The Perfect Storm
by Christy Aanderud
August 21, 2019
The perfect storm. We’ve all had them, and the past two weeks have been one of mine. It was already going to be full—one child’s birthday, travel for the family, house guests, a strategic ministry gathering and a house move to top it all off. And then . . . chickenpox. And I am the only member of our family who has had it. In other words, all three children AND my husband are susceptible. (Cue doomsday music.)
It’s been rough, to put it mildly. Stressful, draining, middle-of-the-night worrying. Our days have been a blur of boxes, calamine lotion, dust-bunnies, vitamin C, oat baths, “don’t scratch!”, nighttime crying, rain and wind, packing, washing and daily Facetime check-ins with family half-way around the world. (In times like these, ministering overseas makes its sacrifices known: no family nearby, no private healthcare, no drive-thru Chick-fil-A.)
During a team meeting last week—after week one of the chaos—we took time to prayerfully listen to the Spirit on behalf of one another. When our team listened on my behalf, and then shared the words that the Lord had given them, I did what I hadn’t realized I needed . . . I received. I listened to their prayers and words. And I heard the Father’s voice telling me how strong and mighty He is, and how He wins battles for me—even the impossible ones.
I was reminded of how much He delights in me and desires to spend time with me, even in the desert times.
I was overwhelmed by His great generosity—especially toward our family.
My perspective was shifted. My soul was refreshed. And not because I worked at it. I hadn’t needed to “do better” at trusting or relying on Him. I hadn’t needed to pray more and worry less. I only had to open my hands and receive—receive the words and life-giving truths He wanted me to hear.
How often do we let ourselves fully stop and simply let God minister to us? Declare what we know to be true—He is good, He is faithful, He loves me and delights in me—and then dwell in it. Let ourselves feel loved by Him and by those close to us. Open our hands and receive.
I did not leave our prayer time re-energized. My body is still achy and tired, with the house move completed but the chickenpox not. But, amazingly, the overwhelming emotion I have felt in the last week has been gratitude. I have been thankful! Not for the blasted chickenpox. Heaven’s no. But for being loved. For the amazing new house God’s provided. For prayers of loved ones. For bursts of sunshine. And I haven’t had to work at it. I haven’t had to “choose joy,” as seems so often to be the case. My gratitude has simply been present. And it began when I opened my hands, turned my face upwards and received.
Have you asked God what He wants to give you? What He wants you to know? What He thinks about you? Ask Him. You might be surprised by His answer.
Christy and her husband Danny are on staff with Novo (formerly Church Resource Ministries), serving in Oxford, England. When not tending to houseguests and chickenpox, Christy is building relationships with local mums while scouring used book shops to fill her homeschooling bookshelves.