It was one of THOSE days today. The kind where darkness threatens to descend and overtake any hint of joy. Where I’m tempted to let the blanket of discouragement douse out the flicker of hope.
I’ve been writing a lot about trials lately, but quite honestly it seems I’ve been in the clear for a few months. After a long rollercoaster season of ups and downs, I’ve come to the point where I can see clearly enough to write encouragement from a higher perspective. It’s not that it’s been an easy year, in particular, just a less afflicted year.
Then came some discouraging news, a new wave of challenges brewing on the horizon. I guess I’m not off the hook, after all. Didn’t Jesus say, “in this world, we will have trials”? Yet when they come, we’re tempted to throw those OTHER promises in his face—the lighter, easier ones that don’t deal with suffering. “Why have you forsaken me?” we cry, forgetting it’s not him who’s forsaken us.
Maybe, in the end, it’s us who’ve forsaken his word, looking to it only for the promises of ease and comfort. We accuse God of giving us a stone when we asked for bread, not remembering the word that declares God a loving father who gives his children what they need. It’s a matter of how we see each gift he gives.
When his precious daughter Rachel was killed in the 1999 Columbine massacre, Darrel Scott talked about developing “see through” vision. When it seemed he’d been handed a stone, he was determined to see through his awful tragedy to the good that could come from it. He devoted his life, and his daughter’s memory, to bring blessing in the midst of evil.
I can’t say I’ve yet encountered anything near as tragic as Darrel Scott and his family, but I can say his sentiments about “see through” vision have kept me over the years through the various trials I’ve encountered. I’m learning to take what’s given me and see that God can take even the most hopeless of circumstances and bring forth life.
In the end, it’s true, “In this world, we will have trouble.” But Jesus also said, “take heart! I have overcome the world.” That’s the hope I cling to.
“Shall we accept good from God, and not trouble?” (Job 2:10)
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