Life can be full of unexpected trials, events, changes and turmoil which can lead to a heap of uncertainty. These trials can be wonderful and exciting as you don’t know what will be around the corner. Sometimes they can be devastating, painful, hard to endure as you feel like the very foundations of your life are being ripped away. It’s these hard moments that sometimes makes you wonder what God has planned for you.
Life has felt like this lately. If I was a jar in my Father’s hands, I’d say that He has been throwing me to the ground then rebuilding me over and over again, not with new clay, but with the same imperfect lump. Softening edges, making adjustments, thrown back into the kiln time and time again. Stuck together with super glue or liquid nails, or whatever you use to glue a jar back together after it has been obliterated.
Even though things have been tough, I can see that these unexpected trials have helped me be a better mum. A better wife. A better sister to my sisters in Christ.
God is teaching me that He is in control. Teaching me that I need to take my hands off. Teaching me that all I need to do is love those around me and walk alongside them as they go through their own struggles. Teaching me that being gracious to others is better than seeking what is best for me.
A few years ago, I read Mere Christianity by CS Lewis. In his book, that is an adaption of radio transcripts based on Christian apologetics from the 1940’s, Lewis wrote:
“Imagine yourself as a living house. God comes in to rebuild that house. At first, perhaps, you can understand what He is doing. He is getting the drains right and stopping the leaks in the roof and so on: you knew those jobs needed doing and so you are not surprised. But presently he starts knocking the house about in a way that hurts abominably and does not seem to make sense. What on earth is He up to? The explanation is that He is building quite a different house from the one you thought of—throwing out a new wing here, putting on an extra floor there, running up towers, making courtyards. You thought you were going to be made into a decent little cottage: but He is building a palace.”
I am a house and He is making me into a palace. I should have a sign on my back saying, “Come back later, renovations in progress.”
This quote has taught me over the years to see trials as opportunities. Opportunities for growth. We need to remember that God does not look on our trials as adversity. He looks at them as being opportunities to make us draw closer to Him. God’s purpose for us in times of trials is to teach us. The trials smash us down, yet the lesson in each of them builds us up stronger. Every time we learn from them, we can see that great promise come to fulfillment in our lives.
“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.” Jeremiah 29:11
God wants the best for us, but in this life, we will have to deal with the devastating effects of sin and so we should not be surprised when life is not all rainbows and lollipops. He watches to see how we react to trials, and He wants to see us reach our full potential, to become the person that we are called to be, ultimately someone who is able to give Him the glory, no matter what is happening in our life.
So this attitude of gratitude and contentment even during times of trials, where does it come from? It is a gift from God.
How can you deal with trials in your life?
- Read His Word and seek His truths and promises.
- Don’t ignore the problem.
- Confess your sins if that is needed!
- Seek the counsel of wiser, older people.
- Focus on the important things and if needed, hunker down and ride out the storm without the noise of a busy social life.
- Focus on the small things of daily life that bring your closer to God. Prayer life, devotions, church attendance.
Most of all, just imagine your life as an ongoing renovation. Get on your knees and pray, “God your will be done!” and just look forward to the great unveiling of that beautiful palace!