It was all I could pray, and just a whispered prayer at that.
My life and my soul were in the middle of a storm. Tears obscured my vision as I tried to navigate the raging waters that circled my heart. I wanted God to take the helm, to navigate the path, to take me safely to harbor. I wanted him to part the waters so I could walk through. I wanted to be safe on dry ground again, yet right now I was facing swells that threatened to capsize my life.
There were no eloquent words to pray. Aside from a faintly whispered, “Help…” my tears were my prayer. Every time I tried to catch my breath, I was pulled under again, choking on another wave. All my strength was spent trying to get to the surface, to orient myself before being drug down again.
Oh how I hated the storm, if I was being honest. I was tired, and I was tired of the storm. But now was no time to give up. That’s what the enemy wanted. He’d been trying to discourage and defeat me for years. I’d come this far. I’d fought hard, I wasn’t going to give up now.
This wasn’t the first major storm I’d faced, and I was certain it wouldn’t be the last. Jesus warned us we would face trials, but He also gave us hope. It was that hope I chose to cling to.
“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world” (John 16:33)
While the storm didn’t end, the angst relented somewhat as I remembered that He came to be my peace in the midst of the storm.
I thought of the night that Jesus went out on the lake in the storm. All His disciples became distraught by the force of the storm while Jesus slept through it all. Yet what an example that is to us: Jesus could sleep through the storm because He knew who his father was and that His father could be trusted to keep His promises and to care for His children.
Storms have the potential to shape us in several different ways depending on how we react to them:
1. Sometimes storms destroy us.
When we lose perspective, when we forget who calms the storm, when we give up, we allow the storm to destroy us.
2. Sometimes storms define us.
When we forget God’s promise that he works all things together for our good, and we take on the victim mentality, and wallow in self-pity, rather than looking at our storm as an opportunity for God to show His faithfulness. In times like this, we can allow the storm to define us and can become stuck in the wake of the storm even long after the storm has passed.
In situations like this, I’d have to agree with Danny Gokey who said, “A victim is someone who complains when bad things happen. A survivor is someone who takes those bad things & makes something good out of it.”
3. Sometimes storms strengthen us.
When we hold onto God as our anchor in the storm, trusting in His sovereignty, believing that He finishes what He starts, and holding onto his promise that trials produce the testing of our faith which produces perseverance, we allow the storms to strengthen us.
If our eyes are on the storm we will wonder if he still loves us, but if our eyes are on the cross, we will know he always has and always will. He promised His peace-the very peace that allowed Him to sleep through the storm because He knew who He was and whose He was.
Our attitude during the storm directly impacts the outcome, even if only the impact on our heart. “Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:6-7). It is when we make the choice to not worry, but instead, pray about our needs and be thankful for all God has done that we will then experience His peace even in the midst of the storm.
It was in realizing that, that my prayers shifted from a feeble, “Help” to “I praise you. Lord, through it all, I’m still going to praise you. Your ways are not my ways, yet I choose to trust you, even though I cannot see a way out. Thank you for keeping me safe in the midst of the storm. Teach me, show me, guide me. Through it all, I will still praise you.”
Are you going through a storm? Will you trust Him, and thank Him for all He has done for you while you wait for the storm to end?
Because of Him, #HopePrevails!
(If you have a question you’d like Dr. B to answer, contact her here now. Your name and identity will be kept confidential.)
A short brief about Hope Prevails.
Insights from a Doctor’s Personal Journey through Depression
Dr. Michelle Bengtson
Speaking from personal and professional experience, a neuropsychologist unpacks what depression is, shows how it affects us spiritually, and offers hope for living the abundant life.
Neuropsychologist Offers Hope to Those Struggling with Depression
-By 2020, depression will be our greatest epidemic worldwide
- An estimated 350 million people worldwide suffer from some form of depression
- As with the bestselling My Stroke of Insight, the author experienced the same condition she treats
- Helpful features include personal stories, biblical truths, prayers, and music recommendations
In Hope Prevails, Dr. Bengtson writes with deep compassion and empathy, blending her extensive training and faith, to offer readers a hope that is grounded in God’s love and grace. She helps readers understand what depression is, how it affects them spiritually, and what, by God’s grace, it cannot do. The result is a treatment plan that addresses the whole person—not just chemical imbalances in the brain.
For those who struggle with depression and those that want to help them, Hope Prevails offers real hope for the future.
Hope Prevails is available now wherever books are sold. To find out more, see: http://drmichellebengtson.com/hope-prevails-book/.