Ever imagine a world without trials and suffering; with no pain and heartache? A world where we can be truly happy without risking anything or anyone? A world where there was no judgment, only empathy? Where everyone has enough and there are no Jones’ to keep up with?
I’ve heard lately that our trials are what allow us to grow to know God’s true character and immeasurable love . This can be a difficult thing for many of us to grasp in the midst of illness, death, unemployment, loneliness. We even tend to blame God for allowing such things to happen, especially if we are His followers. We tend to question and doubt His motives. We would never admit to it, but we wonder “is this really going to work for my good?”
We look at situations in our lives and are certain that God didn’t intentionally allow them because they are just too bad or too much for us to handle. We tend to give ourselves more credit than we should. We think it was our choice to go down that road or allow that person into our lives, when it was His doing all along; He allowed it for a reason.
I was watching True Stories in the E.R. today. There was a story of a 15 year old who came in because he had been hit in the side of his head with a baseball during practice. When he arrived at the E.R. he was able to speak, but as time passed, he was obviously losing brain function. A CT scan showed he had hemorrhaging in his brain and needed emergency surgery to stop the bleeding. During the surgery, they noticed that his bones were extremely brittle; he had advanced osteoporosis. Further blood tests showed the reason for the advanced osteoporosis was because his kidneys were failing. He needed a kidney transplant immediately in order to survive. He had survived one surgery, but now needed another. In ends on a happy note; his father was a perfect match and was able to donate one of his kidneys with no complications.
Ok. Now, imagine if he wasn’t hit by that baseball? His parents admitted that he had not shown any signs of kidney problems or weak bones, but yet his disease was so advanced, he was on the verge of death. He could’ve died at any time and no one would have been able to do anything about it. But because he accidentally got hit by a ball, his life was saved.
How often do we experience the same thing? God often allows such devastation and heartache in our lives in order to reveal something deeper. He brings challenges into our lives, to show us the bigger picture. This world, our lives are not about us. He might make things harder for us just so we can draw closer to Him and bring Him the glory through those very trials He allowed and we survived.
All stories are so much more interesting when there is a twist in it. We are more excited and intrigued in a book or movie when the “plot thickens”. So, why do we shy and squirm away when the twists and the thickened plot happens in our own life? His plan for His children does not include happiness and comfort. Those are just temporary. What He offers, and our trials teach us, is eternal. It’s joy and contentment.