Responding to Adversity

 

She wore it like a tattoo, a reminder, a mantra.

On the top of each hand she wrote-

Be the light.

Be the church.

Six words which stirred my heart, as she was about to be bold and brave in a time of adversity.

My eight year old had written in black pen, two deeply profound, yet simple statements to give her strength for the day.For she knew that remembering God in the midst of chaos, calms any storms, calms any raging heart when its wild with anxiety and being flooded with emotion.

For remembering His promises and His ways, brings a silent peace, stillness, a centeredness, that only comes when meditating on His truth.

For His goodness, realigns our mind when thoughts have spiraled out of control, bringing turmoil and angst to a standstill.

His peace stops our crazy world from spinning into chaos, the type of chaos that leaves us trying to find something, anything to grip on to. Old habits, people, money, career, our children, for these things seem tangible, but a servant girl who whispers to God in time of need, knows that she is not ignored and His presence is felt gently and powerfully.

Yes, the Father leans in, and provides something that this world cannot.

And she knew that she needed a visual reminder that caught her eyes so her thoughts turned to Christ so she could look different to this world, to stand out, to be the light-even when her enemies struck.

The previous day, she had wandered across the school yard towards the gate to where I was standing. She was carrying her backpack and wearing her blue brimmed hat like all the other children, and as I gazed upon her from a distance, I could see that her face was downcast and her shoulders were slightly hunched. Something had made her upset.

She launched into my arms as we greeted, and wrapped her long, lean, eight year arms around my body. She needed a safe a place, a protector, for her heart had been wounded. Her body shook and I could hear her sobbing, feel it with every breath she took.

After a moment I pulled back and looked into blue watery eyes and saw her tear stained cheeks, which broke my mama’s heart.

She had learnt that the world can be cruel at times, because of the people who live in it.

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Yet the very next day, when I drove her to school, she said she wasn’t scared of the girls because she had been “Thinking about God that morning and now feels better.”

I’m sure there was a part of her that wanted to stay in bed, and not face the reality of other people’s feelings towards her, which isn’t reality at all, as if she retracted like I know I would have wanted to do, then she wouldn’t be learning the skills or tools to handle conflict which can follow us into womanhood, as even grown women can be cruel to one another -not just grade three girls.

So instead of focusing on fear or the feeling of abandonment, she focused on Him.

Her eyes stayed on Jesus.

And isn’t that when the miracles occur?

The types of miracles, that saw Peter walk on water,

Or the miracle of being renewed and filled up with hope, after we’ve encountered hopelessness,

Or to have our battered and bruised hearts healed,

Nothing is impossible when our eyes stay locked on Jesus.

Not even the miracle of being light in the dark place when faced with adversity.

For this world is screaming out for someone, please someone be…different.

“By this all people will know that you are my disciples — not if you label one another, but if you love one another.” (John 13:35).

Go on servant girl, be the miracle that this world is looking for, and allow Him, our amazing God, to use you in the very place you find your self today.

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