Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.
Friend to Friend
If it were up to me, I would have written some stories differently. My second child would not have died, and I would have a little girl who would be 21 years old this year. Carol’s son would not be in prison. Linda’s 20-year-old daughter would not be a quadriplegic. Barbara’s daughter would not be bipolar. Patty’s 21-year-old daughter would not have died in a car accident. Jennifer’s husband would not have died of a brain tumor. If I had been writing the story.
But I’m so glad I’m not the author of those stories. Each and every one of these friends has ministries that impact thousands upon thousands of women all over the world. God has turned their pain into purpose, the misery into ministry, and their devastation into anointed messages of hope and restoration. Sudden glories fill and spill from each of these women’s lives. Their love journeys of living and moving and having their being in Christ have led them through dark valleys and back out into the light on the other side. They practically glow with radiant wonder.
Difficult times are pregnant with glory moments just waiting to be birthed in the lives of those willing to labor through the pain. The key is to not allow bitterness and anger to make our hearts infertile to God’s gifts. One way to avoid the darkening of the soul is by constant communication seasoned with thanksgiving—a continual acknowledgement of His presence.
Glory moments in difficult times are not dependent on our circumstances, but on our focus. Focus on the difficulty and God is difficult to see. Focus on God and glory seeps through the broken places. Difficulties become the bass notes of our life’s song, adding a depth and beauty not found in a life that hovers around middle C.
After my husband and I got out of college, we moved to Charlotte so that my husband could go into practice with another doctor. But after we moved here, the doctor changed his mind.
“Sorry, Steve. Good luck,” the doctor said.
I was so upset. OK, I was angry. Flat out angry. Angry with the doctor and angry with God. We had no money. No job. And school debt.
Three months later a situation opened up that was far better than our original plan. It was Ephesians 3:20 in lab-coat white: “Now to him who is able to do immeasurable more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us…”
Well, why didn’t God do that in the first place? Why didn’t He lead us to that second opportunity when we did all that praying and seeking? He could have. But He is far more interested in developing our character than doling out a life of comfort and ease. C.S. Lewis notes: “If you think of this world as a place intended simply for our happiness, you find it quite intolerable. Think of it as a place of training and correction and it’s not so bad.”
We are ever the students. He is the teacher still. Trials rip away the flimsy fabric of self-sufficiency and become the raw material for God’s miracles in our lives. And those miracles are a sudden glory.
Someone once said, “Faith means believing in advance what will only make sense in reverse.” Oh that we would trust Him even if the twists and turns never make sense this side of heaven. That’s what trusting God is all about. As we live and move and have our being in Him, the dark places are simply opportunities to trust that He knows the way—and the perfect time to hold on tight.
Father, thank You for always knowing and doing what is best for me. Forgive me when I don’t trust You, but think that my way is best. I know that You have wonderful surprises in store for me when I simply trust You in all things. Thank You for being the Teacher. Help me to be a good student of Your Truth.
In Jesus’ Name,
Now It’s Your Turn
We can easily fall into the trap of thinking that God has forgotten us during difficult time. How do we see that in David’s words of Psalm 77:1-9?
Now read the rest of the Psalm. What did David do to remind himself of the faithfulness of God?
How does trusting God change the way you look at difficult situations?