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A Word from Jill

Back when Stuart and I were missionaries, his travel schedule was painfully arduous. For several months out of the year he was gone, traveling all over the world teaching the Bible. It would be an understatement to say it was very difficult for me.

I distinctly remember kneeling down one night beside my bed and mourning my husband’s absence. I was coming to the end of myself… bitter, defeated, certainly unable to rise above my circumstances. And just then, I thought of Hannah.

You see, Hannah had also come to the end of herself. She was childless, barren, and depressed to the point that she wouldn’t eat or drink. Yet, even in the depths of despair, she “pour(ed) out her soul to the Lord” (1 Samuel 1:15). Hannah lived above her circumstances!

In my situation, I wasn’t childless—but I felt husbandless. So following Hannah’s example, I said to God, “I’ve had it. I’m sick and tired of being sick and tired. I give you permission to take my husband. He’s yours anyway. I’m done being bitter!”

Then one morning I woke and my heart was singing. So I got up and praised God for giving me this unspeakable joy!

You see, God worked when I relinquished the permission to write the story of my life. My circumstances hadn’t changed, but God changed me to live above my circumstances.

I’m taking this truth to heart this month as Stuart rejoices with our Lord in heaven. We who remain will continue to struggle, not least because we miss him, but even death cannot separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus (Romans 8:38-39). We still have grace to live above our circumstances.

And that’s my prayer for you as well.

Through tough marriages, through sickness, through financial problems, through pain, even through death… how you respond is one of the greatest testimonies you’ll ever give to God’s faithfulness. And He doesn’t want you to languish but to thrive in Him.

So as you go about your daily life, remember, there’s no circumstance that can come your way that God has not given you the strength to live above