God@Work: Christina Varvel
Over the next several weeks, we will be sharing how the Lord is working specifically in the lives of a few people in our church family during this unprecedented time. Our hope is that these stories give glory to God and spur us on. While the story is still unfolding and we may not know exactly what the Lord is doing, we want to encourage each other to look to Him.
by Christina Varvel
When Waves Are Crashing
I sat on the Mexico shore line watching the waves hit the rocks beneath my feet. Grief feels like waves hitting. And so does fear. Suffocation, darkness, loss of control. One month prior to this moment, I had given birth and held my son who already was in the arms of Jesus. Yet, I didn’t know the waves would continue as almost a year later, my next son would also leave my womb to be in Jesus’ presence. I looked closely at the rocks and noticed several tiny snails. The waves would crash over and over, yet not a single snail was swept back into the ocean. The Lord saw my grief, pain and fears and whispered words of strength to my soul:
Rest in God alone my soul, for my hope comes from Him. He alone is my rock and my salvation, my stronghold; I will not be shaken. My salvation and glory depend on God, my strong rock. My refuge is in God. Trust in Him at all times, you people; pour out your hearts before Him. God is our refuge.” Psalm 62:5–8
Cling to the Rock
The snails didn’t move because they knew how and what they were clinging to in order to hold on. God created them with the physical capacity for survival, to hold onto the rock without being tossed and turned, possibly lost into the sea of the unknown. No amount of pressure, outside force or threat would move them. I even tried to pick one up and it wouldn’t budge! And since God cares even more for me, He has given me something far greater and stronger: Jesus, to be the only rock for my survival.
Fast forward as I sit here now writing this, I have two twin boys wrestling in my womb! Yet, only a few weeks ago, I was the one wrestling with fear and depression. Will the wave hit again in this time of uncertainty and high risk to our health, and these babies are taken from me, too? Can I handle any more pain? And if so, will I be overcome with suffocating grief and be lost in it forever? I don’t know what will happen in the weeks and months to come. But I have a choice.
I can allow the waves of fear to overtake me and toss me around in depression and paralyzation. I can read news articles on social media and place my trust in their words, predictions and advice about COVID-19. I can be consumed with what happened with my boys in my past pregnancies, causing me to be miserable with anxiety and miss out on the daily blessings of the two boys alive in my womb currently, when the future is only a guessing game and daily changing.
Or as I’m stuck at home, I can be like the snail and cling to the rock. The truth is that the waves may continue to come, whether it be my health, the lives of my boys, another loved one or financial destruction. But my survival will only come from putting all my hope on the Rock of my Salvation. Clinging to His Words when media is trying to shout even louder. And reminding myself that every wave that has crashed over me before, Jesus has never left me. He is the living Rock that cannot be moved and is unchanging. And so come what may, He alone will continue to be my strong refuge.
“Therefore let everyone who is faithful pray to You at a time that You may be found. When great floodwaters come, they will not reach him. You are my hiding place; You protect me from trouble. You surround me with joyful shouts of deliverance.” Psalm 32:6–7