I got blind-sided this week. Not like Joseph. No cisterns or evil brothers. Instead, it involved a nice duck pond and a rather aggressive goose.
My children, Lindsay and Josh, and I stopped at the duck pond one day while she was here visiting. Ever since Lindsay was a little girl, it’s been one of her favorite things to do. So, with bread and crackers in hand, we strolled through the group of ducks and geese. Believe me, no one went hungry. When I suggested we mosey on down the path to feed the turtles, a goose charged and latched onto my leg above my knee. I’m not suggesting he understood English and knew his food source was leaving, but whatever his reason for aggression, neither I, nor my leg, cared. I just wanted the fool thing to turn loose, which he eventually did. A pit bull wouldn’t have anything on a goose’s beak. In hindsight, I should’ve grabbed him around the neck and his mouth probably would’ve popped open. A tidbit of info to store away, if it happens again. J
We’ve all been blindsided in life by an unwanted attack. Most aren’t as silly as my illustration. Sometimes it’s an accident or illness or death of a loved one. The victims of the 9/11 terror attacks were blindsided. People receiving cancer diagnoses are blindsided.
I talked to a friend today who suffered through a life-changing trial a few years ago. Of course, as we all do, she asked the why question.
Why did you allow this, God?
The fallout and suffering hardly seemed worth any good that could come from it. Recently, God has begun to provide opportunities for her to minister to others going through similar life-altering situations.
As Christians, our response during trials will include the why question. There’s nothing wrong with that. But getting stuck there can pose serious spiritual problems. In time, God often shows us the “why” of a situation through what we choose to do with the lesson of the trial.
Do we simply rail against pain and suffering? Or do we become more mature Christians by choosing to walk through the trial with Him?
The Apostle Paul spoke of such trials throughout his many letters.
We sent Timothy, who is our brother and co-worker in God’s service in spreading the gospel of Christ, to strengthen and encourage you in your faith, so that no one would be unsettled by these trials. For you know quite well that we are destined for them. 1 Thessalonians 3:2-3
We can expect to be blind-sided in this fallen world. But we can also cling to the promise from James, the half-brother of Jesus:
Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. James 1:2-4
And again from the Apostle Paul:
Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us. Romans 5:3-5
God doesn’t just leave us in the trial to suffer. He brings us through stronger, as more mature Christians, abiding in his hope and sharing it with those we encounter.
My prayer for each of us today is we’ll accept God’s grace and mercy to comfort and strengthen us as we persevere through our trials. May we experience the joy that only He can provide through the Holy Spirit.
I don't know, I don't know
What tomorrow may hold
But I know, but I know
That You're holding it all
So no matter what may come
I'm gonna fix my eyes on all that You are
'Til every doubt I feel
Deep in my heart
Grows strangely dim
Please pray for comfort, strength, healing, and wisdom for those listed on the prayer list above, as well as for those on the mission page and Sgt. Jesse McCart.
New prayer requests this week:
· Children seriously injured (blunt trauma and burns) during a fireworks show. Please pray for their physical and emotional recovery, as well as comfort during their healing.
· Laura Hilton’s oldest son, unnamed request. “God knows.”
· Christian McNeal recently gave birth and is undergoing surgery for a condition that developed after delivery.
· Pregnant young lady hospitalized for possible preeclampsia
If you have a prayer need, please leave a comment or e-mail me confidential requests. I’d love to pray for you.
©Laura Hodges Poole