth.
He will not let your foot slip—
he who watches over you will not slumber;
indeed, he who watches over Israel
will neither slumber nor sleep.
Our loving Father is so faithful at meeting us right where we are.
I was listening to praise and worship music to help keep my focus on Him and in the moments between the enemy bombs of uncertainty and before I had even finished my prayer, a song came on that was like His gentle and patient hand reaching down to lift me up and once again, pull me out of the rising waters. The lyrics resonated in my head,
” Seas that are shaken and stirred can be calmed and broken for my regard…
And far be it from me to not believe even when my eyes can’t see…
So, let go my soul and trust in Him, the waves and the wind still know His name…and it is well with my soul.”
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding.” Proverbs 3:5
I felt His calming embrace rise up through me and then a series of questions in my head as clear as day….
“Do you trust me?
Will you release your love to me?
If I take your love home today, will you trust me?
Will you trust me to take what matters to your heart the most?
Will you give him to me?”
Was God really asking me to be okay if my husband didn’t survive the surgery?
Philippians 4:7 reminds us that, “God’s peace, which is far beyond human understanding, will keep your minds and hearts safe in union with Christ Jesus.”
It was an unexplainable feeling but somehow amid this painfully difficult internal conversation, I was enveloped with His calm. Even though I was still so scared, my sense of helplessness supernaturally shifted to feeling helped and held.
And I knew that I had to let go all the way and let God.
All the way.
He was asking me to accept that I might go home alone.
Who was I to question God?
I didn’t want to let go of my husband but God was asking me in that very moment to have the faith of a mustard seed, to let go of my false sense of control that the enemy would have me stay enslaved to.
I conceded and laid my husband at the altar of God’s will.
“Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love, for I have put my trust in you. Show me the way I should go, for to you I entrust my life.”
A short time later the doctor came out to talk to me.
As he approached, my stomach churned, and my heart skipped a beat, but I also felt the unmistakable peace of God rush over me again.
“We’re all done. He is recovering well, and we have cleared the blockage.”
Praise the Lord!! My heart welled and I felt in my heart the Lord rejoicing with me.
When we are faced with what may feel like an insurmountable situation and we get caught up in feeling out of control, remember; the One who knows every page of our story is walking alongside us NO MATTER WHAT!
He will not leave nor forsake us (Deuteronomy 31:6) and when we keeps our eyes on Him, He will bless us in the messiness of the unknown and empower us to experience a peace that passes all understanding (Philippians 4:7) and he will rescue us from our hopeless helplessness.
The question is, will you let Him?
How has God helped you break free from helplessness?
Leave a comment below! I’d love to hear from you!