The challenges were piling up and I was feeling scared and alone:

  • Our last pet passed to greener pastures and we have agreed not to have another pet for a while.
  • Our home had been on the market for two months and there were no takers.
  • We had bought another home and money was pouring out in renovations.
  • Meanwhile at the old home: the garage door sprung, the air conditioning kept turning off and on as if it were possessed, the cold water hose under the kitchen sink burst and took a week to get the part in.
  • My husband received a new cancer diagnosis.

I was beginning to crack.

I could feel the tension mount, the impatience threatening to leak out around the attempts to remain calm.  I wanted to blame the devil.  I wanted to blame the house.  I wanted to scream, throw stuff, curse, or just curl up in a ball.   And so I did what I have done since I was a teenager – escape to the outdoors to walk and sort out my thoughts and feelings. More importantly, I needed to talk with God without interruption or distraction.

I began at an angry, fury-fired pace but as I began to sort through my emotions and lifted up my fears to God I settled into a smooth, brisk cadence.  As I looked upward, I noticed grey cloudy skies everywhere.  But behind the dark and ominous clouds were beautiful, rich, pink fluffy clouds.  Beauty magnified by the darkness.  It was then that I realized that while there was much in my life that seemed dark and scary, there was also much to feel blessed about.   It was a reminder that God is in there amidst the challenges.

  • To see through the pain of a dog’s passing, remembering the joy and memories she brought to our lives and know that she is no longer struggling to breath.
  • To thank God that the kitchen faucet hose blew just before we left for an evening with neighbors rather than finding a flood three hours later, extensive damage that would require taking the home off the market and considerable cost to repair.
  • Appreciating a good repairperson who helped us determine the most effective solution to the a/c problem rather than griping about the need and cost to fix it.
  • Or feeling blessed because a new cancer diagnosis is the least invasive and slowest growing and curable!

These are the blessings through the stressing!  Seeing the blessings amidst the pain is seeing God throughout the day. It matters not if it is God or the devil at work in our life; it is what God does in the midst of trouble that matters.

Look for Him.  Remain standing with Him no matter what the day may bring.  See the beauty in the storm.  God shows up in our times of trouble regardless of our circumstance.  God wants us in His presence and we desperately need Him to be in our midst to feel the joy despite the pain.  Let us honor Him by giving Him glory by how we live for Him and in Him.

Let everything that has breath praise the Lord.  Psalm 150:6