A couple of weeks ago we took our first family concert excursion to a TobyMac concert in downtown Indianapolis. It was a full circle moment for me since I haven’t seen Mr. Toby since the farewell DC Talk “Supernatural” tour back in 1999. Also: I. Love. Concerts. It was a bit of a bummer since most of the kids were less than impressed, but that could be because our seats were almost at the top and the sound wasn’t the best. Ah well, you win some and you lose some.
Nonetheless, there was a David Crowder song at the concert that grabbed my heart and has become an anthem for this season. There’s something about listening to a song sung live that truly stirs my soul.
I’ve got a friend, closer than a brother / There is no judgement, oh, how He loves me, I’ve got a friend / And He is my strength, He is my portion / With me in the valley, with me in the fire, with me in the storm / Let all my life testify“God Really Loves Us” by Crowder
Sometimes we go through seasons that feel like valley, fire, and storm. They can be a clarifying gift. Does Jesus become even more dear to me and is the foundation I’ve built over the years proven sure? Or does my faith feel faulty and my heart slip into doubt and distrust? Don’t be discouraged if the latter is true; there is always hope and growth! Sow good seed in the more peaceful seasons and reap security when it’s hard.
In the difficult times is my life a testimony?
Practical ideas for when you’re not in a hard season:
- Read through the whole Bible regularly: build your foundation
- Pour into safe, gospel community: build your support
- Study & discuss & ponder & work out what you believe: build a robust theology
Practical ideas for when you are in a hard season:
- Listen to the Psalms on repeat (I like the 20-40s)
- Make a list of little mercies (practice noticing His faithfulness even in the hard)
- Pray without ceasing (don’t stop talking to and crying out to Jesus)
- Reach out to your community with honesty (tap into that support system you cultivated)
We are not alone
God really loves us
This is our testimony! Hallelujah: God be praised! He came to be Emmanuel and we are therefore never alone. May a deep awareness of His love for you and nearness to you permeate your soul and may testimony overflow.
“They overcame by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony; they did not love their lives so much as to shrink from death” (Revelation 12:11).
Death, darkness, despair: we are not afraid of you.
With God, we overcome.