I wasn’t very optimistic when I started studying with Sarah. She struggled to read. She was distracted by challenges in her life. She felt trapped by being an in-home caregiver to her mother, and taking care of her dysfunctional family. It was difficult to get through the study guides without digressing into other topics and I wondered if any of our studies were actually getting through to her. She was even reluctant to pray in front of me. I would encourage her to repeat my prayers as we surrendered our lives to Jesus.
On a recent visit, she just lit up when I asked her how things were going. She told me she’d been reading the Bible every day, and that she had experienced something that had never happened to her before. She told me how her husband had come home with a terrible attitude. He was yelling and insulting her. In the midst of his verbal abuse she offered a silent prayer. Suddenly she felt a sense of God's peace and calm wash over her. She sensed God’s presence, and experienced a shelter in her time of storm.
Thinking of Sarah's experience reminds me of the promise in John 16:33, "These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world." In Isaiah 26:3 we're told, "You will keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on You. Because he trusts in You." I wasn't sure if I was connecting with Sarah, or if she was understanding God's Word. But the Holy Spirit has been doing His work in her life. I am so glad that our gracious Redeemer meets us where we are.
Assistant Pastor and Bible Worker Coordinator
Eastgate Seventh-day Adventist church