When our lives are interrupted by heartache, disease, and disappointment, it can seem as if God is not there. In this guest post, my friend Sarah shares how to use those moments to draw closer to God.
If there was one curveball I never expected, it was spending the first year-and-a-half of my son’s life on long-term disability. My sister also faced a curveball when the doctors told her that chemo treatments from twenty years ago had permanently damaged her heart. A transplant was the only remedy.
In baseball, they’re meant to trick the batter—to get them to swing and hit nothing but air. I’ve come to expect them in the game of life too.
As much as I dread the unexpected, here’s the thing I’ve learned: You can plan and prepare and strengthen your faith all you want. But when a curveball comes, that’s the start of the true test, when you see just how strong your faith is.
It’s also when you see how big your God is.
Throughout the trials in my life, I’ve discovered that God isn’t as far away as He seems. There are moments when the stress and strain drown out His voice, but He’s still there.
So the question is: How do you connect with a God who feels far away? How do you keep a strong faith when life has thrown everything at you?
If you’re facing a curveball today, I pray these ideas will tune your heart to Him.
1. Pray through the Psalms.
There may be times when you want to connect with God, but you have no words to express what you’re feeling. The book of Psalms is a beautiful expression of emotion, covering both the good and the bad. Find a Psalm that meets you where you are and turn it into a prayer to God. Let these words that were written thousands of years ago be a prompt to connect with your Savior today.
2. Listen to uplifting songs.
Music is such a cleansing release for the soul. If you’re struggling to connect with God, let the melodies and words created by others draw you to Him. You may even want to download a set of particularly meaningful songs and create a playlist you can turn to when you feel overwhelmed. (I recently posted a list of 12 uplifting songs for those facing a health struggle. Allow these to be a starting point if needed.)
3. Seek out beauty in nature.
Evidence of God’s love and care is all around us in the beauty of nature. If you can get outside, take time to look at the details of a blade of grass, a leaf, or a flower, and marvel at the intricacy of His creation. Watch the butterflies or birds, and remember His promise to feed them and you. If it’s wintertime, take in the pure, white snow and reflect on His cleansing work in your heart. Wherever you are, slow down and notice your breath. Each inhale is an opportunity to breathe in His peace, and each exhale is an opportunity to release your worries to Him.
No matter what curveballs may come in your life, keep holding on. It may take intentional effort to connect with God in this unsteady place, but He is here with you now, walking every step and preparing the way. His strength, peace, and love are yours if you’ll turn to Him.
Serious or chronic medical issues bring a litany of painful and confusing feelings that only someone else who’s been in a similar situation could possibly understand. Sarah Forgrave has walked the difficult road you find yourself on and she empathizes with the uncertain future you face.
No matter the road ahead, you don’t have to face it alone. Even in the depths of your worst emotional and physical pain, God is right there beside you, offering His comfort, love, and peace.
As you read these heartfelt prayers and devotions, let this book be your manual to help navigate the difficult set of emotions that come with health issues. Read it front to back or go directly to the devotion addressing how you feel at any given moment…when you need it the most. Above all, know that you are never, ever alone.
Sarah Forgrave is an author and wellness coach who loves inspiring others toward their full potential. In addition to her book, Prayers for Hope and Healing (Harvest House, October 2017), her writing credits include contributions to The Gift of Friendship, Guideposts’ A Cup of Christmas Cheer, and the webzine Ungrind. When she’s not writing or teaching, she loves to shop at Trader Joe’s or spend time with her husband and two children in their Midwest home. Visit Sarah at www.sarahforgrave.com, or on Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram or Twitter.