As we enter this holiday season, I realize there are so many of us dealing with difficult circumstances, grief, or just may be having a hard time. From my perspective, the holidays can be really hard when dealing with the loss of a loved one, dealing with seemingly hopeless situations, such as critical illnesses, or for some, even financial hardships.
Around Christmastime, my husband and I have decided that we will get our children a couple gifts while ensuring they understand why we celebrate Christmas as a family. A few days ago, I asked my two-year-old son what he wanted us to get him for a Christmas gift. He looked at me with a huge smile and his eyes twinkled with joy as he said excitedly, “I want a Christmas tree and a Christmas hat!” Such a simple request from a child who has been through so much this year. He’s had to adjust to so many changes with a new baby brother who was born early and was in the hospital for nearly four months. He has tagged along with us to doctor appointments and, at times, he must wait for the simplest things because we have to tend to his brother. As a mom, sometimes it hurts my heart because I want both my boys to have the best of me and I don’t always feel that I am doing that. But nevertheless, my two-year-old son is full of joy and loves his family so much.
Over the past several months, I have learned a great deal from observing my kids. My older son (2 yr. old) has this disposition about him that when he hurts himself in any way, he will ask me or his dad to pray for him, or he will pray for himself. Immediately after the prayer is complete, he says with enthusiasm, “all better now!” He then resumes playing or whatever he was doing as if he never hurt himself. My youngest son has been fighting to live since he was born in April of this year. Recently he caught a virus that really affected his breathing, (even with being supported with oxygen at home). One evening, his heart rate and oxygen level dropped and even when we turned his oxygen up as far as we could at home, nothing was changing. I called 911 and he was transported by ambulance to the hospital. As I watched him, as awful as I know he felt, he had a smile on his face. Even the doctors and nurses were surprised at how happy he was.
I have this desire to be more like my boys when faced with worry or difficult situations: to be able to have so much peace that I can smile in the worst of circumstances. Also, once I pray about a matter, that I will truly know and behave as if God has answered my prayers even if I don’t see the manifestation yet. In all honesty, I am not there yet, but I strive to be. There have been many moments this year that I have worried so much about my son in the hospital that I found it difficult to even find the words to pray. Even knowing that God answers prayers, I still found myself trying to figure out how and when God would heal my child. I tortured myself with wondering what I could have done differently while pregnant, although I knew there was nothing I could have done. I am thankful that my husband and I were surrounded with people who prayed and fasted for us and our children, and for those who loved on us consistently.
As I was thinking about these things, I was reminded of this scripture: but He has said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you[My lovingkindness and My mercy are more than enough-always available-regardless of the situation]; for [My] power is being perfected [and is completed and shows itself most effectively] in [your] weakness.” Therefore, I will all the more gladly boast in my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ [may completely enfold me and] may dwell in me. So I am well pleased with weaknesses, with insults, with distresses, with persecutions, and with difficulties, for the sake of Christ; for when I am weak [in human strength], then I am strong [truly able, truly powerful, truly drawing from God’s strength] 2 Corinthians 12:9-10 (amp). This scripture helps me remember during those times of distress or feeling ill-equipped and overwhelmed, I can trust that is the time that God’s strength will pull me through. I could probably write a book on all the times I can remember when I had done all I could, or there was nothing I could do, and God has never failed to assure me of His presence.
If you are reading this and are dealing with difficulty in your life, it is my prayer that you can sense God’s presence in the midst of it. I pray that God’s peace will calm you and that the Holy Spirit will comfort you. I pray that in your weakness His strength, power, and anointing will consume you and that you will rest in Him. In Jesus’ name, Amen.