Have you ever wondered where God is in the middle of your trouble? I have, many times. But I’ve learned that, even if I can’t see Him in the moment, God is present in every storm I face. In fact, Isaiah 43:2 promises that He is with us no matter what the trial.
God taught me this truth in a unique way in 2004. I was 34 years old and scheduled to undergo several surgeries at Boston Children’s Hospital to correct a congenital hip deformity.
I wrestled with fear and loneliness that entire trip. I flew from Florida to Boston Logan International Airport and took a taxi to the hospital for a pre-op appointment. My husband was supposed to be with me, but a nasty flu bug had attacked him during the night. The only traveling he did that day was from the bed to the bathroom.
I didn’t speak much to the cab driver; I was having a deep internal conversation with God. At first, it felt like I was the only one doing the talking, but when we came to a stoplight, God spoke back to me in the most unusual way—through a squirrel!
No, this plump, carefree squirrel didn’t open his mouth and talk. He didn’t even know I was there. But God used the squirrel’s presence to speak to my heart. Boston had experienced subzero temperatures the week before—so cold that Boston Harbor had frozen over! And yet, this creature had survived, and there he was, hunched over next to a frozen tree, happily eating some delicious morsel.
In that moment, the Holy Spirit whispered to my heart, “If I can take care of that little squirrel in the dead of winter and provide shelter and food for him, how much more will I care for you?”
Then I remembered Matthew 6:25–26, where Jesus said, “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear.… Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?” (NIV).
The image of that squirrel and the promise of that verse increased my faith and helped me walk courageously through the doors of that hospital into a complicated and painful storm.
Once inside, God met me again with another powerful reminder of His love. There in the foyer, I saw parents lovingly carrying their children in their arms to their appointments. I was an adult, sure, but the scene reminded me that God was carrying me too. He was holding me in His arms, and together, we were walking into that operating room. Not only that, while I was under anesthesia, God would be watching over me and fighting my battles. (See Deuteronomy 1:30–31.)
And you know what? He was. And He continues to be with me today. In fact, He has never failed me.
Are you in a storm right now? Has your marriage or another precious relationship hit rough waters? Is your court case on the rocks? Your health? Your job? Actually, over the last year, we’ve all faced unforeseen challenges because of COVID-19.
No matter what’s happening—whatever loneliness or fear, pain or difficulty you are facing—you are not alone. Just like God was with that little squirrel, just like He was with me, and just like He was with everyone else in this magazine—God is also with you. Whatever your storm, be assured that He is helping you. He is watching over you and fighting your battles. God will not fail you.