Circumstances Don’t Change Who God Is

Everyone talks about it. It’s on all of the social media pages and the news daily. The global pandemic is changing the world and how people in the world live and operate. Businesses have been forced to close and file bankruptcy. People are in long lines to get food from food banks. Elderly people are dying in nursing homes without saying goodbye to their loved ones. And the latest news is the new strain of the virus that affects young people. All bad news! Nothing good is being talked about.

Well, I’m here today to offer hope and encouragement. This pandemic did not catch God by surprise. He did not say, “Well, I’m taking some time off and just letting these sinful humans work out how to survive this pandemic on their own.” Not in the least! God is the Lord of all, including this world that is suffering though a viral crisis. The God who came to the earth in the form of man and who was crucified, dead and buried and then resurrected is the same. He has not changed! Whatever is going on in our lives, God is still God and is close to those who call on His Name.

One of the things that we should be talking about is our testimony of what God has done for us. It is in this way that we encourage one another. For me, He saved me when I had no idea that I was lost. I was just starting a new job as a teacher in a new place, on my own for the first time. I had moved into a tiny one bedroom apartment, but it was the first time I had been alone, so it was a big deal to me. My next door neighbor, a lady named Verna, talked to me daily outside our adjacent entrances. Daily, she spoke to me about Jesus and salvation. She ended up giving me a copy of THE HOLY BIBLE and told me that I should read the Book of John. Well, as everyone who knows me could tell you, I am an avid reader, but I had never thought about reading the Bible. Nevertheless, it was Friday night, and I was all alone, so I went into my bedroom and began reading. I can’t tell you exactly what happened, but by the end of the Book of John, I was on my knees and sobbing before the Lord, repenting of my sins and asking for His forgiveness. The next day, I told Verna what had happened and she invited me to church with her. I accepted the Lord as my Savior on February 28, 1973. That was the day that I was born again and my life changed. What is your testimony? How did your relationship with the Lord begin? Every story has a beginning, and that was mine.

God didn’t just leave me there, alone in that apartment. He allowed me to develop a loving relationship with my husband and to have three healthy children. He has brought me a long way from that little apartment in Smithfield, Virginia! I have always been shy so it has been difficult to meet new friends and to go to new places. Guess what? My husband was in the military, and we moved twenty five times. This girl who hated new places learned to depend more on God each time we moved. I had to come out of my shyness shell and speak to people in order to find my way around in my new world. You see, what generally happened when we moved is that my husband would be deployed for training or a military excursion soon after we arrived. And there I would be in a new place, with children to take care of and no family there. So, I did what God was giving me the courage to do. I went to a church and I met people there. I told them I was alone, and I met other wives who were like me. I stepped out of my comfort zone and introduced myself to new neighbors. God did not ever leave me to do a solo flight in a new place! He was there the whole time! When has God shown you that He is there with you, in new places or challenging times? God doesn’t change and He isn’t bothered with new places and new faces!

I have also had health challenges my entire life. I was born with asthma, so that means that I have difficulty breathing sometimes and I get bronchitis and pneumonia easily. In fact, when we lived in Maine, I got pneumonia six times in the four years that we were there, resulting in multiple hospitalizations. However, God took care of me. He taught me that He breathed life into me to begin with and He was giving me the breaths that I needed each day, each hour, each minute. God was faithful to me during some of the weakest times in my life! When I had my stroke three years ago, the school nurse tried valiantly to reach my husband so that he could come and ride with me in the ambulance. Not able to reach him, she and the school resource officer helped load me into the emergency vehicle and reassured me that I would be okay. I was feeling anything but okay. I couldn’t move my right side at all and I couldn’t speak. So, as the paramedics did their thing with IVs and instruments, I was praying. That, I still could do…silently between myself and God. I didn’t know how or what to pray, but the Holy Spirit did and so I prayed during my very fast ride to the nearest hospital. My husband met me there and the diagnosis was a massive stroke. We had my daughter on the phone and the neurologist who was diagnosing me via Skype said that I could receive the TPA clot busting shot. It could kill me or maybe help me. We prayed together (me silently still) and I decided to have the shot. Well, the shot was a miraculous answer to prayer. I can do everything now that I could do before the stroke. I am a little slower at some things, but I can do them! God was right beside me, in the hospital, in rehab and during the long months of recovery. He never turned away from me and told me that I was a lost cause, that I had too many health issues for Him to deal with. He was there for me, and I’m sure that you have a testimony of all the times that God was there for you.

God has always been my provider, too. As a teacher, moving did not correlate well with my vocation. Each state that we moved to, I had to pass a new test and get a new teaching certificate. Discouraging? Well, honestly, yes. But there was never a time when I wanted to teach that God did not provide a job for me. In the state of Maine, there is an enormous county named Aroostook. In that county, there was one Spanish teacher. “Coincidentally,” he retired the year that I arrived in Maine with my family, so I was able to teach there for the next three years. I put “coincidentally” in quotation marks because I know, and I hope that you do, too, that God prepared the way for me.

I have written today’s blog just to remind everyone that God does not change. The world changes. The circumstances in our lives change. But God does not change. He is with us all the time, no matter what we’re going through. He doesn’t always calm the storm happening in our lives, but if we ask Him, He will calm us so that we can hear His voice telling us what we are supposed to do next. During this pandemic, I hope that you are listening to His voice and remembering all that He has done for you. The Lord God is sovereign and He can get us through this crisis, too!

Ever Be by Aaron Shust

He Is With You by Mandisa

8 thoughts on “Circumstances Don’t Change Who God Is

  1. I love this post! Such encouragement. God does not change even though my world does. I needed that reminder today. I love your example to pray without ceasing even when the words couldn’t come out. You’re truly remarkable!!! Thank you, Vickie, for this post. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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