The Presence of God
November 8, 2020

When I was a child, I had this strange, recurring dream. It was one that I knew all too well, and one that I never looked forward to catching the rerun of! Imagine as if the dream itself was a movie, and what I was able to see within the dream was the movie screen. Well, in my dream, the screen was suddenly too big or too heavy! The top right corner would start folding in and falling towards me, as if the entire screen was about to lay on me and crush me. I would wake up feeling scared and overwhelmed, rightfully so. Even though that was just a dream, a scary and intense one, it was such an accurate representation of what I was feeling in that moment. I was battling with strained family relationships and feeling rejected, not good enough, lonely, and just utterly disappointed with life. The overwhelming feeling that the weight of the world was just too heavy to carry was oh so real, just like my dream!

Since then, I’ve had several other moments in my life that felt overwhelmingly “too much.” Just a few years back even, a situation with my parents broke out that shattered my heart. I remember telling my husband, “I don’t know how to move forward from this. My whole world and the future I had visualized have fallen apart. This is just too big, too messed up, too broken.”

Ever felt that way yourself? Like the weight of the world or whatever adversity you were facing was too heavy? Maybe a relationship, loss, tragedy, sickness, covid-19 (hello 2020?), or a season in your life where it felt “too much.” Too much all at once. Too much for you to carry and get through it on your own. Too much for your physical, emotional, or mental health to endure through it. Simply too much.

In today’s “girl, you got this!” and self-empowerment culture, I could easily tell you that “yes, you can” get through anything. I could even throw some cute “monday motivation” posts your way to make you feel better or at least decorate your feed. While I love cute, artsy posts as much as the next girl, this type of encouraging reliance on self will only get you so far!

So what’s the key to conquering adversity, then? Let’s look at chapter 17 of 1 Samuel to find out. This chapter has one of the most famous stories of the Bible. It’s also one of the many stories where great adversity is followed by even greater deliverance! In this story we find David, a young boy who has no military training, defeating a literal giant and war hero, Goliath, with God’s help. It’s in this incredible and movie-worthy story that we find the answer to having victory over any adversity:

  1. Look Up: Acknowledge God’s Victory Over Your Adversity
    It all starts with realizing that you need God to get you through it! Don’t buy into the “I’m my own hero” narrative that the world is trying to sell to us. Turn your eyes from yourself to God and his unmatched power. Just as David declared right before defeating Goliath, remember that “the battle is the Lord’s” (1 Samuel 17:47). This means that the pressure is off now, and the weight of the world is no longer on YOUR shoulders!

  2. Look Back: Remember God’s Previous Acts of Deliverance
    When new adversities come your way, take heart by looking back and remembering how God has helped you before! Just like David recounted being delivered by God from lions and bears in 1 Samuel 17:37, you can also say, “The Lord who rescued me from” [whatever you’ve overcome] “will rescue me from” [you current adversity]. If God has done it before, He can certainly do it again!

  3. Look Forward: Take a Step Forward in Faith
    While fear and adversity can easily paralyze, move forward like David! Knowing that God was powerful, had his back, and had delivered him before, he “ran quickly toward the battle line” (1 Samuel 17:48).

Our surrender + God’s power = Victory over adversity

Even when your adversity feels bigger and heavier than you, it’s not even close to what God can handle or do. God is bigger than your biggest adversity! No matter what hardship you go through, nothing is impossible for Him. His power, love, and faithfulness are everlasting and unmeasurable! God is not waiting for you to fix it all in your own strength. No, He wants you to rely on HIS strength. He does not ask you to “get it” or “push through it.” He wants you to surrender, and to trust HIM to “get it!”

So no matter what nightmares are haunting you today and no matter how heavy your adversity feels on your shoulders right now, let me encourage you to look up, look back, and look forward!

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Nat - Honduran American wife and Mami. Christ Follower. Former Web/Mobile Manager turned stay-at-home-mom (SAHM). Sharing my love for Faith, Family, Fashion, and Tech! To learn more about Nat, visit her blog.

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