Charles Dickens, the renowned English author, began his classic novel A Tale of Two Cities with “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.” The remainder of the first paragraph continues with paradoxes.
In many ways, the 1980’s were a series of paradoxes for me. The 80’s could be summarized as my worse of times and my best of times. In the five year period from 1982-1987, I lived through the deaths of my father, mother, only sister, older brother, older sister-in-law, brother-in-law, and close uncle. Already a widow, I was devastated by the loss this trusted support system. Though I knew each had a close, unshakeable relationship with the Lord, each death was still painful. Yet during all this, I still experienced significant spiritual growth.
A few months before the first death, I had been fasting. I vividly remember the day I received one of the life-changing revelations of that decade. While fixing a meal for my daughter, I suddenly felt as if I was about to pass out. Weak, I felt if I didn't eat something immediately I would not survive the attack. During similar times in the past, I had eaten, feeling God understood that I had to eat. This time, I unshakeablely determined if God were to call me, I would go to Him while fasting. Although I did not eat anything, I felt full, revived, and strengthened within hours. On that day, I learned a powerful and enduring lesson.
When at our lowest and weakest, if we unshakeablely hold on to faith that God is with us even in seeming inevitability, there is victory. Many times we are tempted to give up and give in to failure immediately before great victory. Satan, our mortal enemy, wants us to give up, but God, our loving Father, desires us to triumph in Christ.
During the 80’s, I experienced great spiritual growth while suffering great personal loss. In a sense, it was the worst of times; but in a far greater sense, it was the best of times through the gain of insight revelation, and faith.
Whatever seems to be making this your "worse of times" is not as powerful as an unshakeable faith that can transform it into your best of time through Christ.
Affirmation: Now thanks be unto God, which always causes us to triumph in Christ. II Corinthians 2:14