When All Hell Breaks Loose…

April 30, 2015 — 1 Comment

If you’ve been human for not very long, you’ve experienced some or all of this.

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Illness.

Job loss.

Car accident.

Unexpected expenses.

Family Tragedy.

Relationships falling apart.

On their own, each of these life-altering events are exhausting & painful. However, when they rush over your life like tidal waves, barely giving you time to come up for breath until the next one engulfs you, the burden it seems you must bear feels impossible.

We’ve had a few of these monsoons in our own family, so I know what I’m talking about. And let me tell you, it isn’t pretty. I’ve found myself questioning many times, ‘God, what the hell is going on? Why is this all happening at once? I can’t DO this!’

I grew up thinking if I was good & tried to please God, my life would be blessed with peace & abundance. I would somehow escape life’s difficulties. I really did think that. Imagine my utter amazement when true peace & abundance showed up, not in spite of difficulties but in the midst of them.

We should also know where the ‘hell’ is coming from. It’s coming from well, hell itself.

John 10:10 sums it up. “The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I {Jesus} have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.”

The reality is humanity has an enemy who has ONE goal: to keep us separated from God. In truth, because of Jesus’ death & resurrection, we no longer have to be separated from God. But we can be tricked & distracted if we aren’t vigilant. The Bible describes Satan as the father of lies. We put him in his place by exalting God, especially when hell seems to be breaking loose against us.

The thief is banking on you having so much turmoil in your life that you start believing God doesn’t give a flip about you. Instead of letting tragedy draw us closer to God, it seems pretty natural to blame the Lord, doesn’t it? I mean, why doesn’t He choose to just get us out of the mess? He’s God, isn’t He?

Jesus said, “In this world you will have trouble, but take heart I have overcome the world.” I hear Jesus saying, “Oh yes! The world is full of difficulty & pain that doesn’t make sense. But don’t forget I’m with you. And in the end, WE win.”

I’ll share with you 3 things I’ve learned through experiencing tragedies. They’ve become pillars by which I attempt to measure my life & faith. Mantras, if you will. I repeatedly write them in my journal as a reminder to myself & to God, knowing He sees & cares for every detail.

My faith is stirred in God when I remember…

  1. God is in the interruptions. Interruptions in our plans are a way He gets us where we need to be; or even save us from where we were heading. This can be life-altering events but also little, daily interruptions like traffic jams & unexpected mishaps. I say to my kids, ‘Boys, we sure are getting the opportunity to develop patience today, aren’t we?’ I know they love me so much for reminding them of that fact. I do not believe God smites us or punishes us to try to prove His love. Cause… when has fear-based, forced love ever worked? Um, no. Difficulties, however, do have a way of refining & defining us, don’t they?

God is very near in tragedy & destruction because He is near to the broken-hearted. It’s easy to look at the difficulty itself. But if we look for Him, we will find His love, comfort & compassion in the faces, hands & care of other people. It brings unmatched joy and trust in the firm foundation of Christ’s solid hold on us. And it’s a beautiful thing, y’all.

  1. He is working behind & above the scenes… and He loves to surprise His children when it looks like all hope has been lost. So while you may not see God in your crumbling world, He is there.

Shackled in prison Paul & Silas, who were arrested for preaching the Gospel, should’ve had no hope for release. But instead they chose to see God was still God even in what seemed like certain death. They sang praises to God for all to hear… And SURPRISE! God showed up in the midnight hour! (Acts 16)

We can put great trust (yes, it may even seem foolish to some) in knowing that our God WILL come through for us, as & when He sees fit in order to bring the best possible outcome for His eternal kingdom whose foundation is Love for all. If we are willing to go through the dark hours, without wavering, His Light & Love can break forth for all to see & glorify Him.

  1. This is NOT the end of my story! As a Christ-follower, I firmly believe our stories are eternal. Even when our bodies perish, our spirits are forever alive in Christ. And furthermore, I believe our legacy lives on in those we touch here on the Earth. Even through, or especially through tragedy, we leave a permanent imprint on the world by how we respond. And our response should only be authenticity (honesty & realness) in light of knowing God is creating what may very well be a signpost pointing others to Christ. In other words, don’t pretend you’re fine when you’re not. We are much more approachable when we don’t ‘fake it til we make it’. Trusting God doesn’t equal pretending everything is okay, it’s just acknowledging God is bigger than the hell you’re facing.

What if your story, so filled with highs & lows, tragedies & triumphs, is what it takes for someone to see God can help them get through their own mess? To me, this defines the prayer, “Thy Kingdom Come. Thy will be done on Earth as it is in Heaven.”

I’ll leave you with a famous quote of Winston Churchill, “If you’re going through hell, by all means, keep going!” When all hell breaks loose in your life, look inward & onward because God is ready to create beauty & hope from the ashes!

Shine On!

Danielle 

 

daniellebrower

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...daughter of the King, wife and mother ~ danielle believes all christians are missionaries; we're called to love Jesus and share that love through active compassion that brings tangible & eternal change in the lives of those we touch. no one should live more proactive, more giving, more sacrificial lives than those that claim to know Christ. time to remove the blinders & excuses and let the love of Christ flow through us.

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