My Word of the Year is Intentional. As I began looking for a verse that I might claim, I kept finding verses where messengers of God said, “But as for me…” I thought, “These people are intentional in their lives. I want that”. So we will start looking at these scriptures. I have some friends helping me out and they are already stepping on my toes.”
Today, we have a beautiful devotion by my sister. Kandy Chimento and her husband, Tony, live in Liberty Hill, Texas. They have spent many years in ministry together. Their greatest joys are their two amazing kids; Christa, and Tyler (and his lovely wife, Rebekah), and their two grandsons, Gideon & Jude. Kandy is the Director of Operations at a local Food Pantry & Resource Center, where she enjoys working with the hundreds of volunteers she manages, and the neighbors they assist.
So without further ado, my sister, Kandy…
But as for me, I shall sing of Your strength; Yes, I shall joyfully sing of Your lovingkindness in the morning, For You have been my stronghold and a refuge in the day of my distress.Psalm 59:16 NASB
The day of my distress.
Do your thoughts jump instantly to a specific day? A certain season? An awful year?
For me, my thoughts go to the moment I got the call that I had miscarried my first child, and then later when I had two additional miscarriages. I recall the season when we were in severe financial distress, though we were doing what we thought God had called us to do – starting a church, doing ministry. And here we were, days from bankruptcy. And more recently, last year, when we lost our baby granddaughter, 5 months in the womb with multiple physical issues. (Elisha Beth Chimento 3-31-2021)
The day of my distress.
Times when I didn’t think I could get through the day. Times when I did not understand “why”? Days of weeping and sorrow.
I acknowledge those days because I got through them. God was my refuge, my stronghold. The place where I went to hide and to hold on. One of my first thoughts at these times was only to cry out to Jesus. No, I did not “sing joyfully of His lovingkindness” at first. That took a while.
The Other Side of The Day of My Distress
One of my greatest joys, however, is to be on the other side of those days and to look back and see the strength God has given me. And to enjoy His blessing on the other side. I have been able to share with others about the sadness, but also the strength. The struggles but also the victory. The loss but also the gain. Blessings I would not have if it were not for the days of my distress.
I have scrapbooks (yes, I’m that old) and photo albums of the two precious children God gave us to raise, and our wonderful memories together. The goodness of the Lord.
We now have financial blessings from the path on which God took us. The goodness of the Lord.
We have a new grandbaby, Jude, this year (in addition to our first grandson, Gideon).
The goodness of the Lord.
A friend wrote this scripture down for me shortly after our first miscarriage.
“I would have lost heart, if I had not believed that I would see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Wait on the Lord. Be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord.” Psalm 27:13-14
This scripture has sustained me so many times through the years. What hope and what joy there is in going to God as my stronghold and refuge! How can I help but sing??
“How does this work?” you may ask.
How do I let God be my stronghold and refuge?
First of all, fill your mind with the Word of God.
Meditate on His promises. If you can’t focus enough to read, then listen.
Listen to the Word, even in the background of your day. The Word does not return void.
Read Psalms. So many Psalms begin with David (or other writers) pouring out their hearts to God, lamenting their sorrows, their distress, their questions of “where is God?” It’s okay to tell God how you feel. It’s ok to be sad and upset, and even angry at what is happening.
Pour out your heart to Him in your distress! Tell him exactly how you feel. Tell him what you need. You may feel your heart change as you begin to see that His ways are not our ways.
So Many Questions
I still have so many questions about why God would allow certain things to happen, not only in my life but in others for whom God had seemingly great plans. Why were the apostles and many missionaries martyred? Why would he allow an entire family to be killed in an accident? Why would he allow the murder of little children? I don’t know. I don’t know.
But I do know this. God is bigger than anything that may come against you. If you are going through a day or a season, or a year of distress, go to Him for refuge. Allow him to be your stronghold when you are weak, weary, and weeping. Your “mourning” may take a few days or even a few years, but I pray that you will eventually join in singing joyfully. Be strong and take heart! And you will see the “goodness of the Lord”.
“Yes, I will sing of His strength.
I will sing joyfully of His lovingkindness!“
You turned my wailing into dancing; you removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy, that my heart may sing your praises and not be silent. LORD my God, I will praise you forever.Psalm 30:11-12
Kandy Chimento and her husband, Tony, live in Liberty Hill, Texas. They have spent many years in ministry together. Their greatest joys are their two amazing kids; Christa, and Tyler (and his lovely wife, Rebekah), and their two grandsons, Gideon & Jude. Kandy is the Director of Operations at a local Food Pantry & Resource Center, where she enjoys working with the hundreds of volunteers she manages, and the neighbors they assist.