By ANNIE WESCHE
I watched in dismay as rainwater began flooding into our 20 by 8 foot container house — again. Heavy tropical rains had cascaded down on our tiny Haitian home for several nights in a row. And every night, I went through the same urgent routine: throw down two of our four towels in the corner where the water was pooling up, soak them fully, scoop them up, toss another two towels down, run the first two dripping towels to the bathroom to wring them out, run back to swap the towels, and then repeat the process until the rain stopped.
I used to love the rain, I thought. God, can You close the clouds, just for tonight? I’m exhausted, sticky, itchy, and sore. My hands are torn up and my muscles ache from all this towel-wringing. I’m tired of doing this every night and then having to hand wash all the towels the next day … Oh, why does our house have to leak? … Why is everything here so hard?
As the rain eventually began to subside and I could pause between changing out the towels, I sat down to pour out my struggle to God. I was acutely aware of the discomfort and frustration I was feeling. It had been a tremendously hard day. And now, I was miserably moving through an equally hard night. I opened up my computer journal, typed in the date, and hit return to begin a new entry. But suddenly a peace came over my weary, aching body and clarity calmed my swirling emotions.
I don’t want to just … “get through” these hard things. I don’t want to look back on the difficult moments in Haiti and think “that wasn’t my best, I gave myself too many excuses to be miserable or frustrated.” I know that there is more. I know that I can praise Him in this. I know I can, because Christ’s supply has not run low. I may feel at the end of myself tonight, but there is always enough — more than enough — in the storehouse of Christ!
By a gift of God’s grace, these thoughts came to mind and, right then, I freshly surrendered my life and the present circumstances to Him. I didn’t want to be miserable. I wanted to thrive, even right here in the midst of late night flooding and blistering hands, so that I could know Jesus more through it, and so that He could be glorified and treasured.
Brimming with the strength of a fresh, Christ-centered perspective, I typed these thoughts into my journal, jumped up to wring out and swap towels again, and then sat back down to continue capturing what God was teaching me.
These challenges are shaping me, I typed. They are God’s chosen means to build my soul. There’s an opportunity in this flooded corner, supplied by the One who knows my weaknesses and who lovingly desires to make His daughter strong with Himself. God, get all the mileage You can out of this. Slough off the self-pity, the selfishness, the pride, the doubt, the complaining, and the distractions. Help me fix my eyes on You.
I had felt miserable, but Christ held out to me His grace. I was exhausted, but He was there to renew my strength. I was weary, but He was my unshakable joy. And I realized, there was always a choice—choosing self or choosing Christ. To look at myself or to behold Jesus. It was simple. It may not have felt simple, but the feelings came flooding in after my obedience followed faith’s lead.
We will always face a new “hard thing.” There will arise an unplanned hurdle, a sudden disappointment, an unexpected trial, a new frustration, or a surprise downpour. But, dear sisters, Jesus is always a sure thing. He is the Rock and our Refuge. He is the same yesterday, today, and forever. And His supply never runs out. He is your faithful Provider, He will never leave you or forsake you, He is the strength of your life, and in His presence is fullness of joy — regardless of external circumstances!
If you’ve just been “getting by” or excusing your frustration, anxiety, or doubt, look to Jesus for what you need. Freshly surrender to His life and His work within you. Treasures are to be found in the midst of your storms and trials. Look for Jesus in each one, no matter how small, and you will find the living treasure of a greater knowledge of our glorious, unfailing Christ!