I waited patiently for the Lord to help me,
and he turned to me and heard my cry.
God lifted me out of the pit of despair.
Many will see what has been done and be amazed.
They will put their trust in the Lord.
- Psalm 40:1-2, 3 (NLT)
I recently faced a daunting challenge in my life. As the challenge unfolded, my main focus was on how to get through it. I kept praying about it, kept trying to remain hopeful, and kept being open to all possibilities for resolution.
In the heat of my challenge, my twenty-three-year-old daughter said to me, “Daddy, I know that what you’re facing is hard, but you are being so honest and brave about it. I want you to know how that inspires me.”
It’s easy to get so consumed in a crisis that you think the crisis is all about you. It’s easy to forget that even in times of stress and tribulation, our lives are living epistles of the Holy Spirit. It’s easy to forget that sometimes the greatest testimony we can give to our faith in God are our actions and our attitudes under pressure.
My focus was on my challenge. I assumed everyone else’s focus was on my challenge, too. It never occurred to me that when I find myself in a crisis, people not only notice the crisis. People pay attention to me.
We never know what crises God may allow to develop in our lives … not to crush us, but to make us witnesses of God’s sustaining grace under fire.
Lord, use me and my troubles to show me and to show others the power of your amazing grace. Amen.
Kenneth L. Samuel is Pastor of Victory for the World Church, Stone Mountain, Georgia.