“God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.” Psalm 46:1 NIV
The day that my daughter died was the hardest day of my life. I never thought that would be me, yet there I was in an emergency room being told by doctors that there was nothing more they could do for my precious 10-day-old baby girl. It was very surreal to hold my daughter in my arms and watch as she took her last breaths and went into the arms of Jesus. Going through great loss is a devastating experience for anyone, whether it’s the loss of a child or the loss of someone or something else that’s sacred to you. Oftentimes, it is in those very moments that our faith is tested unlike ever before.
It feels like a sink or swim situation, a trial by fire. In those moments, we have the choice to either be overcome by our grief and allow things like bitterness, depression and anger to take root in our hearts, or we can allow God to fight the battle on our behalf and carry us through to the other side. Of course, it’s completely valid to feel a myriad of emotions after a great loss. However, I can say from personal experience that I have never felt God more near and present than I did in my daughter’s final hours here on earth and in the days, weeks and months that followed. In the midst of my deepest pain and anguish, He showed Himself to be very real and very present.
I don’t believe that God wanted my daughter to die anymore than I did, but I also believe that He knew it was going to happen and that He prepared my heart beforehand with truths that would sustain me when I literally couldn’t even lift my head.
Truth #1 The Lord is there with us in the midst of our struggles.
Psalm 46 is such a beautiful picture of how God is our refuge and fortress. He is our safe place when nothing else feels safe. In the midst of an earth-shattering loss or devastating situation, it feels as if everything is spinning out of control and nothing makes sense. Yet through it all, God is there, sheltering us.
Truth #2 God wants to fight on our behalf.
Exodus 14:14 tells us that the Lord will fight for us. We only need to be still. Some versions say, “you shall hold your peace.” In the midst of the stresses of life, whether it’s the day to day pressures and stress of being a mom and raising a family or the major, life-altering tragedies, God wants to fight on our behalf. He wants us to hold our peace.
Truth #3 Holding our peace means hiding His Word.
Deuteronomy 11:18 says, “Remember these commands I give you. Keep them in your hearts. Write them down and tie them on your hands and wear them on your foreheads as a way to remember my laws. Staying plugged in and spending time in His presence is so vital. When we are actively cultivating an intimate relationship with the Lord of Hosts, we’re more likely to feel that deep inner peace day in and day out, even through the pressures and difficulties of life.
Truth #4 Remember the power of the Holy Spirit inside you.
Whatever struggles you may be facing today, rest in His promise of Psalm 46:5; “God is in the midst of her; she shall not be moved; God will help her when morning dawns.” The night may seem long, but tomorrow is a new day. The Holy Spirit makes your faith immoveable. God is your refuge. He fights on your behalf - you need to be still, hold your peace by holding onto His Word and boldly rest in the immovable faith the Holy Spirit grants.
Lord, thank you for being my refuge during times of distress. I know that no matter how out of control my life may feel, you are still in control, and you will fight my battles for me. Help me to focus on spending time in your presence so that your peace can fill my life and sustain me, even during the hard times.