On April 19th severe civil unrest began here in Nicaragua, which turned my life upside down. The result has been over 400 dead, thousands injured, a depressed economy, and a constant feeling of insecurity. There were days when we were not sure if we could even access some of the most basic things we needed (food, gas, etc.) As a result, we decided that it was best for my wife and kids to return to the States for this year, while I remain serving in Nicaragua. We are hopeful that our entire family can return to Nicaragua next year. So, couple being 3,000 miles from my family with the difficulties of working and serving in this environment and, needless to say, it has been a difficult time! As my family and I have faced these challenges I’ve been reminded of 2 Samuel 12:16-25, where Daniel experiences the death of his son. Here are four things Daniel does to get through this tragedy that have been helpful to me. I pray that they can be a blessing to each of you whenever you are going through something difficult in your lives.
- We realize that we can’t change the past: do you find yourself spending countless hours lamenting something that has already happened? I sure have, and I want to slap myself across the face for it! We can desire to change the past as much as we wan’t, but we’ll never be able to. What we can do is ask God’s forgiveness for our past actions, ask for his help in finding peace in the wake of past events, and begin looking towards the future with God’s help and guidance.
- When you don’t have what you really want, God is what you really need: How true is this! In my current situation what I really want, security, stability, and the presence of my family, is outside of my control. What I really need is God’s presence, comfort, guidance, and peace, all of which are ALWAYS available to me. Look guys, there will always be some hurt in your life. There will always be something that’s not how you want it. But, there will also always be God. God is always present to shower you with love, to give you guidance by His Spirit and Word, and to remind you of His graceful gift of eternal life. When things are difficult remember to always seek after God.
- Keep living the life God made you to live: Its really easy when things are difficult for us to panic, to make mistakes, or to try to fix things on our own. But, that’s not what God made us for. God made us all for a purpose, and that purpose does not include walking off the field when the going get’s tough.
- Don’t miss the big picture: eternal life: In the midst of struggle we can never forget that the most important thing in the world has already been done for us: Jesus’ grace has given us life eternal. When you are struggling take a moment to reflect on how great and awesome that gift is!