We’ve been struggling at our house to be on time. My little bit is old enough to manage her own schedule. Next year she’ll be out on her own, yet she is still struggling with sleep and alarm clocks. It can be frustrating for all of us, the school, her mother and especially herself. This isn’t a recent development for her. She’s battled to be up and moving in the mornings for years. On one level it is just how God created the child. On the other hand, the world expects promptness, and consequences come with lateness.
This battle is just one of life’s little struggles. A dear sister in Christ has reminded me this past week that we often have much larger battles to wage, battles that mean suffering, quality of life and even life or death. Great suffering. For the believer who is suffering severely or has been suffering for a long period of time, death can seem to be the better option. Physical and emotional trials can last for days, weeks even years. Those watching from the outside just want their suffering to stop. We pray for healing and beg for relief and peace.
Maybe we should be praying for strength and grace for each day as God allows the trial to mold and shape them. We act as if these circumstances are a surprise to God and that somehow He has dropped the ball in our loved one’s life.
He is the potter and we are the clay.
We may do everything right in the world’s eyes in taking care of ourselves. She did. Yet she has laid in the hospital baffling the doctors as they attempt to locate the source of her physical ailments for more than a week. The unknown can be a very scary place to be. Yet when we take our eyes off of our circumstances, which are temporary, and place them back where they should be, on our great God, we see that we have nothing to fear. If we suffer, He is with us. Jesus suffered too and is compassionate and faithful.
I know that she walked with Him daily. I know that He has knitted her together as His workmanship. I know that she loves and trusts Him. And I know that He has allowed this trial for His glory, because when we are weak He is strong. Therefore, as I pray for her, I must remember these things. I am selfish and want her restored to full health, back at home, smiling and laughing. But God is teaching me not to offer up selfish prayers that are not heard. Rather I am to pray according to His will.
Father God, help me to love her well through this trial with encouragement and Your hope. Continue Lord to draw her close to You, filling her with Your love and peace. Strengthen her to face each new day with grace and eyes to see all that you have for her to do. Help her see each blessing that You lovingly send her way. Help her speak boldly for You at every opportunity. And Lord, if it is in Your will for her, please heal her body soon so that her suffering is shortened. Amen.
God is always good. Life is sometimes hard. Our faith is tested in these times and when we hold strong to His promises in His word, our faith grows. I have been reminded this past week that I don’t fear death personally, but I do still struggle with the death of those that I love. I fear losing them. Lord help me not to sin in the midst of my fear.
If you are in a trial or walking beside a friend who is in one, seek God’s truth and cling to His promises. Stand firm in the faith as you were taught. You will receive a crown of glory for your perseverance.
So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal. (2 Corinthians 4:16-18 ESV)
Be encouraged. Press on.