Trials … oh, how we all wish they did not come upon us! As much as I dislike them – doesn’t everybody? – I have come to see that without them we would not grow and mature into the men and women that God desires to see us become. That’s not to say I welcome them but it does give me a different perspective than I used to have.
In times past I cried out to God asking why He was allowing a trial in my life; what had I done to deserve this; where was He when I needed Him; why didn’t He answer when I called out to Him; why me, Lord, why me! Now after 40 years of practice I have better understanding which actually does make the difficulties easier to handle.
First of all, God does not cause the situation that gives me grief. Generally it is just the circumstances of life or the end result of something that I have done that brings distress into my life. But since it is there God uses it to test me, to increase my faith and perseverance and to show me His power at work in my life and in the lives of my loved ones.
Secondly, some trials seem to be on automatic repeat … they come, they go; they come, they go; sometimes they come and stay for long periods of time and go for short periods of time. I wonder why it can’t be the other way around but I try very hard to always enjoy and be grateful for the respites from difficulty no matter how short they are. Some circumstances never really go away, you just have to learn to live with them and trust that God knows what He is doing in your life.
I am learning also that we are to be overcomers; repeats of the same trial in different disguises may be God’s way of telling us that we didn’t quite get the hang of handling it correctly last time so we need to have more practice. And the quicker I learn to handle it His way, the quicker it will be resolved by Him. This is a good one to remember … my lack of faith and patience may actually make a trial last longer than originally intended.
And sometimes there are those special people on whom God places a heavy burden of deep trial. I’ve noticed that those who walk this walk may appear to the world to be weak and of little use to society but their indomitable spirit and deep wellspring of hope and determination with the help of God’s power in their lives is an example for all of us – an example of the quality of relationship with our Heavenly Father for which we all need to strive.
I have known and know now a few such people and they have enriched my life beyond measure. My prayer is that I, too, can become that quality of person so that His light will be evident in my life as it is in theirs and that their reward will be beyond their wildest dreams.