Is Your Life Charmed or Charred? Why God Is Enough

I was 28 years old and nothing bad had ever happened to me.

I mean, really bad. I was happily married with two small children, a dog, and a bird. Though we'd never been rich, we always had money for all our needs and some of our wants. No one I'd ever known had cancer. All the marriages I knew of were intact. We had a great church, sweet friends, and meaningful work.

That's why John 16:33 concerned me:

"In this world you will have trouble."

"Does this apply to everyone?" I asked my Bible study leader one day.

"If you live long enough!" she responded, only half joking.

I wondered if my faith was strong enough to withstand the trials that supposedly lurked around the edges of my life, waiting for an opportune moment to strike. 

Thus far I'd lived a charmed life. I'd had little opportunity to develop spiritual muscles, because my biggest challenge was spooning mashed peas into my infant's recalcitrant mouth. The sufficiency of God was a truth I espoused in theory only.

That's why those Bible verses about trials and tribulations made me very nervous.

Twenty years later, I've now lived long enough, as my Bible teacher would say.

My life is no longer charmed. Some days charred is a more accurate description. 

I've lost two sisters and a brother in 8 months. Lived through sudden unemployment. Walked through pitch black days in our marriage and family.  Second-guessed ministry callings. Stood beside friends as they've buried parents, and husbands, and babies

And found that faith triumphs.

"Faith is less about holding on to God," Pastor Glen Kanect once said, "and more about God holding on to you."

 And God is enough.

"Fear not, for I have redeemed you;" says the Lord, "I have summoned you by name; you are mine.

When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze.

For I am the LORD, your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior. (Isaiah 43:1-3).

"My ears had heard of you, but now my eyes have seen you," Job said.

Corrie Ten Boom said it with equal eloquence: "There is no pit so deep that God is not deeper still."

If you're in the water, or in the river, or in the flames, douse the fire of Satan's lies with the water of Truth. Cling to God as the rewarder of those who diligently seek him. And when you have "suffered according to God's will," commit yourself to your faithful Creator and continue to do good (1 Peter 4:19).

"He tends his flock like a shepherd: He gathers the lambs in his arms and carries them close to his heart; he gently leads those that have young" (Is. 40:11).

My prayer is that you will feel his arms today. He is enough.

If you enjoyed this post, you might like: "When Life Chews You Up and Spits you Out -- How to Banish the Dark Night of the Soul."

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  1. GailBP8:17 AM

    I can identify with you on this one, Lori. I remember a time when my life lacked any major "troubles." Oh, how shallow my faith would be if I still lived that kind of life. I imagine it as wonderful sometimes when going through a difficulty, but I know I would be far more self-righteous and far less "real" had my life stayed that way.

  2. You lost two sisters and a brother in 8 months? My goodness, Lori, what heartache! But you're so right. Regardless of the great hardship in life, He is greater still. I'm thankful today for His word that prepares me for the struggles of this world...and the immeasurable blessings that are to come.

  3. Beautiful post! Thanks for the reminder that He is always with us and there is no need to worry about the trials ahead.

  4. Beautiful words of encouragement. He IS enough! I love those verses and have cherished them during difficult times, reminding myself that He is with me through the waves and the fire.

    I am sorry for the loss of your siblings. Losing someone you love is very painful!

    Thank you for reminding us today that He is always with us and is enough. God always shows Himself strong during difficult times. He shows Himself strong during easy times too, but sometimes we are tempted to coast when it's easy and put off our time with Him and ignore Him. How his heart must long for us when we do that.

    Thank you for your encouraging words, my friend! ;)

  5. Just wanted to pop over again to let you know that the "Making Your Home Sing Monday" linky
    party is up and ready for you to link up your posts this week. Thank you
    for participating last week. I'd love to have you join us again! Can't
    wait to see what you have to share this week!

  6. Thank you for sharing this on "Making Your Home Sing Monday" today! I always appreciate your wisdom! :)

  7. I enjoyed this post and found it to be an encouragement for the 'charred' days of my life. Thankfully, my life is also filled with grace as God turns the charred ashes into something filled with Him.

    Thanks for linking up over at WholeHearted Home.