I have had a similar experience with the verses that I sensed the Lord gave me in January. Thinking back, I can see a broader spectrum of why I needed these verses.
The beginning of 2020 had my husband and I a little stressed. A third of our crop, and thus one third of our annual income, was still in the field unharvested and laid flat by an early heavy snow. Most crops subjected to winter weather deteriorate and lose grade making it worth much less money. The weather teased us from October to March, melting snow and drying until conditions were just about fit for winter combining and then more snow. Though we fought distress and worry knowing it was pointless, it would come in waves, trying to rob us of our steadfast faith that God would make a way. Enduring through the learning and folding into leaning on Jesus became a process. Then came COVID.
More unknown added to our lives and to everyone’s life around us. The everyday struggles of those we know best became the actual mountains of the proverbial mole hills. How could we help? How could we bring perspective to their lives and our own? This was a whole new ball game. Loss filled the lives of many - physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. What to do, what to do, what to do?
Turn to God. To the One who knows the beginning from the end. This pandemic is no surprise to Him and he is more than able to bring good out of chaos. That’s when the verses from January hit home once more.
“I remember my affliction and my wandering, the bitterness and the gall. I well remember them, and my soul is downcast within me. Yet this I call to mind and therefore I have hope: Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning: great is your faithfulness” Lamentations 3:19-23NIV
Hope. Because God is, there is hope. And it is fresh every morning. We turned our eyes to him and tried to be instruments of His love to renew the hope of others.
We connected and reconnected with family and friends we do not see frequently due to the supposed busyness of life we all seem to share. Our church saw 7 water baptisms and our congregation grew. Personally, our sons were able to keep their jobs and one was able to pass an exam to enter a new field. Another was accepted, moved to the head of the waiting list, for a course he will take to pursue a goal that he believes God has placed on his heart. We downsized our farm and were able to sell our land to two young families who will be amazing stewards of the land rather than some unknown speculator.
We continue to hang on to hope as my husband ripped his quad tendon off his kneecap at Thanksgiving and had to have surgery to re-attach it. We are incredibly thankful he will have the quieter winter season to recover.
And that crop that wintered in the field was combined in April in the mud. But the grain was dry and miraculously did not lose a grade. The people who market the grain were amazed and had to check to see if the samples we brought in were from last fall or this spring. What a mighty God we serve!
Hope. How can we pass this on to others during these challenging times for today and for the days ahead? I think Romans 12:9-16a says it best:
“Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in love. Honour one another above yourselves. Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervour, serving the Lord. Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality. Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. Rejoice with those who rejoice, mourn with those who mourn. Live in harmony with one another.” NIV
May you know God is with you through whatever storms you are experiencing and may His peace overwhelm you on rough waters.