It’s a constant refrain in recent conversations with friends, family and acquaintances. People are weary. Many are running on fumes. But the weariness goes beyond physical tiredness and down deeper, to a soul level.
For some, the weariness began as discouragement. This is how it started for me. Several weeks ago, it hit me again. A reminder came up on my phone for another cancelled event. A book signing. And all of a sudden, I was there, thinking about what may have happened.
As I try to stay connected with others, I see other disappointments. A wedding venue booked for months closed. Graduation ceremonies cancelled or changed to a drive-through event. We adapt the best we can, and somehow we keep going. But there’s an unspoken sadness that lingers. A heaviness we can’t quite articulate, brought to the surface with recent events of violence, shootings and a fear that follows each one.
While it’s hard for me to find quiet right now, on car rides to the store and late at night I relish it. I think about the message that keeps pervading through the darkness. The message we all need to hear despite the onslaught of negative news, constant media noise and opinions.
When darkness and weariness press at us from all sides, this is what God emphasizes in my heart and my spirit: He is still for you.
He is for us, friend. He is for me and each and every one of us who call on him to be Savior of our lives.
But during seasons like the one we’ve been in for the past several months, it’s easy to forget this truth. First we faced a virus none of us predicted or knew how to prepare for, and then news of tragedy, followed by more tragedy and media coverage which comes with its own biases and slants. On top of the cancellations, disappointments and life changes we already faced, it sometimes feels like more than any of us can handle.
We ask God to intervene, but even articulating our prayers is difficult.
When I am short on words, I often rely on the words of prophets and disciples who went before me. Last week a local pastor encouraged me to read Habakkuk, which details death and destruction that resemble what our nation is facing today. Habakkuk pleads with the Lord to step in and stop the violence, but he doesn’t. As a matter of fact, he sends more.
As I read, I wanted to skip to the good part. I wanted to see God’s mercy and deliverance. Ever been there? And while it does come, we have to read through the following book of Zephaniah to get there. It is there we see the Lord restore the remnant of Israel, sing over his people, and crush the heads of the oppressors.
“The Lord your God is with you,
the Mighty Warrior who saves.
He will take great delight in you;
In his love he will no longer rebuke you,
but will rejoice over you with singing.”
After studying these two minor prophets, I realized a few things about God’s love and covering:
God is for us even when the world seems to be falling apart around us.
God’s favor does not negate seasons of suffering. We still live in a fallen world where people sin, have their own agenda, and stray far from the truth. But despite all of this, God continues to show mercy, and patiently waits for those who have rejected him to turn to him. The problem with this world is not God, but its inhabitants.
We can still find endless demonstrations of God’s goodness and love when we look for them.
Even in the midst of the chaos and tragedy taking place around the world, I hear stories of God answering prayers. Specific prayers with specific answers that could only be orchestrated by him. But I have to look for them. It doesn’t take much effort to find bad news, but the good news is there too. Sometimes it just takes a little more effort to uncover it.
What to see an example? I did too. Take a look at this video and be encouraged.
God’s plan and love for us stretches beyond this season.
It sounds simple enough, but sometimes it’s difficult to see beyond the weariness and discouragement, isn’t it? But whatever it is we’re facing will be used by God, if we allow him to guide and walk us through it. We may not think there is any way he can use our current season for good, but he can. And he will.
Friend, not matter what you’re facing today, know this: God has not turned his back on you. He is right there with you, walking with you through the fire. So crank up your favorite worship song. Declare his goodness out loud, even when it feels clumsy and you fight an inner resistance you can’t quite shake.
We see him move when we praise him in the middle of the storm, even when we’re not sure what’s on the other side if it. This is what faith does. This is what he’s calling us to do, right in this moment.
If you need further encouragement that God is for you, even in the midst of the struggle, uncertainty, and unknown future, I encourage you to pick of a copy of my book, Shift: Changing Our Focus to See the Presence of God. Many people have sent me messages saying it is a timely book for this season, which encourages my heart so much. I pray he continues to use it to touch lives.
You can purchase a copy of Shift by clicking the image below.