When you’re in the midst of difficult things, it’s nigh impossible to see the good that will one day come out of it. When my mom was sick, I couldn’t see the good. I could see the end, the end meaning her death. I knew that was coming. But I could not see the good while in the midst of pain. All I knew was that it hurt, more than anything else I had ever felt. It made me feel like I needed to turn off my feelings, because they were so intense. I was sick of pain and emotional turmoil. So tired of bursting into tears at really random and inconvenient times. Anyway, it was painful to say the least. And I could NOT see the good.
But now that I am on the other side of this awful tragedy, I am starting to see the good. Not that my mom dying was “good” per se. No, but the Lord is good. And he ordained and chose to take her home in his perfect timing.
“He is working all things for the good of those who love him.”(Romans 8:28)
This verse is definitely overused by Christians who are trying to comfort people who have gone through a trial that they don’t understand. But that doesn’t make it less true. God DOES work out everything for the good of those who love him.
I couldn’t see the good in the midst of the trial. But I’m starting to see the good now. The Lord laid it on my heart to share my testimony on tour with my choir group. I had no idea why he wanted me to, I just knew he desired it of me. And I was given the opportunity to share my pain nine times to nine different groups of people. And they helped me find the good. I had no idea the impact that my story would have on so many. I had no idea how many others were struggling through similar trials. I had no idea how many lives my words would touch.
Standing in front of a sea of faces that I don’t recognize, sharing with them a very personal story is rather daunting, and doing it nine times makes it a bit more intimidating. But, seeing tears, headed bowed in prayer, nods, smiles, and resounding Amen’s.
How could I have ever known the impact of the story the Lord would write through me?
Alysha. A beautiful young girl whose mom had died the week before I met her. She wept while I was talking, and I approached her later. There’s a certain level of connection that can only be gained through mutual pain, and we had this connection. Praise the Lord for bringing her into my life. Please pray for her.
And then there was Mabel and her daughter. They embraced me, and thanked my through tears. They too were watching a loved one deteriorate through the devastation of cancer. Someone who will meet her Savior very soon. Please pray for them too.
Who knew that pain was so incredibly equalizing?
That is what our struggles are for my dear brothers and sisters! They are for the encouragement of others. They are for the sanctification of our souls. They are for the glorification of the Lord. He writes his story through us and our struggles. He uses us as vessels to proclaim his majesty. And then. THEN he puts people in our lives that need to hear the work he has done in us! Nothing goes to waste. But I caution you my dear friends. In order for us to reap the blessings in a true and wonderful way, we need to have our focus be solely on the Lord, for he is “the author and perfecter of our faith.” (Hebrews 12:2)
He can use our pain and suffering no matter our attitude. But imagine this. Imagine that you were given an amazing gift, but were hoping for and expecting something different. In this situation, we would be tempted to have a bad and ungrateful attitude. But, if we had no expectation, and were given the same gift, we would be overjoyed! So, let’s have the mindset that we don’t deserve a specific thing, or anything really, and that we are blessed beyond compare no matter what we are given. If our attitude is correct, we will reap more of the benefits of our suffering, as opposed to just being dragged along against our will.
When the Lord saw fit to take my momma out of this world, I had no idea the impact she had had on others. I had no idea how faithful and steadfast the Lord would be through the deepest valley. I had no idea the impact my story would have on many others. And not even my story, but the story He chose to write through me. Yes, it has been painful. Yes, it has been difficult. Yes, it has seemed impossible. But he has chosen me to tell this story. I am absolutely privileged and overcome with gratitude.
How Great is Our God!