Wednesday, January 18, 2017

When You've Been Kicked in the Gut

By: Jenifer Metzger

In the final two months of 2016 I continually heard comments like, "If we can just get out of this year!" and, "I'm so over this year!" and "Once we hit the New Year everything will be okay." Between health issues, relationship issues, financial issues, racial issues, the election and the media, people were really tired of 2016. And I get it. I really, really get it, 2016 was a hard year all around. But to think that the once the clock strikes midnight and we turn the calendar from 2016 to 2017 and all our problems would fade away, that's just foolish.

Our problems have followed us. I woke up on January 1st and my grandmother was still battling cancer, one of my best friends was still battling cancer, my dad was still dealing with a health issue, my son still had an attitude, I still had bills that needed to be paid, I was still crazy tired, still, still, still! I am going to guess that you woke up on January 1st to find your problems hadn't vanished either.

Not only did our problems change the calendar page with us, but goodness, here we are two and a half weeks into the New Year and it's already been a tough year! This year has already seen my grandmother in the hospital for a week, one of my best friend's daughter in the hospital for a week with a big health scare, my other best friend's daughter with a strange illness the doctor can't figure out, big ice storms that have cancelled church, a virus for me, and a big disagreement with my husband. It's only mid-January but, are we done with 2017 yet?

Last week I was feeling this big kick in the gut at the problems all around me. This year was supposed to be better. Everything was supposed to be okay, not worse! I felt like I couldn't breathe anymore. Then God showed me Psalm 34.

Is anyone crying for help? God is listening, ready to rescue you.
If your heart is broken, you'll find God right there;
if you're kicked in the gut, He'll help you catch your breath.
Psalm 34:17-18 MSG

I read and re-read this verse probably 15 times as I felt the presence of God begin to surround me. As I felt God whisper, "I am right here daughter." I had been kicked in the gut, so hard. My friends, my family, everyone around me was being kicked. But God is promising to be with us and to help us catch our breath.

What about you? Has this year already brought some trials and troubles that have you gasping for air? Or maybe there is a trial from last year that has followed you and you just keep crying for help? Friend, God is there. He is right beside you. All you have to do is call to Him. He's there waiting to give you breath back. This doesn't mean our trial will instantly be gone, but it does mean that He will walk beside us helping us the whole way. Cry out to Him.

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  1. I love those raw words in that translation of the psalm -- and I'm sorry for the hard start you've had to 2017. Trusting with you that you will also find that comfort of a nearby God.

  2. I am truly sorry that the new year has been so difficult. May our God bring you assurance that He is right there with you: "Don't be afraid, for I am with you. Don't be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand." (Isaiah 41:10,NLT) So grateful He never leaves us, aren't you? Blessings!

  3. I so agree. There is nothing special about the calendar and we shouldn't place our hopes in it, or use it to define our dreams. It can easily become an idol.

  4. New year but same old enemy who comes to steal, kill and destroy. I suspect he wants to discourage us in order to get us to give up before the year's barely begun. Myself and so many others I know are experiencing similar things as you.

  5. My husband and I started the year off with horrible colds, a broken toe right before Christmas is still healing, and his mom, in our home under hospice care, just had to be put on oxygen at night. Even though Jan. 1 seems like a fresh start, in reality it's just the next day. But I am so thankful His mercies are "new every morning."


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