I didn’t experience these things alone. My captain, Jesus, was with me. Together we faced each day. Together we braved the storms of adversity. Together we laughed and enjoyed the sunshine. I knew Jesus had a plan for our voyage and had charted the way.
Still, there were times when I questioned His judgment, when l already felt weak and weary of the struggle but would catch sight of yet another storm gathering on the horizon. “Jesus, must we go through more hardship?” I would plead. “If You love me as much as You say You do, can’t You make my voyage easier?”
With a smile, Jesus would softly reply, “I do love you that much. I always have and always will. Although everything around you may seem rough and stormy right now, it is only for a time. The sky will appear brighter and more beautiful after the storm. Just hold My hand, and I will see you through. Look for the blessings that these storms bring.”
The secret, I learned, was to stay close to Him until the clouds cleared. And while I waited, I discovered some wonderful things. His loving presence became even more real to me during those stormy days, and His reassuring words gave me strength, soothed my nerves, and allayed my fears. And those blessings He spoke of? As I stand at the threshold of another new year, I look back and see that those times of testing engendered courage, faith, and hope—courage to never give up despite opposition and difficulties; faith anchored in a love that will never let me down; and hope in Jesus, who has a perfect plan not only for my next year, but for my whole life.