Have you ever suffered great destruction or overwhelming shock or grief? If we live long enough, we probably all have at some point. But when I compare what I’ve gone through to what others have endured, my problems seem relatively small.
Just think about those who have lost everything in a fire or tsunami. Houses, property, family all wiped out in a sudden, devastating tragedy. A friend of mine is presently in the Bahamas helping people deal with the results of the latest hurricane that devastated their island. My brother-in-law has made several trips to Japan to aid in the clean up from the tsunami that occurred many years ago.
When I look at the pictures of such destruction, I wonder how I would have dealt with surviving such a terrible mess. Is it possible to trust God at such times? Only if I have made it my habit to trust Him in all things, large or small. Faith doesn’t become easily in times of disaster. It is built into our character throughout a lifetime of walking with the Lord.
In Psalm 46 the Psalmist said: “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea; though the waters roar and be troubled, though the mountains shake with the swelling thereof.” Having such confidence can build stability into our lives.
Perhaps you have heard the story of Horatio Spafford, a prominent lawyer and real estate developer who lost most of his holdings in the great Chicago fire. As if that weren’t enough, his infant son died of an illness, and his four daughters were lost at sea when their ship sank in the middle of the Atlantic. His wife was rescued, but his children were gone. Talk about devastation! Yet when Mr. Spafford made the journey to be with his wife in England, he passed over the scene of the wreckage, retreated to his cabin, and wrote: “When peace, like a river, attendeth my way, when sorrows like sea billows roll – whatever my lot, Thou hast taught me to say, ‘It is well, it is well with my soul.’ ”
How is it with your soul today? What does it take to have that kind of stamina? That kind of hope? Are you habitually gaining strength from the Word that will gird you with strength in any situation?