Have you ever experienced a time in your life when you feel shattered? When everything in your life seemed to be broken and scattered on the floor in a million pieces?

In these times, I find myself looking from my finite perspective and starting to feel hopeless, anxious, distraught, and clueless about how to move forward. How did this happen? Why did this happen? How do I move forward?

It is so easy to become overwhelmed about our current state that we forget to fully surrender to God. In those times, we must rise above our circumstances and remember we are living not for ourselves, but for Christ.

God reminds us of His infinite perspective. I am thankful for a God who looks at our mess, our chaos, our despair, and our brokenness and sees a future, a foundation, and a restoration in the making.

When we are at the bottom, God is waiting for us to call out for Him so He can pour out His grace and mercy. He longs to personally meet us in the middle of our brokenness in a tender and loving way that only a Father can do. He crouches down to us and cradles us in His arms. It is here that we finally can exhale and restoration begins. He fills us with His peace even when we are in the middle of the storm.

“He brought me up from a desolate pit, out of the muddy clay, and set my feet on a rock, making my steps secure.” Psalms 40:2

“Praise be to the lord, to God our Savior, who daily bears our burdens. Our God is a God that saves; from the Sovereign Lord comes escape from death.” Psalms 68:19-20

“Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” Matthew 11:28

How comforting it is to know we have a God who can empathize in all of our pain and weakness for He Himself experienced it. There is no pain, no weakness, no betrayal, and no struggle that He does not know. He experienced all of these and more.

“For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet he did not sin. Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.” Hebrews 4:15-26

When we finally surrender to God’s sovereignty and give up control, we must surrender to His plan and His will. During times of pain we must remember to keep our focus on Him and He will begin to restore and rebuild.

“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord. As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.” Isiah 55:8-9

“This is what the Lord says: ‘The people who survive the sword will find favor in the wilderness; I will come to give rest to Israel.’ The Lord appeared to us from far away saying: “I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with unfailing kindness. I will build you up again, and you, Virgin Israel, will be rebuilt. Again you will take up your timbrels and go out to dance with the joyful.” Jeremiah 31:2-4

Our God rebuilds again and again. He restores over and over again. He gives us joy for mourning.

There is beauty when He breaks us down to nothing so that He can begin to form new desires and fill our soul with new passions and new joy – joy that is greater than we could have ever imagined. He teaches us how dependent we are on Him during times in the valley. He shows us through the refining process that we are useless on our own and we must fully rely on Him for everything in all situations. He teaches us to always praise and worship Him, giving Him all the glory.

When you are going through hard times, remember that God never promises us that life will be easy. Actually, He tells us our lives will be the opposite of easy. He tells us we will experience troubles and trials.

“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33

The beauty is that even though we experience pain and trials, we do not have to experience despair and hopelessness. Christ gives us a hope and a future. The hope we are given is our anchor during the storms of this life. Out of the storm comes beauty and rebirth.