Sometimes, life knocks us flat on our backs. We get the wind knocked out of us, our worlds are rocked, our eyes fill with tears, and sometimes, our hearts fill with hopelessness. But have you ever noticed while you are flat on your back, your tear-filled eyes are looking up into the face of the One who loves you, who is there to help you, who is watching over you always? We are in a unique position to see where our help really comes from. We have the opportunity to lift our eyes and see that it comes from the LORD, the Maker of heaven and earth.
When life knocks us down, or our world turns upside down, we are looking at the other side, and honestly, we rarely like what we see. Whether we are flattened physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually, or relationally, this is not where we ever imagined we would be, and it’s definitely not where we desire to be. But let us not despair, for God’s presence is near. God’s promises are near. And although we want the difficulties to end—wanting to be on the other side of them, happy, healthy, whole, and moving forward—that may not be our reality. The situation may change, or it may not. The other side may not be seen anytime soon, possibly not even in our lifetime. But we will come out of this somehow, in some way.
Noah was in the flood; the Israelites were in slavery; Joseph was in prison; Daniel was in the lion’s den; John the Baptist was in prison; John the apostle was in exile; Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego were in the fiery furnace; and David was embattled with Goliath and fleeing for his life multiple times after that. Eventually, all of these situations came to an end. Because they all had happy endings? No. There was victory, and there was life, because in the trials and difficult times, God was there. Things were better on the other side, and sometimes the other side was heaven. And we now have the opportunity to go to that other side, to heaven, because when Jesus was knocked flat on His back—laid in a tomb after being crucified—He resurrected to life and offers the same life to us.
When we are in the pit, He is the hand up. When we are in the storm, He is the calm. When there is a mountain in our way, He is the mountain mover or the strength giver to help us climb it. We don’t know how long the trials will last, but we do know who is going to be with us during them.
King David wondered many times why hard times were happening to him. He wondered if he was going to make it through. He even wondered if he was going to survive. Yet, in the midst of it all, he praised God anyway. Let us do the same. Let’s listen for His voice, look for His leading. He is with us in the flood, the fire, the storm, and the battle; and even when there is death, those who belong to Him will not be parted from Him. What time we are afraid, we can trust in Him. He gives His beloved sleep, and when we awake, we will be with Him. Nothing can separate us from His love.1
Today is a new day. It’s a new hour. It’s a new moment. This season of difficulty is an opportunity, an opportunity for growth. It is now we can seek His face like never before. It is now we can hear His voice like we never have. It is now we can be carried in His arms. And although the storm is on one side of us, He is on the other. The date on the calendar does not matter. The weather report or the news report does not matter. The dates we dread and the storms we see on the horizon do not matter. What matters is clinging to the Anchor, the Maker of heaven and earth.
Even if we never saw the trial coming, and we are now staring up at the sky, we can persevere. We can praise God anyway. We do not have to listen to the naysayers. We do not have to bow the knee to the challenges. We don’t have to quit doing and being what God has called us to do and be. We can seek His face and call on Him in our distress. He is on our side. He is our strength, song, and salvation. He comprehends our paths and is acquainted with all our ways.2 Our hearts can know what our eyes cannot see. When things look hopeless, we are held in His hand and His plan. He will see us through to the fulfillment of His plan and purpose for us no matter what we go through to get there. We may prefer to be away from the body and at home with the LORD, but there is a purpose and perfect timing to our lives, and we can’t rush them, or we will short change ourselves and steal His glory.3 Jesus is preparing a place for us on the other side of this life, and someday, He will swallow up death forever and wipe away every tear.4 So for now, we can set our minds on things above and remember we cannot be snatched from His hand.5 Our hearts do not have to be troubled. In the Lion’s den, we can find the Lion of Judah. He is here, and He is coming—to take us to the other side.
1 See Psalm 56:3–4, 127:2, 139:18, Romans 8:38–39, and Hebrews 13:5.
2 See 1 Chronicles 16:11, Psalm 118:5–6, 14, and Psalm 139:3.
3 See 2 Corinthians 5:8.
4 See Isaiah 25:8–9, John 14:2, and Revelation 21:4–7.
5 See John 10:28 and Colossians 3:2.
I hope to see you on the other side. Jesus is the Way to get there. Place your trust in Him as the Savior and Redeemer of your soul. “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life (John 3:16). If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness (1 John 1:9).”
Scriptures taken from the New King James Version of the Holy Bible, ©1982 by Thomas Nelson.