Updated: Oct 16
“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 there was nothing more they could do. She was a precious 10-days-old.
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. While it’s completely valid to feel a myriad of emotions after a great loss, 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. In the days, weeks, and months that followed, He stayed close. In the midst of my deepest pain and anguish, He showed Himself to be real and very present, and refuge, and my strength. He embodied His promise in Psalm 46:1.
Oftentimes, we wonder why God allows bad things to happen to good people. I don’t believe that God wanted my daughter to die anymore than I did, but I also believe He is good even when I don't understand. And, that he is with us in our fires. I can share this confidently with you, because I speak first hand. Jesus carried me when I literally couldn’t lift my head.
Psalm 46 is such a beautiful picture of how the Lord is there with us in the midst of our struggles and how He 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--for us.
Exodus 14:14 translates to "you shall hold your peace.” Sometimes, life is so hard, stillness is all we can offer. In the midst of life's unpredictable circumstances, 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 hold us so we can hold our peace. How? Peace is found in His presence. I remember back to those bone crushing days, where I felt held, and know all that I could muster, simply slumping in His arms when behind the wheel or watching a movie, was enough. He met me. I am proof we are likely to feel that deep inner peace day in and day out, even through the pressures and difficulties of life, when acknowledge He is our refuge.
Whatever struggles you may be facing today, rest in follow-up promise from Psalm 46, “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.
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, even during the hard times.
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