I remember a day many years ago when Rob and I had purchased our first home. While we were settling into married life, we faced many challenges. Challenges that disrupted wedded bliss. We entered marriage with high expectations and lots of baggage.
Rob’s escape mechanism from our issues was yard work. I cleaned the house. We both magically had chores to take care of because we didn’t know how to communicate properly. So we hid. We hid behind whatever would distract us.
On this particular day, we were at odds. Thinking back, I can’t remember exactly why we were at odds. All I know is that I was tired; tired of not being in sync. While Rob was out mowing the grass, I sat down on the couch and read my Bible. I found myself in the book of Isaiah.
While in Isaiah 41, I read verse 10 out loud, “Do not be afraid Carol. For I am with you. Do not be afraid for I am your God. I will strengthen you, I will help you and I will uphold you with my victorious right hand.” Something was different in that moment. I was not simply reading words on a page from a book. I found myself in the presence of Christ! I felt His presence behind me. He placed His arms on my shoulders, leaned down and He spoke His words to me. He read to me instead of me reading to myself.
It was in this moment that I understood that there is something real about the Bible. It was in this moment that I saw just how close God is to me and how personal He is with me. God loves me. He sees me and hears me. God met me in the dark where no one can possibly see nor understand.
From that moment on I looked at God’s Word differently which caused me to look at God differently. He gave me a thirst for truth, His truth. As I continued to study scripture, I found something amazing! Within the pages of the Bible, not only did I come to an understanding of who God is along with the struggles I endured because of sin, I discovered the presence of Christ!
My soul was wanting Jesus. My heart was needing Jesus. Jesus was what my whole being was aching for. Ever since those early days, God has been found faithful by me. Even in my loneliest moments, when I look up, He is there. When I am grumbling and ranting over something, whether life-changing or miniscule, He remains by my side. In fear, He reassures me that I am courageous and strong because of His presence within me. He makes me capable of handling whatever life throws at me.
Since then, the Holy Spirit speaks to my very soul when I am in His Word. Isaiah 41:10 has been my life verse. God spoke to me on the couch during my unequally yoked days of my marriage. He spoke to me when I faced breast cancer. He even speaks through this verse as I grow an online ministry and continue working on a book I want published. He is speaking to me while I grieve and wrestle in adjusting to parenting adult children. I so loved raising them. This verse along with many others is what keeps me going.
Throughout the years, God has proven Himself over and over and over again. He has convinced me of His love and faithfulness. Whether happy, sad, mad or lonely, He is with me. I can speak like Peter did in the book of John, “Lord, to whom would I go? You have the words that give me eternal life. I believe and I know that you are the Holy One of God.” See John 6:68-69.
After walking with God for 40 years now, I can attest to the fact that God loves me. Whenever I go to Him, the pieces of my life fall into place. My path is always cleared for what He has for me. I find this amazing and humbling since I cause myself so much distress with my doubting and the throwing of fits within my mindset yet God waits for me to look up. My flesh wrestles the Holy Spirit. I want and expect things to go how I think they should go yet God calls me to let Him lead. “Look up Carol. Trust me.”
And as I relinquish the control over to Him, I have peace. He gives me clarity on the problems at hand whether its relational or task related. He lifts me up to the Rock where He settles my tumultuous soul. He redirects my priorities and helps me align what is important. He then gives me wisdom to live out His ways. And never once has He not followed through on what He tells me! Never! He keeps His Word.
So, as we try to figure out this virus that seems to keep everyone on their toes, the safest and most secure place to be is in God’s Presence. We discover His Presence when we read the very words of God. No matter how COVID-19 is affecting you, God is with you. He knows what your needs are. He knows your passions, hopes and desires. He gave them to you.
Give Him a chance. God had to place me in a foreign land with an unbelieving husband. He had to strip me of my comforts which caused me to look up. While it’s not fun to endure, looking back, God has amazed me at all the answered prayers; those I have shared with Him as well as unspoken ones that I didn’t even realize my heart was asking. God hears my heart. He is all I need and He is all you need. He is the safest place to be right now.