Every seat in the chapel was filled. The doors on each side stayed open for Michigan’s summer breeze to make its way in. I looked for a place to sit and found a spot on the end of a pew. As I sat down, I felt relieved that my husband was keeping the kids so I could sit and be still.
God, I want to hear you tonight, I prayed. It’s so hard to hear you when the daily grind can get so noisy. Sara Groves started playing the piano and singing:
I can’t remember a trial or a pain He did not recycle to bring me gain
I can’t remember one single regret In serving God only, and trusting His hand
All I have need of, His hand will provide
He’s always been faithful to me
I tried to recall a time when God was unfaithful to me and I simply could not. Even at a point in my life when I chose the temporal pleasures of sin over following Him, He remained faithful — patiently pursuing me and calling me to His side.
And all the needs I have ever had, great or small, He has provided regardless of my worry and doubt.
I thought about the concerns and fears I have with the future and I was comforted that God knew those too, but my uncertainties don’t change the fact of who He is. And if I had to follow Him all over again, in the joys and the hardships, I’d still surrender my life to Him.
Sara played on and transitioned into the old hymn:
Great is Thy Faithfulness
Great is Thy Faithfulness
Morning by morning new mercies I see
All I have needed thy hand hath provided
Great is thy faithfulness, Lord unto me
A man in his 60s stood up as she sang. I imagined his life and the possible trials he’d faced. I thought about how he’s further along in the journey than me. Then another person in the distance stood and then another. I got goosebumps. Before I knew it, everyone was standing.
Knots grew tight in my throat. God had been so faithful to me and rarely did I thank Him and stand upon that. I felt such conviction. My pride tried to keep me planted in that hard-wooden pew, but I rose to my feet anyway. Tears filled my eyes and I confessed to God where I had fallen short.
God, forgive me for not regularly expressing gratitude to you for all You have done. Change me.
I observed all that was happening around me and took in the view of everyone standing. God’s presence filled the air and it was heavenly and so sweet. It didn’t matter what journey any of us had traveled, this was our anthem together.
An anthem of His faithfulness.
Perhaps you can recollect your own anthem of God’s faithfulness in your life through difficult seasons: job changes, broken relationships, suffering, a chronic illness, loneliness, addiction, the mending of a marriage, the death of a loved one, a wayward child, and more. When you’re tempted to doubt God’s goodness, remember that He will use every trial and pain in your life for some kind of gain in the end.
He is faithful to you. You are loved.
Samantha Krieger is a pastor’s wife, mother to four, and writer in rural Colorado. She’s the author of Quiet Time: A 30-day Devotional Retreat for Moms in the Trenches. To read more from Samantha, visit her blog: www.samanthakrieger.com.