As you probably could have guessed from another long absence, I’ve been taking vacation to just unplug from everything. I’ve spent every morning praying and seeking God’s replenishment and restoration. I needed it. If you read my last blog, I shared just a small snippet of the compressed highs and lows of the last nine months (death, two graduations, death, layoffs, marriage, another death…). I needed to just rest, and find my center with God again.
I realized over this break (along with studying the scriptures over the years) that it’s amazing how much God wants to care for us and give us rest in our times of turmoil, but we resist Him. We hear things like, “you’re gonna be worthless, you’re gonna be sorry, you’re gonna fall behind”— and we burn our time owning and acting out these lies, rather than talking through them with God like a friend, and letting Him care for us.
How can you feel His care?
Think about God’s care: He gives sleep each night to restore us; designing our bodies in such a way that require rest to be sustained. He promises comfort and a “peace that surpasses all understanding” (Philippians 4:7) through our hardships. I can personally attest that His promise is faithful, as I have experienced peace, comfort, and a measure of strength that I cannot explain through this difficult season. He gives us the hope of Heaven through His promise in the Bible–all because He cares. Mother Teresa was right when she said, “In light of heaven, the worst suffering on earth…will be seen to be no more serious than one night in an inconvenient hotel.”
Jesus says in John, “And since I’m going away to prepare a place for you, I’ll come back again and welcome you into my presence, so that you may be where I am.” Later in the same book, He says, “I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.” As lonely, worthless, beat down, angry, or sad as we may feel for a season, He will not leave us. He cares, and He loves us relentlessly. He loves you relentlessly, and He’s gonna make it all right.
Responding to His Care
God’s care is not only meant to provide peace and comfort in times of trouble, but is meant to encourage us to move forward in the process of healing and spiritual growth. He promises that we can use our pain and suffering to share in His glory. Romans 8:18 claims just this: “What we suffer now is nothing compared to the glory He will reveal to us later.” In many ways, through my own personal journey wrestling with death and numerous setbacks, I have come out of this season feeling more inspired and motivated to help others to know Him and lean into His care.
My new book that I’ve been writing, Imagine Heaven, was actually a comfort God provided me in the face of hardship. Researching and writing about 100’s of near-death reports and how they color in what the Bible proclaims about Heaven’s wonders, inspired me and kept me hopeful through it all. I understand why Paul said “set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God” (Col. 3:1). I’ll give you more information on my research on NDEs in the blogs to come – it’s fascinating and provides powerful evidence of His unfathomable, mysterious love.
No journey to find peace and rest with God is ever perfect. Sometimes, we will feel that God doesn’t care for a very long season of life. But in order to come out of it more solidified in His love and care for you, you must listen for Him in your times of trouble, and open up to Him about your pain; allow Him to walk through it with you and transform your pain into something that can be used for His Glory later.
If you’ve been going through a similar season, I’d love to hear about what you’ve seen God do through it. Share in the comments below.