by Cathy Martinez
The waves of life can beat us down. We are surrounded by waters of disappointment, hurt, guilt, and shame. We try whatever we can to stop the waves from crashing all around us. We run. We hide. We scream. We cry. We feel alone and scared, and think maybe we are not enough or that we're forgotten.
Joseph knew all about the crashing waves of life. He was tossed around for 13 years. The Bible often reminds us that “the Lord was with Joseph” (Genesis 39:2, 21, 23 NIV). No matter what storm he faced, and there were many, he always knew that God was with him. His faith was tested time and time again, yet it never failed him. So whether our pain is caused by our own actions or by the actions of others, how can we be more like Joseph? What can we do to know that God has not left us behind?
The truth is, in our pain, if we just took a moment to stop fighting the crashing waves, then it would be quiet enough to hear the silence in the eye of the storm. It would be quiet enough to take a deep breath. It would be quiet enough to hear God’s whisper. And in the stillness, “the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, [would have the chance to] guard [our] hearts and [our] minds in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:7 NIV).
For me, this is so much easier said than done. There are times when I want to control where the waves are crashing. And before I know it, I have drifted so far from the shore, and the fear has completely wiped me out. This is when I realize that I must stop fighting, take a deep breath, and reach for the hand that will safely lead me back to shore. God’s hand.
It is when I must be quiet enough to hear Him whisper, “Trust me. You are not alone. I walk every step with you. Please know that the darkness you feel today will one day shine a light for someone who has lost their way. And the light will lead straight to Me.”
This is a heavy burden to carry, but without any doubt, I accept it to be true. I believe Him when He says, “For I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future” (Jeremiah 29: 11 NIV).
I understand that my prosperity, my hope, and my future from God depend on me continuing to walk through the fear with my eyes on Him. I have learned that when I seek Him with all my heart, I always do find Him (Jeremiah 29:13 NIV). Even though it is hard sometimes, choosing the easy way out is not the choice for me.
There are some things in my life that I wish did not happen. But the truth is, if erasing every trial that I have faced meant giving up the relationship that I have with God today, then I would live the same life all over again. I would suffer through the same disappointment, the same hurt, the same guilt, and the same shame. I would experience it again because He is worth all of it and so much more!