Choose to Hope When There is Loss Upon Loss

 Then the Lord asked Satan, “Have you noticed my servant Job? He is the finest man in all the earth — a man of complete integrity. He fears God and will have nothing to do with evil. And he has maintained his integrity, …’ Satan replied to the Lord, “Skin for skin — he blesses you only because you bless him. A man will give up everything he has to save his life. But take away his health, and he will surely curse you to your face!”

Job 2:3-5 

When I was a junior in high school, an event occurred that marked me forever. On a bright spring afternoon, a girl appeared at my classroom door. She looked straight at me and almost screamed, “Your house is on fire–I am to drive you there now!” 

Hurriedly, I went with her. I remember coming down the hill, rounding the curve, and seeing one last wall of my bedroom standing ablaze. I arrived in time to see my wall (the final one) collapse into a heap of smoldering ash. 

My family stood in the driveway with only the clothes we had on our backs. We pulled a small camper into the driveway and, that night, my mom and dad took a piece of paper towel and sketched out their “dream” home. 

For the first time in my life, my family prayed together. It was a simple prayer of gratitude. We were together, and no one was hurt. In the next few months, we slowly worked together to rebuild our lives. 

In 2005, I again experienced the loss of a home. Due to the flooding in New Orleans following Hurricane Katrina, we lost every daily living thing. All we had in the world was packed into a white minivan. 

The following year, I contracted meningitis. It devastated my health. I survived with minimal effects, but 14 years later, my health, at times, is still precarious. 

At the time of this writing, the world is dealing with a silent enemy. The coronavirus (COVID-19) is silently lurking in the shadows of my life and yours. Like many of you, I have children and grandchildren who live far from me, children who have lost jobs, schools are canceled, and are going online. I have had canceled ministry opportunities, and now I’m wondering what the future holds. 

Feelings of isolation wash over me. Loss is, once again, surrounding me. I feel powerless if my focus stays on the news and the world around me. What will I do? I have made, through prayer, many decisions to choose to trust God for my future. 

This requires me to make courageous, purposeful choices to let God show me deeper places in my trust of Him. He is leading me to places of surrender to which I have never gone before so that He might be glorified, believed, and lifted up. 

Life is hard. This future is unknown to me, but not unknown to my God. 

God does not have favorites among men. One and all, we are each living through the pandemic. 

How will I choose to live out this time: 

  • In fear? 
  • Hopelessness? 
  • Isolation? 
  • Depression? 
  • In anxiety and mounting tension? 
  • Or will I remember who I am and Whose I am? 

It will rain on the just and the unjust. (Matthew 5:45) 

In ministry leadership, we will face many difficult situations (pandemic being a major one) in which we must choose to trust the Lord. You and I will have to ask for courage and strength from the only One who can give us courage and strength! We will have to cast off burdens we can’t carry; rid our minds from things we cannot control. 

We will have to make willful decisions to live in the truth of God’s word. 

What purposeful decisions will you make today? 

We will have to choose to live out 2 Corinthians 10:3-5! 

For though we walk in the flesh, we are not waging war according to the flesh. 4 For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds. 5 We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ … 

2 Corinthians 10:3-5 (ESV) 3

What can you give to the Lord through prayer? 

Pray: “God, in the middle of trouble, in the middle of this pandemic, this time of uncertainty, this illness, this financial difficulty, this health crisis, this turmoil, this betrayal, the sins of others, (you fill in your own personal need or crisis), help me to choose to trust YOU. Help me, Lord, to surrender all, surrender that person, yield anything/anyone that would keep me from intimacy with you. Help me place my HOPE in you! Thank you for taking this challenge from me and restoring my hope during this pain and uncertain time!” 

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Diane Nix is the director and founder of Contagious Joy 4 Him, a network of encouragement to ministry wives around the globe. They are offering “Free Refresh Retreats” and a safe place for ministry wives to share their hearts with other like-minded women. Thirty-six years ago, she married her husband, pastor/professor, Dr. Preston Nix. He is a professor of evangelism and evangelistic preaching at NOBTS. They have two biological daughters, two spiritual-grown daughters, two grands, and two son’s in-laws. 

Published September 23, 2020