32. UNTIL THESE CALAMITIES BE OVERPAST

I entered 2022, thankful to the Lord for having spared my life but at the same time, something was weighing heavily on my spirit.

I was tired of going through what seemed like sterility and darkness in my life. For years and years and YEARS, I had been praying to God for a change in season, deliverance and solutions to certain problems and to date, although God had done much for me in other areas of my life, I entered 2022 with these specific problems, still stubbornly at my side.

Admittedly, I was tired. I wanted to be a blessing to society but I felt like more of a burden and a curse. I felt like nobody truly wanted me around or cared whether I was in the land of the living or not. I felt abandoned, uncared for, misunderstood, unloved and rejected and as if that was not enough, although I have been careful for the past few years, to mind my business and stay out of trouble, people (some not even living on the same island as I), have been picking fights and creating issues for seemingly no reason with me. I have learned that I am a prime target for the enemy’s attacks and that in this life, we are in a spiritual battle and have to engage in warfare but I was feeling tired.

When I looked at my life, I felt like everybody had found their niche (at least the people I knew) but nothing ever seemed to be working out for me. I always seemed to be forever stuck, no matter what I did, how hard I tried, how much I prayed and even fasted about my issues to the Lord.

Now, in 2022, this wave of sadness overwhelmed me. I felt that life was a drudgery and found the days to be a chore, just to get through.

My adversities (which I had been going through of one kind or another and of different intensities for many, many years and with a brave face) were finally taking their toll. In short, I was tired. I felt truly weary.

It also hurt to know that God could change my season and make all my problems go away if he willed it but although he has been more than merciful throughout all my life to me, for some reason, he had not seen it fit to remove the things that I felt were buffeting me.

If only he provided that husband I have longed for for so many years, I thought and brought conception to my womb thereafter, if only he would deliver me from my career troubles and give me a testimony thereafter, if only he would bring to end the battles I was still having between the will of my flesh and the will of his spirit, within me, I would feel so much better, I thought. I’d be singing his praises even more. I’d be so grateful, I’d weep constantly. I would never forget what he did for me and I would forever be thankful.

Yet, seemingly, as I stepped into 2022, what seemed like darkness, remained my ongoing reality. I had tried so hard, prayed so many times (although admittedly, I need to pray much more) but yet I seemed to still be entangled in this web of darkness, sterility, adversity and no progress in my life, no matter how hard I fought for a different result or outcome.

Alas, me the encourager, needed to be encouraged!

People who have been single for years and have prayed and wept and wept and prayed (as I have), yet the husband has still not come and society has not been exactly merciful to their single plight, may know something of how I feel. People who are married and have been praying for years for God to give conception or to enable them to bring a baby to term so that it can be delivered without a miscarriage but yet remain childless and to the incessant teasing and taunting of society, may have an inkling of how I feel.

Alas, people who have longed for years to have stability and peace in their career but have instead faced turbulence for their beliefs and their insistence on doing what is right and now find themselves seemingly kicked out and wondering what to do next and feeling forgotten and unfairly treated, know a little of how I feel.

Truthfully, I am exhausted. If I said anything else, I would be lying.

Either at the beginning of 2022 or nearing the very end of 2021, I wrote the following about what I was going through, year in and year out, seemingly without reprieve:

  • “I feel perpetually in the DOGHOUSE and I can’t come out, perpetually behind a WALL that refuses to come down, perpetually behind a DOOR that never unlocks or opens and perpetually stuck in a PIT, that I cannot ever seem to emerge from.”

As if things could not get any worse, at the very start of the New Year, I noticed a medical problem that had suddenly arisen. I had no idea if it was serious or not but it persisted and got worse up to today, 3rd January, 2022, scaring me so much, that I decided I needed to see a doctor right away!

To me, this was ironically befitting. Happy New Year to me! I thought to myself pathetically, as I fished for numbers for medical offices, to find out if they would be open and seeing patients today. What a way to start the year! Was this an inkling of how my year was going to be, should God spare life? Would this issue turn out to be serious and take me out in 2022 or would it be just another medical ailment, seemingly punishing me for my years of bad eating and not enough exercise?

In my already weary state, I almost couldn’t believe it. Here I was at the very beginning of a brand new year, having to go spend money for medical issues I had not catered for, as if I did not spend enough last year and the year before that! Whatever was the problem now? Why did I have to deal with this additional burden at this juncture?

I was certainly not in the mood for any more bad things to happen. I had no more strength!

However weak I had felt before, in light of the onset and continuance of this medical problem, I now felt even weaker, not physically but emotionally and psychologically. Feeling drained by life, I prayed desperately to God, telling him that I truly felt that I had reached the point where I could take no more and that I needed him to give me strength to go on, as I truly had none of my own.

I thanked him though, despite this latest development, as his Word says in everything, to give him thanks, as this is the will of God in Christ Jesus, concerning me.

As hard as this was to digest, it was God’s Word and so I thanked him and for all the years that I did not have this medical problem, until now. I also thanked him for being faithful. For, although I felt like a load of mess (please excuse my vocabulary but it truly conveys how I felt), I understood that even in my situation which seemed so dismal, that God had been good and faithful.

I didn’t understand why everything that was happening around me was happening but although I was confused as to what God was doing with my life and why it had to be characterized by so much pain and for so long, from childhood to date, I knew that God wasn’t confused. He understood all that was happening, knew why he was allowing what he was allowing and he had truly been faithful throughout the years, even more than I deserved.

I knew all that but I still searched for a picture of darkness and I uploaded it privately to my Facebook Page with the words: My ongoing reality.

Although not entirely welcome in that moment, a verse suddenly came to mind. In response, part of me was like: Yes, I know what the Word of God says but things never ever seem to look up for me. I am always perpetually stuck under this dark cloud of adversity and despite the fact that I know that God can change things, I still remain in them, year in, year out.

Nevertheless, although I did not want to think about what the verse was saying in that moment because I wanted to bask in feeling sorry for myself and all of life’s injustices thus far, I knew that I could not ignore God’s Word. Despite how I was feeling and how dismal everything in my life seemed and that I just wanted to give up and throw in the towel and stop persevering in the hope of ever obtaining a different outcome, the Word of God remained the authority. Even in ongoing sterility and adversity, trials and troubles, the Word of God remained true and the Word of God states:

  • “Who is among you that feareth the Lord, that obeyeth the voice of his servant, THAT WALKETH IN DARKNESS, AND HATH NO LIGHT? let him trust in the name of the Lord, and STAY upon his God.” (Isaiah 50:10)

In my case therefore, yes I felt like giving up, yes I’ve been through what seems like hell and back over the years and the storms in my life don’t ever seem to be willing to die down anytime soon and yes I don’t want to hope for a change in outcome anymore because I’ve done it for so many years without any change, that I have reached the point where hope deferred makes the heart sick (Proverbs 13:12). It is painful to keep on hoping by faith, for the substance of things, the evidence of which I have not seen!

YET, the Word of God reminds me that no matter what, I must make sure that I never lose my fear of God, I must make sure that I am obeying him (and not my self) and that I keep trusting and abiding or STAYING in Him.

For, no matter how the situation looks, how long I’ve been going through this dark patch and how exhausted, sad, tired, confused and truly fed up I feel, although lately I’ve been feeling that I don’t even want to go on because the pain of ongoing adversity and issues in my life is too much for me to continue to bear (in my opinion) and I would be partly content (like Job and Elijah in the Bible once felt), if God would just take me out of this world, the Word of God further reminds me (when I didn’t really ask to be reminded but it is like that):

  • “Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is STAYED on thee: because he trusteth in thee. Trust ye in the Lord for ever: for in the Lord Jehovah is everlasting strength” (Isaiah 26:3-4).

There is that ‘trust’ word again and the idea of STAYING with God no matter the storm. We STAY by refusing to move away from our faith in Him and his Word which we know to be true, continuing to fear and reverence him, continuing to trust in him and continuing to obey him, even when doing this seems to be bringing no tangible earthly return.

Surely, if God had everlasting strength, then I could lean on him no matter what and I could draw from his strength which was enough to sustain me through 2022 and for a lifetime?

In Psalm 57:1-7, the Psalmist resolved that no matter what he was going through, that his heart would remain fixed (which is the same as STAYING), upon his God. He resolved that he would continue to trust, despite all that was stacked in life, against him. He therefore prayed:

  • “Be merciful unto me, O God, be merciful unto me: for my soul trusteth in thee: yea, in the shadow of thy wings will I make my refuge, UNTIL THESE CALAMITIES BE OVERPAST.
  • I will cry unto God most high; unto God that performeth all things for me. He shall send from heaven, and save me from the reproach of him that would swallow me up. Selah. God shall send forth his mercy and his truth.
  • My soul is among lions: and I lie even among them that are set on fire, even the sons of men, whose teeth are spears and arrows, and their tongue a sharp sword. Be thou exalted, O God, above the heavens; let thy glory be above all the earth. They have prepared a net for my steps; MY SOUL IS BOWED DOWN: they have digged a pit before me, into the midst whereof they are fallen themselves. Selah. MY HEART IS FIXED, O GOD, MY HEART IS FIXED: I will sing and give praise.”

Despite my pain and fatigue, this was the mentality God wanted me to have. I truly felt despondent and as if everything was caving in on me but God clearly wanted me to continue to trust in Him. He wanted me to continue to serve him faithfully and to be careful to obey Him, even when not much in my life was making sense.

My life may be in disarray, yes but he (God), knows how to put the pieces of the puzzle together. He knows how to bring beauty out of ashes, no matter how charred the remains and black those ashes. When sterility has been around for so long that it has become the norm in my life and like in Lamentations 3:17, the frequency of turbulence has made my soul forget prosperity (meaning the so-called ‘good’ life), HE still possesses the power to change my season.

Even if he doesn’t and darkness and sterility remain my ongoing reality, he is still God and therefore, it is my duty, to still serve him. It is my duty to STAY on Him.

Of a truth, some things in life we may never understand. I have had so many things happen in my life and faced so many attacks from childhood to date, that nobody seems to have satisfactory answers for and my heart is truly broken over it all BUT GOD KNOWS.

By His grace, I will tearfully continue on this faith path. Deep down, I know that there is no other worthwhile place or path to be. As one of Jesus’ disciples asked Jesus: Unto who will I go?

I may be experiencing what looks like darkness and sterility, yes and there is no guarantee that God will ever abate these storms but I know that Jesus is Lord and that in him is LIFE. I will therefore continue to cling to him, even if it is by my fingernails. Come what may, although I am tired and hurting and have been for many years (the Bible calls it ‘longsuffering’), deep down I know, that He is enough.

In John 6 verses 66-69, after Jesus had made some statements which some of those following him, found too hard to bear, they decided to no longer follow him. They therefore turned away. Yet, convinced that Jesus (and nobody else) had the words of eternal life because he was the Christ, the Son of the living God, Simon Peter, another disciple, refused to walk away from him.

The scripture reads of what Jesus said and how those who heard him, responded:

  • “Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me hath everlasting life. I am that bread of life…Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you. Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day. For my flesh is meat indeed, and my blood is drink indeed. He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, dwelleth in me, and I in him. As the living Father hath sent me, and I live by the Father: so he that eateth me, even he shall live by me. This is that bread which came down from heaven: not as your fathers did eat manna, and are dead: he that eateth of this bread shall live for ever…
  • Many therefore of his disciples, when they had heard this, said, This is an hard saying; who can hear it? When Jesus knew in himself that his disciples murmured at it, he said unto them, Doth this offend you? What and if ye shall see the Son of man ascend up where he was before? It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life. But there are some of you that believe not. For Jesus knew from the beginning who they were that believed not, and who should betray him…
  • From that time many of his disciples went back, and walked no more with him. Then said Jesus unto the twelve, Will ye also go away? Then Simon Peter answered him, LORD, TO WHOM SHALL WE GO? thou hast the words of eternal life. And we BELIEVE and are SURE that thou art that Christ, the Son of the living God.”

Of a truth with all the pressures coming upon this earth, (the pandemic, singleness, childlessness, career woes, financial problems, medical ailments, relationship problems and oppression from people who just don’t like you, being only a few of them), it is only your BELIEF in Jesus (if it is genuine) that will keep you afloat. If you are faking it or self-deluded, then you too will walk away, never to return. You will sink under the storms of life and let go of the Lord Jesus because you were never securely tied to him to begin with. You will sink under life’s pressures because you were never truly standing upon that sure foundation, that rock, which is Jesus Christ.

If you truly BELIEVE from the heart in Jesus though and he is Lord over your life, dark days will come. They cannot be avoided. Jesus himself said that in this world we would have tribulation. You will therefore have moments when you feel weary, tired, even overwhelmed but God is so faithful, that he will send His Word (even as he did in my case), to help you, to encourage you and remind you of HIS TRUTH.

You will therefore not stay in that place of despair because you serve the God of all hope! By God’s strength (not your own), you will get up and trod on, not in your own power or might but by HIS spirit, which indwells you (Zechariah 4:6).

As I get ready to close, I must say that I don’t know what you may be going through. Maybe you find this Article to be irrelevant because you’re in a season where lots of wonderful things are happening in your life. If so, give God the praise. If however, like me, you feel stuck in a dreadful pit or behind a wall or door that doesn’t ever seem to budge so that you can move forward, keep trusting and obeying the Lord. STAY faithful to him, even where there seems to be no earthly reward. In short: KEEP BELIEVING.

At times it looks like if God has forgotten us but his Word which is true, reminds us, that no matter how it looks, he has not. He will NEVER forget his children. He stated of his children through his Prophet in Isaiah 49:

  • Sing, O heavens; and be joyful, O earth; and break forth into singing, O mountains: for the Lord hath comforted his people, and will have mercy upon his afflicted. But Zion said, The Lord hath forsaken me, and my Lord hath forgotten me. Can a woman forget her sucking child, that she should not have compassion on the son of her womb? YEA, THEY MAY FORGET, YET WILL I NOT FORGET THEE. BEHOLD, I HAVE GRAVEN THEE UPON THE PALMS OF MY HANDS; THY WALLS ARE CONTINUALLY BEFORE ME.”

I can’t therefore guarantee that this year will be any different or better than the year before, especially in these covid pandemic times. I can’t promise that you will be out of the troubles that have bombarded you for so long or that the Lord will show you a new season. He may not. However, as I must needs remind my own self when sadness tries to seep into my heart and engulf me: Even if nothing were to change and your problems were to persist, If you STAY upon God, he who has not forgotten you, will keep you and see you through.

If peradventure, in his mercy, he should on the other hand, decide to deliver you from those problems you face in this year though or at some future point, then be sure to point all the glory to Him, to take none for yourself and to shout his praises from the housetops.

Don’t you dare be silent! How could you be after everything that you have been through?

If God should choose in his sovereignty, to relieve you of your sufferings this year or at some future point, be sure to say as the Psalmists did in Psalm 40 and 116, when God brought them out of their troubles:

  • I waited patiently for the Lord; and he inclined unto me, and heard my cry. He brought me up also out of an horrible PIT, out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock, and established my goings. And HE hath put a new song in my mouth, even praise unto our God: many shall see it, and fear, and shall trust in the Lord. 
  • Blessed is that man that maketh the Lord his trust, and respecteth not the proud, nor such as turn aside to lies. Many, O Lord my God, are thy wonderful works which thou hast done, and thy thoughts which are to us-ward: they cannot be reckoned up in order unto thee: if I would declare and speak of them, they are more than can be numbered.”
  • “I love the Lord, because he hath heard my voice and my supplications. Because he hath inclined his ear unto me, therefore will I call upon him as long as I live. The sorrows of death compassed me, and the pains of hell gat hold upon me: I found trouble and sorrow. Then called I upon the name of the Lord; O Lord, I beseech thee, deliver my soul.
  • Gracious is the Lord, and righteous; yea, our God is merciful. The Lord preserveth the simple: I was brought low, and HE helped me. Return unto thy rest, O my soul; for the Lord hath dealt bountifully with thee. For thou hast delivered my soul from death, mine eyes from tears, and my feet from falling.
  • I will walk before the Lord in the land of the living. I believed, therefore have I spoken: I was greatly afflicted: I said in my haste, All men are liars. 
  • What shall I render unto the Lord for all his benefits toward me? I will take the cup of salvation, and call upon the name of the Lord. I will pay my vows unto the Lord now in the presence of all his people…O Lord, truly I am thy servant; I am thy servant, and the son of thine handmaid: thou hast loosed my bonds. I will offer to thee the sacrifice of thanksgiving, and will call upon the name of the Lord. I will pay my vows unto the Lord now in the presence of all his peopleIn the courts of the Lord’s house, in the midst of thee, O Jerusalem. PRAISE YE THE LORD.”

(Written on 3rd January, 2022)

ADDENDUM

Facebook reminded me today, of a post I had written exactly five (5) years ago, when I was going through turbulence in a most aggressive form, at a workplace I used to work. The enemy was trying to make me let go of my faith then or to send me off my mind with worry, false accusations and relentless attacks, seemingly from every hand and side. Yet, I refused to bend, refused to compromise, refused to let go of my faith and what I knew was right (irrespective of the price) and he did not succeed.

I was able to complete my contract at that place and left with my dignity and reputation in tact. Others working at similar institutions and even where I worked were not so fortunate (or should I say, blessed).

This is what I wrote to encourage myself in the Lord, as David did in the Bible, when in the middle of that storm:

  • Trust him with the plan he has for YOU.
  • Be content in whatever state you are.
  • Remember that NO MATTER WHAT he is always good so trust him at ALL times.
  • He is able to get you through EVERY situation and victoriously.
  • No circumstance is enough to steal your joy indefinitely.
  • You may grieve some things, struggle with some things, fail in some things, feel overwhelmed with some things but inevitably because the RESURRECTION POWER of the Lord Jesus Christ is in you, your joy WILL rise up again. Your beauty WILL shine forth again. This is the truth and you KNOW it.

(Addendum written on 3rd January, 2021 of statement written on 03rd January, 2017)

Dear Reader, if you found the above Article to be interesting, informative, edifying or beneficial, you may also be interested in reading the following under the ‘SINGLE Daughters’ Page:

  • Note 36 – ‘Stressful Attacks – How David, Hannah and Jehoshaphat Handled It’
  • Note 42 – ‘When That Door Wouldn’t Budge’
  • Note 56 – ‘Making Sense Of The Awful Stillness – The Process Of Metamorphosis’
  • Note 122 – ‘The Woman Who Wanted A Baby – Key Points From Hannah’s Story’
  • Note 142 – ‘Single Woes – The Battles We Singles Fight Everyday’
  • Note 160 – ‘When Serving God Doesn’t Seem To Make Sense’
  • Note 219 – ‘Dear Wall…’
  • Note 279 – ‘Do You Feel Disappointed By God?’
  • Note 289 – ‘My Jabez Prayer’
  • Note 290 – ‘Blessings – When We Refuse To Let Go’
  • Note 296 – ‘Face Like Flint – Songs Of Deliverance’
  • Note 305 – ‘The Lady With The Issue Of Blood’

Additionally, under the ‘BIBLE-BELIEVING Daughters’ Page:

  • Note 1 – ‘Are You Facing Storms, Upheavals, Trials, Loneliness, Heartache Or Depression?’

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