By Hannah Shultz
20-year-old sister of 6
This life is full of moments, moments that range from extreme joy to the deepest of sorrows, moments that range from perfectly healthy to deathly ill, moments that range from peak strength to valley-low weakness. As we journey our way through these moments, we tend to let our emotions change just as fast as our surroundings do. In the harder moments of life, we tend to let hurt or anger or fear or pain command our actions; we lash out at those we love, we withdraw, we become aimless, we stop listening to God’s calling. Our emotions are volatile and depend on what is going on around us, to us, or to someone close to us.
When I was two I became ill with an unknown sickness. And my family (along with the help of Veggie Tales) taught me that God is bigger than my sickness.
Now fast-forward eighteen years and I am sick again with another unknown sickness.
In the beginning months of this season of life, I let my emotions, that were dependent on my life’s situation, control me and cripple me. I was angry for the life I had lost, hurt for all I had left behind, fearful of an unknown future, and saddened by what God did to me. I spent countless hours begging God to heal me so that I could get back to my life. I spent countless hours wishing I was back in Malibu, back on track with school and life. I spent countless hours moping about what God had done. All this accomplished for me was a bitter heart and missed opportunities where I was. I felt it was unfair. I felt like I couldn’t accomplish my calling to the medical field. I felt useless, worthless, empty, and alone.
One night, I was having one of my pity parties. I was on my knees begging for my life back, and I felt strongly that God was with me. I asked Him to show Himself to me, and I felt as though He was saying to me, “If I did that you would be healed, and it is not your time yet.”
This encounter began an amazing new journey for me towards an unwavering faith that God was in control. Sometimes He chooses to calm the waters with a single word, but sometimes He chooses to let the storm rage on. As my faith began to grow, and my trust became stronger and stronger even as we got less news and no answers, I still struggled with my emotions. I didn’t have peace.
Peace, true peace, is the key to our emotional ups and downs. It is a stabilizer. True peace does not mean that our surroundings are calm, but it means that we are calm in spite of our chaotic surroundings. Having peace is much easier said than done. But when it is found, it opens a freedom in our hearts, minds, and souls that is unfathomable. How can we as Christians come to terms with this peace? Simple; by fully believing that God is bigger and that He is here; with us, in us, and for us every single moment of life.
Parents, teach your kids that peace is not the times when everything is right, calm, and ok. Teach them that peace is Christ in you during the chaotic times, the hard times, the painful times. As Christ said in John 16:33, “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” This peace is one that surpasses understanding and it is one that must be taught. Too many people are losing faith during hard times because they feel as though God is not here for them. But if God’s peace is ruling in our hearts when hard times come, it will not leave, just as He will not leave.
If you are stuck in a season that just won’t seem to end, remember, God is bigger, His plans are bigger, His purposes are bigger, and His love is bigger. We may not be able to know why God has chosen the journey He has for us, but He knows why, and that is enough. This knowledge will strengthen your faith and grow your peace. And this peace will spread to those around you, to your kids, to your parents, to your siblings, to your spouse. It is time to stop letting our volatile emotions control our thoughts and actions. It is time to let peace rule in our hearts. It is time to let peace rule over our emotions. It is time to let God be bigger.
The peace I have found through Christ in me has opened opportunities I would have missed. It has allowed my faith to expand; it has allowed me to grow and to start to understand why God has me where He has me. I am far from knowing everything there is to know, I am far from having a faith that can move mountains, I am far from being a woman after God’s own heart, but each day I grow a little more, know a little more, love a little more, and trust a little more. And that is what life here is about. God is bigger than my sickness I am facing, and because of my trust in this, I am starting to discover peace. And the freedom I feel is incredible.
Take a moment today and declare that God is bigger than whatever you are facing. Say it and believe it and live it and teach it. And you will notice the changes in your heart, in your thoughts, in your actions, and in your life.
Now as Christ said to His disciples in John 14:27, “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” Let this soak in today.
Thank you, God, that you are bigger.