“The gas main is still connected!” My husband Ray, a critical care paramedic, texted me from a raging house fire this weekend while on his 24-hour shift.
As he and his partner waited outside the home before going in to see if there was anyone alive, I told him to be careful.
“God, protect him and the other emergency workers from harm, and I pray for the residents’ lives.”
About 30 minutes later, he texted again, “I just missed stepping on a live power wire.”
I texted back, “You just have a praying wife!”
There are days I feel much like a fire-fighter, battling many hard tests and trials. How about you? Are you facing any sort of:
- Financial difficulties
- Marriage crisis
- Health issues
- Parenting challenges
- Job loss or career transitions
- The sickness or death of a loved one
- Business problems
- _________________ (You fill in the blank.)
If it wasn’t for our faith in Christ, we would too easily give into despair when we’re in the furnace of affliction. When the waters of difficulty come flooding in, we can feel overwhelmed and as if we are drowning, gasping for breath.
Things start to feel a little out of control, don’t they? But control is really just an illusion. We. Must. Let go. Trust.
“When you go through deep waters, I will be with you. When you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown. When you walk through the fire of oppression, you will not be burned up; the flames will not consume you” (Isaiah 43:2, NLT).
God has everything under His control. We can depend on Him.
But how do we practically surrender and trust God “in the fire and the flood?”
1. Talk to God. Confess your fears, anxieties, stress, anger, discouragement, or frustration to Him. He knows what we face, and He cares. He collects our tears in a bottle, recording each one in His book (Psalm 56:8). I think His book for me is sopping wet!
God will fulfill His purpose for you (Psalm 57:2), no matter what things look like right now. Cry out to God. Pour out your heart to Him like water—whatever burdens you. (Lamentations 2:19). God will answer with great and mighty things. (Jeremiah 33:3)
2. Write. Journal your prayers to God. Let it out—the fear, worry, fury, fatigue, confusion, lack of faith. Hold nothing back. Peel back the “nice manners” with God and go for the jugular. If you are disappointed in your life, frustrated with this situation, even angry at God, say so. God knows what you’re thinking anyway!
Journaling is an excellent stress-management and self-exploration tool. Be sure to record your raw prayers and God’s answers to those prayers with the date, you’ll want to review later.
Your prayer journal of honest emotion becomes your trusting place with God, a holy communion table, a place of yielding all to Him. It’s your place of sacred truth. Later you can read these journals, and share the testimonies with others as a memorial to God.
3. Acknowledge. You don’t have to pretend to be strong and full of faith when you’re not. God doesn’t expect you to be Supa Christian Woman or Man. He knows there will be times when you have doubt and uncertainty, fear and worry.
Jesus was pleased when the father of the epileptic boy cried out, “I believe; help my unbelief!” (Mark 9:24).
God doesn’t want perfection, but he does want authenticity. Acknowledge to God, yourself, and others where you’re at emotionally and spiritually. Tell God the fire and the floodwater scare the heck out of you, that you’re having trouble trusting Him right now. Admit that you’re struggling with believing that God knows what is best for you (or your loved ones).Acknowledge you feel weak and vulnerable in this time of refiner’s fire, then give it to God through an act of your will.
It’s a choice. We choose to surrender control and to trust Him. As we release the situation into God’s care, God works His miracles.
As you walk through the fire, you will not be burned. It’s His promise.
Beth Jones is a Christian speaker, author, life coach, wife and mom of 3 beautiful daughters. Her mission is equipping women to hear God’s voice, unlock their gifts, and pursue their passion. You can find out more about Beth’s products and services at http://www.bethjones.net.