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Unseen Hope (Part 2): A Missionary’s Journey as a Long-Haul COVID Patient

Where do you go to find worth and meaning during difficult seasons of life?
I am so weary of this season.

And although I am not overtaken, the Lord knows I am overwhelmed. “How long oh Lord, how long?”

Have you ever found yourself in this place of despair? If not you, maybe it is someone you know. As believers, we are promised seasons of trials (James 1:2, 1 Peter 1:6).

We know this, but when the impossible piles on top of the hard, what do we do then? How do we respond when the Lord tarries in bringing relief? What do we do when our tears flow without pause, our hearts are beyond broken, and our souls are weary and battered?

This is where I found myself recently—deep in the throes of suffering, without respite or reprieve. Every aspect of our family’s lives was steeped in trials, and at every turn we were met with another attack or obstacle from the enemy, signaling that this difficult season was not ending.

After what had been one of the hardest years of our lives, riddled with sickness, death, injury and isolation, we found ourselves being medically evacuated with only 24 hours’ notice. After a month and a half of quarantine in our home, we were now faced with near complete isolation again for what we thought would be a few weeks but turned into nearly four months.

Our children battled sickness that had no cause, all while trying to keep up with school a nation away. Our family was exhausted, and I was unable to get out of bed or off the couch to be of any help at all. We were relying completely on others for meals, groceries, everything, living in a house that is not ours. The only personal interaction we had was waving though a door as people dropped things off on our porch.

One morning, I was listening to worship music (one of the few things I could do that brought peace to my soul) when confronted with a line that spoke deeply to me: “Believing gets hard when options are few.”

I have lived through some tough seasons in my life. I have battled insurmountable odds, and I have endured. However, here I was, a mature believer struck with how difficult it had become to believe amidst the dark season I found myself in. I awoke daily and tried with all my might to find one thing to be thankful for, and I confess to you, sometimes my only praise was that I had a God to pray to.

And this, weary believer, is the point.

When you find yourself in the darkest night in the deepest valley, when you are begging the Lord to rescue and his response is “not yet,” know that there is worth—deep worth—in the waiting. Immense value can be found in the silence of a season.

You are weary, but you are not lost. You can never be lost again. You have new life, and although that life might be awful at some moments, it is nonetheless life.

“But look, the Lord keeps his eye on those who fear him—those who depend on his faithful love to rescue them from death and to keep them alive in famine.” (Psalm 33:18-19)

You might be at the absolute lowest point in your life. The darkness of this season might be completely overwhelming, but while you are waiting for it all to cease and the Lord is tarrying, remember he is keeping you alive. You have life. Any trial you are in now is nothing compared to what you were in when you were still dead in your trespasses.

He might continue to tarry. This is where my family finds ourselves. I am writing this to you from the couch, waving to someone who dropped dinner off on the porch. But look up, even as the tears stream down you face, and thank the Father for life. You might be broken beyond recognition, but you have a reason to praise.

About the Author

Michelle Harlea serves in Romania with her husband Cristian and their four children doing church planting and evangelism. Support their ministry.

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