Tuesday, March 1, 2011
The Blessing of Trials
I'm going to be honest with you. I had a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day yesterday. One of my friends posted this on facebook: "I know I'm supposed to see everyday as a gift...but I've got my gift receipt and I want to exchange today for Saturday." Amen, sister. I felt the same way. It was a day in which I felt beaten down, discouraged, and just tired. I'm dealing with a situation like what Paul described in 2 Corinthians: "...there was given me a thorn in my flesh...to torment me. Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me." It's something I've been dealing with for a very, very long time, and yesterday I wearied of still having that thorn in my side! I was very glad to go to bed last night, to end that most difficult day...and then morning came. I woke up, made a pot of Ethiopian Yiracheffe coffee, curled up in a chair with His Word, and let Him bind up the wounds I had received. I asked for strength, and He gave it to me. I asked Him to help me respond in the Spirit and not react in the flesh, and He did. I asked Him to help me to rejoice in my sufferings...well, we're still working on that one. Someday, I'd like to be able to say (and mean) what Paul said. "That is why, for Christ's sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong."
Here's what I'm learning about trials. They expose how truly weak I am. They remind me how much I need Him. They teach me to depend on Him. Have you been watching the news? The Middle East is a mess right now; we sit and wait and very often have no idea what's going on with our adoption. All I know is that our babies are over there, and I want them OUT. I want them safe. It's a trial; a small one, but a trial. I can start to feel anxious for their safety. I can wonder why we must wait with no word on what's happening. And then I have to remember what Paul learned. "[The Lord said to me], 'My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is made perfect in weakness.'" From what I can tell in the Word of God, this lesson can only be learned through trials. Big, small, and every kind in between. The trial can bring me into deeper, more trusting relationship with God Himself. As I think about it, that's not a bad trade-off at all.