By ANNIE WESCHE
Slipping into the bathroom of our single-wide mobile home on the orphanage property, I pulled the thin plastic door closed behind me. I was barely holding myself together and, not wanting to alarm anyone else by my internal battle becoming an external display of tears, I sought out the only place that had some measure of privacy. I fell to my knees and pressed my eyes tightly shut. They burned as tears escaped and began flowing down my face. I pulled my clenched fists into my chest and cried out through whispered screams, “God, I’m so miserable! I’m done. I have nothing left. I want to go home! Please, I need your help. I don’t know how much longer I can do this.”
My friend Gerda and I had been in Haiti for almost two years and were facing delay upon delay, complication after complication, wait upon wait, and disappointment after disappointment in getting the two precious children in our care home to their adoptive family. Each day we battled sweltering heat, unrelenting mosquitoes, ongoing rat encounters, constant instability of power or running water, recurring flooding of our house when it rained, and simply the weariness from all the waiting that brought me to my breaking point. I came to the end of my strength and cried out through tears that God needed to get us home. But God, in His mercy, knew I needed something more than just getting home. I needed to know in reality that Christ was my All in all when all I had was gone.
I was ashamed of my lack of fortitude, and was somewhere between misery and a longing to overcome (still leaning heavily in the direction of misery), when I heard Gerda’s voice call my name through the bathroom door, “Annie, the driver’s here and can take us now if you’re not busy!” Instantly, I was frustrated that I couldn’t have even a few moments to be alone and wrestle with my struggle before the Lord. Drivers were hard to coordinate and if we had one, then it meant we’d better go that very moment. Didn’t God know I needed time with Him? Reluctantly, I called back, “Be right there!” I then lifted my heavy heart up off the floor, splashed cold water on my tear stained face, pulled sunglasses over my puffy, red eyes, and headed out to the car. We rode in silence as my internal battle for peace raged on. I stared out the window still pleading with God for relief, when He gently broke through my heart’s storm. Annie, I know you are struggling. I know you are at the end of your supply. I know and see and understand all that you feel. And I am with you in it all. I want you to look out your window. What do you see?
As I stared out the car window, we drove past family after family living in extreme poverty. My eyes locked onto sad faces of shoeless men walking the street, women tending to fires as they stared with hopeless gazes, naked children playing in the dirt, and shanty homes alongside the road. There are so many people suffering. So many lost and despairing and crying. So many who have no hope and who live in misery every day. Do you see? God continued to open the eyes of my heart. Annie, you are at the end of your own measure, but you have Me to come to for endless supply. Are you willing to come to Me and use My own grace, peace, patience, love, and strength when yours fail? If you do, you will never lack what you need. I can carry you through anything I ask of you. In Me, you can triumph in any place and in any situation. And I won’t stop with just providing for you. As you draw from My life, I will make you an extension of my love and hope and strength to those who need it.
Tears welled up behind my sunglasses and I felt the clenched fists of my heart release into open hands of surrender. And then, in immediate response to the full release of my situation to God, grace flooded into my dry soul. I could see all that I had in Jesus in spite of the present hard things before me. The things of earth grew strangely dim in light of His glory and grace! Hope was revived in the One who would make a way for us through the impossibilities! And God lovingly lifted my heart out of weariness and into His joy.
Sisters, we cannot hold tightly to Christ when our hands are clenched around worry, fear, frustration, weariness, despair, or doubt. Neither can they grasp His hand when we’re clinging tightly to our own way or dreams. But when we open them up in believing surrender to His will and His plan, He takes firm hold of our hands and we can take firm hold of the hope we need — which is Jesus! “This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast…” (Heb. 6:19). He is the anchor that will hold securely for you and I in any storm of life.
The enemy’s aim is to make us believe that our trial or hard thing is out of God’s reach of power or perhaps, out of His reach of interest or sight. But don’t let the enemy lie to you. Our God knows the very number of hairs on your head — you can be sure He sees everything you are walking through. And He is there with you in the midst of it. He is intricately and intimately involved in our lives to produce His character within us and lead us in victory for His glory and our joy!
We were in Haiti for 29 months and God faithfully led us through every single day. When we came home and the two little ones ran into the arms of their waiting, persevering parents, it was triumphant! It was joy indescribable! And the triumph and joy were greater because of the journey God used to get us there and what we all learned of our mighty God through each and every moment of trust, surrender, and faith.
If you feel today that you may be consumed by your burden or trial, turn to His Word and find in it strength to open your hands in trusting surrender. The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases and because of His mercies we are NOT consumed! (See Lamentations 3:22.) May I encourage you to go to a quiet place, open up your Bible, draw near to Jesus, and meditate more on this great reality and truth of all we have in Him!