Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort!
2 Corinthians 1:3
Friend to Friend
Tears streamed down my face as I held our seven-year-old grandson, watching him sleep. “Mimi, please lay down with me. Let’s snuggle. I’m so cold,” he asked. I would do anything for this child. He has my heart.
The beeping machines recorded his heart rate, oxygen level … and other vital statistics that simply underscored how sick Justus was. His temperature had risen to 106 but now hovered around 104. The lymph glands in his neck continued to swell to the point that he could not turn his head or open his mouth. Test results confirmed the fact that he had a bacterial infection and a viral infection.
I heard him scream as they tried to draw blood. I held his head when he threw up after trying to take medicine he desperately needed but couldn’t swallow. Our daughter and son-in-law had been by his side day and night and were absolutely exhausted. The doctors kept running tests, trying to identify the specific bacteria causing the infection so they could target it with the right antibiotic.
He had been in the hospital for days … with no answer. The doctors said it was just a matter of time until they found that answer. I. Wanted. It. Now.
And I was angry. God and I had gone a few rounds about the whole situation.
Oh, I know and teach truly believe that trials and hard times are for our good. I am well acquainted with pain and darkness. It is one thing for me to battle the pit of depression or deal with physical pain every minute of every day, but it is a game changer to watch my seven-year-old grandson handle pain and darkness with courage and sheer grace.
I am in awe.
And I have learned a whole new level of faith in the midst of this kind of storm. I have knelt at His feet, learning how to fully – I mean wholly surrender someone I desperately love to the Father.
Trials and hard times are an important part of life because they break us. And the most beautiful life is the most broken life. I have a love-hate relationship with that truth. But this I know. God is forever covering each pain with His infinite love and mercy, bringing hope and encouragement where there was once only despair. We just have to remember who God really is – the God of all comfort and compassion.
Trouble strengthens our faith and builds endurance, the ability to stay under the load. We have a loving Father who is committed to building the character of His Son in us. His love wants what is best for us, not what is easiest.
Shallow love rescues easily and quickly.
Real love walks with us through the trial.
God wants us to trust Him in the trials of life, even when it makes no sense, and even when there seems to be no explanation.
Isaiah 55: 8-9 The Lord says, ‘My thoughts are not like your thoughts. Your ways are not like my ways. Just as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts higher than your thoughts.’
It is easy to have faith and to trust God when the wind is still and the waters are calm. But the true measure of our faith is when we are in the midst of a howling storm, our boat is leaking, and there is no land in sight.
God’s comfort is most cherished when our pain is the strongest. The darker it gets, the brighter His light shines. We may be down, girlfriend, but we are never out, because God is the Shepherd of every valley, Lord of every storm, and Friend of the wounded heart.
When God pushes you to the edge, trust Him fully … because only two things can happen. Either He will catch you when you fall, or He will teach you how to fly. Either way, God’s got you.
Father, I am guilty of looking for the easiest way out of a painful circumstance instead of looking for Your hand at work. I want to become a woman of faith and learn to trust You enough to keep my gaze on You and my glance on my circumstances. And even when my faith is weak, please help me place that faith in You alone.
In Jesus’ Name,
Now It’s Your Turn
Read James 1:2-3 My brothers and sisters, when you have many kinds of troubles, you should be full of joy, because you know that these troubles test your faith, and this will give you patience.
Think back over the past month. What trials have you faced? What was your response to those trials? Has God strengthened you or taught you a lesson through your trials? In your journal, record what God has accomplished in your life and how He has strengthened your faith through the tough times you have experienced.
More from the Girlfriends
Storms are a reality of life. How can we face and weather each storm without drowning? In her MP3 download, Strength for the Storm, Mary shares fresh strategies for handling difficult times to help you:
- Control your fear of the unknown in order to enjoy life today.
- Choose a perspective of joy that will enable you to face each storm with strength and victory.
- Identify the purpose of storms so you can produce lasting, powerful changes in your life.