“Weeping may endure for the night, but rejoicing comes in the morning” Psalm 30:5
Twice a year, my husband and I drive from Baltimore to Nashville to visit family. After having our second child, we decided to do the twelve hour trek overnight as to ensure the children slept through the entire ride, or at least to avoid hearing “I have to go to the bathroom” multiple times. My husband takes the first leg, driving when we are wide awake and excited about the journey. I normally take the wheel around 3 a.m., when he is dog tired, the kids are in deep REM sleep and the sky is the darkest. It’s along this portion of our trip when three things happen: fatigue sets in, the road stretches in front of me and I begin to think we will never arrive at our destination and, finally, I meet God at the brink.
You may not think my annual road trip relates to your situation, but it does in many ways. Many of you are in one of the three stages I encounter while I’m driving. You’re tired of the journey you’re on, your grief stretches before you making you believe you will never experience joy again, or you’re at the point where you’re about to encounter God in a new and marvelous way.
Fatigue makes wimps of us all. It brings with it its friends, stress and worry, and wreaks havoc on our sleep patterns, our thought processes, and our hope. God provides the encouragement you need to endure this season though the scriptures. Though in the beginning it may seem impossible to receive his encouragement through words, you will begin to understand that God’s word is one of his direct lines of communication with you. Reading scripture will enable you to see that you are not alone, and that he is with you every step of the way. Try meditating over Romans 5:2-5, II Corinthians 6:3-10 and James 1:2-4.
These scriptures specifically address how to endure through difficult seasons of life.
Longsuffering is one of the Fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22) many of us don’t want to take the time to develop. Let’s be honest, no one wants to suffer loss, encounter hardship or endure pain, however, “there is a season for everything, a season for every activity under the heavens” (Ecclesiastes 3:1).
Longsuffering is that Fruit of the Spirit that teaches us how to live through a situation, all while utilizing and exemplifying the other fruit of the spirit: love, peace, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. This goal is impossible to accomplish in our flesh, but with God, we “can do all things through Christ who strengthens us” (Philippians 4:13), including love those who hurt us, endure the loss of a loved one, live to see joy. Read The Fruit of the Spirit-Longsuffering: A Fusion of Patience and Power by Don Hooser for more insight on Longsuffering.
God-encounters. As I drove listening to my husband and kids snore one particular trip to Nashville, I started to feel deep despair and began praying for the horizon to break so I can see the sunrise. I didn’t look at the clock, I just kept my eyes on the road and the sky ahead of me determined to “look to the hills from whence cometh my help” (Psalm 121:1). After what seemed like hours (3 hours to be exact) of praying, I began to notice the sunrise.
You may be in the darkest hour of your life, but your dawn is coming. No matter how dire your circumstance, God will never leave you in the darkness. His very presence brings hope, love, peace and balance. All you have to do is believe it to be so. Once you do, you will experience the fullness of God as he “provide[s] for those who grieve in Zion to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes,the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair” (Isaiah 61:3).
Are you tired of doing everything on your own? If so, then it is time for you to give God a try. Your joy is coming