Today’s Truth

My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts, says the LORD. And my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine.

Isaiah 55:8

Friend to Friend

I want every blessing God has for me. I know you feel the same way. God is not a heavenly vending machine that dispenses blessings simply because we want them.

And honestly, sometimes I just don’t get the way He works.

I have been a Christ follower for many years. I am a Christian author and speaker and a pastor’s wife. Over the years, God has brought me out of more pits than I can count. I have attended church since the day I was born. My faith in God should be unwavering, and I should never doubt or question Him or His plan. But sometimes I do.

The problem is not that God refuses to bless my life. The problem is that I need to understand what a true blessing is.

I ask God to meet financial needs … and my car breaks down.

I seek deliverance from depression … but still have to battle it every day.

I get through one crisis … only to find another one waiting.

I have come to see all of these problems as blessings.

When my car broke down, God used the men in my husband’s fireside group to provide a car for me to drive.

Depression keeps me desperate for God and helps me relate to other women who struggle with the darkness.

Living in a state of crisis helps me understand that I can trust Him in every storm that comes my way.

A young man was graduating from college. For months he had admired a beautiful sports car in a dealer’s showroom. Knowing his father could easily afford the car, the young man told his father that the car was all he wanted for a graduation gift.

On the morning of his graduation, the father called his son into his private study and told him how proud he was to have such a fine son and how much he loved him. He then handed his son a beautifully wrapped gift box.

The young man opened the box and found a beautiful leather-bound Bible with the young man’s name embossed in gold. Furious, the young man yelled at his dad, “With all your money, you gave me a Bible?” and stormed out of the house, leaving the Bible and his father behind.

Many years passed. The young man was a great success in the business world, had a beautiful home and wonderful family, but realized his father was very old. “Maybe I should go home and make things right,” he thought. He had not seen him since that graduation day. But before he could make the arrangements to go home, he received word that his father had died, leaving all of his possessions to his son. He needed to go home immediately to take care of things.

When he arrived at his father’s house, he was filled with grief and regret. As he searched through his father’s papers, he saw the Bible, just as he had left it years ago. With tears streaming down his face, the son opened the Bible and slowly began to turn the pages.

His father has carefully underlined Matthew 7:11, “And if ye, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more shall your Heavenly Father which is in heaven, give to those who ask Him?”

As he read the words chosen by his father, a car key dropped from the back of the Bible. Attached to the key was a tag with the dealer’s name, the same dealer who had the sports car he had so desperately wanted. On the tag was the date of his graduation, and the words, “Paid in full.”

Sometimes we miss God’s blessings because they don’t come like we expect them to come. What are you asking God to do in your life? Maybe He has already done it and you just don’t see it. Maybe the key is there – a treasure in the darkness.

As humans, we will never fully understand God – this side of heaven. We may understand some of His ways and comprehend the reasoning behind some of His plans. But a full understanding of God is reserved for heaven. Until then, we walk by faith, not by sight. We praise Him in the darkness, knowing that the light is just ahead. We trust Him for things we cannot see and rest in Him when the darkness comes.

Let’s Pray

Father, I come to You, asking You to forgive me for not trusting You to bless me. Even when I cannot always see or understand the blessing, I know it is there. You are a good God, and Your love for me is unconditional. Help me learn to sift through the darkness for the treasure you have buried there.

In Jesus’ name,


Now It’s Your Turn

Make a list of the three trials you are facing right now. What lesson have you learned in the midst of those trials? How much stronger are you now because you have gone through each trial? How can you use each trial to minister to others going through the same trial? Record your thoughts in your journal and choose to praise God for each one.

More from the Girlfriends

Storms and trials are a reality of life. While we cannot avoid difficult situations, we can find strength for every storm we face. Learning how to deal with difficult circumstances can make the difference between a life of victory and a life of defeat. Strength for the Storm is a powerful five-week storm survival guide study based on the life of the apostle Paul. Check it out.

Be sure to check out the FREE MP3s on Mary’s website. Connect with Mary through email or on Facebook.

12 Responses to “A Blessing or a Trial?”

  1. SUSAN says:

    WOW!i lack words to say,am humbled,my heart is broken down by the entrance of this word,i long to trust God more and more,this is a great blessing.
    God bless you mary.

    • Susan, believe me, friend, I am right there with you! God bless you as you seek Him and His plan for your life. That trial will bring you to His heart as you seek Him. He is with you and for you! And so are we! Blessings.

  2. Mandy says:

    Oh, Mary! What a gift this morning! Thank you for the devotional! Emotional devotional! This so touched my heart this morning! It made cry, but also made me ponder. I have been fretting lately about different life issues and realized I am back to the old worry wart instead of truly trusting him to work it out! It may be as simple as realizing a blessing in disguise! Thank you! Blessings!

    • Mandy, it is so easy to fall back into that trap, isn’t it? I encourage you to memorize a few verses of Scripture on worry and when it comes … reject that worry with the Word!!! The best weapon I know. God bless you, friend.

  3. Renee says:

    Thank you so much for these words. They were right on time.

  4. Charlotte says:

    God bless you Mary for today’s devotional message. I posted last week to a devotion from Gwen that I was currently in a dark valley in life. I needed a message from God to just let me know he is still here watching over me and my family. I received an encouraging reply from a sister named Jennie and now your devotion is another Godly encouragement for me. I know God is providing me with messages to stay faithful and know that he is God. Thank you and may God continue to bless Girlfriends in God!

  5. Kat says:

    Mary, I feel like God is speaking directly to me through you as his vessel. I am going through several trials right now. Your words remind me that God is with me, watching over me, and will answer my prayers in HIS way. Thank you.

  6. Angela says:

    I have also suffered from depression due to circumstances in my life. I felt that God had taken His hand off of me for a long time. I have been jolted out of the rut I have found myself in, as my depression affected my family to the extent that my husband was looking for something more in his life that he wasn’t getting from me.
    I pray now that God will also keep me desperate for Him, & I will count my trials as blessings.
    Jeremiah 29:11 keeps on coming up in repeated searches, & I need to take hold of this promise.

  7. Laura says:

    Perfect timing! This brought me to tears and really made me think. Thank you!

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"We loved you so much that we were delighted to share with you not only the gospel of God but our lives as well…" 1 Thessalonians 2:8