Our five-year-old appeared suddenly beside our bed in the middle of the night. She wasn’t saying anything, and I was still half asleep and very confused.
Suddenly, I realized what was happening. She had been hit by the stomach bug. Now our bedroom floor had been hit as well.
As she laid back down, she cried and said, “I just wasn’t ready for this to happen.”
When life takes an unexpected turn, it almost always takes us off guard. We rarely feel ready.
To a five-year-old, the stomach bug is a huge tragedy. As adults, we know things get even more complicated. Death of friends, hard diagnoses, infertility, and broken relationships are just a few things we experience or walk through with friends.
How do we keep moving forward when life throws us something we aren’t ready for?
Our preparation begins before life hits hard.
In 2 Corinthians 9:10-11, Paul states “He who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will supply and multiply your seed for sowing and increase the harvest of your righteousness. You will be enriched in every way to be generous in every way, which through us will produce thanksgiving to God.” (ESV)
When Paul talks about increasing our harvest, he is referring to our righteousness. God brings redemption and provision to His children through His words to us. In order to remember these promises, we must know and understand them before tragedy strikes. Just like the supplier of the seeds and bread, we must have materials stored in our hearts. We cannot give what we don’t have.
Here are some simple ways I’ve found to store up seeds in my heart and life.
1. Spend Time in God’s Word.
Spending time in God’s word means reading the Bible, not a book about the Bible. Reading the Bible can be confusing at first. However, the more we read, the more it comes to life. Find a Bible study you love that guides you through a certain book, or follow a daily Bible reading plan.
Time spent in prayer is never wasted. When we pray consistently, it helps bring assurance when life takes an unexpected turn.
3. Memorize Scripture
Our minds can go to dark places when we go through a hard time. When we fill our minds with God’s word, we have truth stored up about who God is. When our minds want to give in to fears or lies we tell ourselves, we can have God’s truth stored within us to help us overcome.
4. Meet Regularly with Other Christian Women
Meeting with a small group of women and studying the Bible together is a great investment of time. When life throws us hard things, God often uses our friends to carry us through. When I’ve endured hard seasons in the past, my support system of friends from our women’s group helped me carry on. They prayed with me, brought meals, checked on me regularly, and made sure I knew I was loved.
Life will bring something you don’t feel ready for. When it happens, we have a choice. We can give in to our fears and anxieties, or we can remember who our ultimate protector and provider is. We can choose to let God increase our righteousness through our circumstances. This kind of righteous produces thanksgiving to God within us, even during difficult seasons.
Are you preparing your heart now so you will be ready for whatever comes your way?