“Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; 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 (Isaiah 43:1b-2).
My world, as I’d known it, was falling apart! It was only midday and I had collapsed on the principal’s office floor in pain. Shaking and in the fetal position, feeling beyond exhausted and nauseous, I was scared.
Lying on the floor, waiting for the principal, I was vividly aware that chronic fatigue syndrome had fully taken over my whole body and I needed to resign–now. Both my doctor and naturopath had warned me to stop months earlier, but typical of me, I thought I could beat it with sheer grit and determination. Laying there I wondered what to say to my principal, confessed my stubbornness to the Lord and prayed. . . lots.
Verses flooded in, including the one from Isaiah.
“. . . When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. . .
That wasn’t all that was flooding in. The school receptionist came racing in, looking very concerned to see the state I was in. She apologized and explained that things were a little chaotic. The principal was caught up in the boys bathrooms, which had flooded. A plumber had been called, meanwhile the principal was cleaning up. . . how shall I put it? Floating debris. In a whirl, the receptionist was out to answer the phone that rang, again.
What Lord? Where are you? I’m on the floor in tears, needing to give up my career and nobody is here for me!
What happened next caught me by surprise. I burst into giggles–out loud! I literally felt that the Lord and I were laughing together. Picturing our little principal cleaning up “debris” I felt the Lord was saying that He understood and that was a picture of just how yuck the day was. The lowest of the low! More laughter, between shaking and unbelievable pain.
God was with me and so very tangibly. He then made me aware of another bizarre timing. It was 19 years, to the day, since our eldest child started at the school where I was teaching. He had my attention again. While my body was screaming wildly in pain, God was comforting me. I knew He was with me and I felt His peace and His timing.
The Lord made it clear that day that He was taking me on a new journey of discovery. He was reminding me that He will be with me, no matter what I go through. His comfort was laughter amongst the tears, calm amongst the chaos, peace amongst the pain, and a deep reminder of His love for me.
Prayer: Lord, when life gets tough and no-one is there for me, please remind me to come to You. Thank You that You are always with me and know what I need most in those moments of desperation. Help me to trust You in every situation. Amen.
About the Author
Kerryn Wright lives with her family amongst the gum trees in South Australia. She was a special education teacher prior to chronic illness. Her husband is carer for three of their family, who have chronic illnesses and disabilities. God has always guided them through life’s challenges, often in surprising ways.
How is the Lord calming you in the chaos? How does He get your attention when life is tough and tell you,”I will be with you”?
This is “Here I Am” with Shawn McDonald. The lyrics seemed applicable to moments like Kerryn’s above when we are there, just waiting to see what God will do next and surrendering it all over to Him. -Lisa