Finding My Strength in the Lord

Copyright Emily Sirkel Photography


Well, in case you were wondering, I’m still alive!


I took an unexpected two-week break from writing due to the sudden increase of chaos in my life.


In one of my last posts I mentioned having a stomach bug immediately followed by a cold. Well, that minor cold became major bronchitis and a sinus infection. I guess life just decided to kick my immune system while it was down.


To top it off, my husband’s grandmother became suddenly ill and passed away. So in the midst of antibiotics, Nyquil, and all-night coughing fits, there were also hospital waiting rooms, grieving family members, and funeral arrangements that spanned an entire week.


Frankly, I just didn’t have it in me to handle anything else.


But in the midst of all the chaos, sickness, and burden of sorrow we were helping carry, I was amazed again and again at the blessings and providence of our God.


From the sweet woman who struck up a conversation in the hospital waiting room, to the man who found my husband’s lost iPhone and returned it, to the stranger in Panera checking to see if I was okay, to our incredible church family who brought us food and offered their sympathy – God was showering his mercies upon us in the smallest gestures and most precious moments.


We were able to open our home to Geoff’s family throughout the week, and though the circumstances were difficult, it was a blessing to have them near. I have such great respect and deep love for my mother-in-law, who bore the sorrow of losing her beloved mother with such grace and strength. I felt like I was struggling to make it through the week, and can’t even imagine the kind of distress she was – and is – enduring.


In the midst of it all, I was preparing for my turn teaching my adult Sunday school class, and I stumbled across something I’d underlined some time ago in 1 Samuel chapter 30. It’s part of a story about David before he became king. He and his 600 men had gone out for battle (a battle which they ended up not fighting, but that’s another story). When they returned home, wearied from travel, they discovered with horror that their home city had been raided and burned in their absence, and all of their wives and children had been taken captive.


David and his men wept for their loss until they had no strength left to weep. The men were “bitter in soul,” and spoke of blaming and stoning David, their leader.


In verse six I came across these two underlined statements:


“And David was greatly distressed…

But David strengthened himself in the Lord his God.”


Wow. I found that to be such a powerful verse these past two weeks.


I was wearied and stressed. I was worn out and worn down from being sick and not getting enough sleep. I was falling further and further behind in work, having to back out of church commitments, and getting nothing done on my to-do list. And while I personally was not deeply grieving the loss of “Omie,” I was sharing a little bit of the burden of sorrow that my second mom and her sisters were carrying.


All in all, I was definitely ‘distressed.’ But you know what? I took a cue from David, and I didn’t try to do it all on my own. I found my strength in the Lord my God.


So if you too are at that place where you are greatly distressed, be reminded and encouraged that you don’t have to find the strength to handle it all – in fact, you won’t be able to find the strength to handle it all – instead, strengthen yourself in the Lord your God.


Let Him be your strength.


Oh, and by the way, the story about David and his men? It has a happy ending. Check it out in 1 Samuel chapter 30!