From COVID-19 and racial inequality to land hurricanes hitting my state, this has been quite a year. Just when I think it can’t get any harder or weirder it just does.
Admittedly this past week has been hard as we sent our two oldest twin sons off to college. It’s not easy to go from a family of five to a family of three overnight and it’s been hard on our youngest who looks up to his older brothers so much. Letting go is one of the toughest things I’ve ever had to do, but I also recognize that God has big plans for my kids and it’s time for them to become independent adults.
In addition, a week ago, my home state of Iowa was hit by a derecho, which was a word that wasn’t even in my vocabulary. A derecho is “a line of intense, widespread, and fast-moving windstorms and sometimes thunderstorms that moves across a great distance and is characterized by damaging winds.” It’s sometimes referred to as a land hurricane. Whatever it is, it’s scary and it wrecked our state, my town and my property.
While we only lost a few trees and they feel perfectly parallel to our home and my neighbor’s, we know there are farmers who lost their crops and many people who lost homes and vehicles. Our city officials believe it will take up to 6 weeks to clean up all of the downed trees and limbs cluttering our city.
So what do we do in times of trouble? What are some verses that we can cling to when life seems really hard? Here are a few that I find comfort in.
Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go. Joshua 1:9
God, the Lord, is my strength; he makes my feet like the deer’s; he makes me tread on my high places. Habakkuk 3:19
You are a hiding place for me; you preserve me from trouble; you surround me with shouts of deliverance. Psalm 32:7
Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. Isaiah 41:10
Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6-8
For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:38-39
Lastly, one of the other things I do during hardships is turn to worship music. It’s one of the quickest ways to fill my soul and turn my attention to Jesus. The song that’s been on repeat for me this year has been “Another in the Fire” by Hillsong United.
The chorus especially (which changes throughout the song) is what hits me as a good reminder.
There is another in the fire
Standing next to me
There is another in the waters
Holding back the seas
And should I ever need reminding
What power set me free
There is a grave that holds no body
And now that power lives in me