Laura Story, a popular Christian artist, sings a song entitled, “Blessings”. The song talks about how we always pray for good things for ourselves and our loved ones. In the song, she poses the question, “What if trials of this life are blessings in disguise?” She says that when we don’t see immediate answered prayer, we doubt God’s love and we get angry that He has abandoned us.
That is not true. God promises that He will never, never, never leave us or forsake us. We may feel that He is not near, that He does not care – “Where are you in the midst of my heartache and pain, God? Why are you putting me through this? Why are you allowing this? How can such a good God allow so many bad things to happen?”
King David said the same things to God. Job questioned God in his anger. God said the same thing to both men, “I AM here.”
“Yet I am confident I will see the Lord’s goodness while I am here in the land of the living.” (Psalm 27:13)
I can say that He is here, that the trials of this life are blessings. I am not being “Pollyanna-ish” when I say that trials are blessings, but I have allowed the trials to change me. I remember sitting in a therapist’s office when I was in the middle of the divorce and sobbing until I had nothing left. My heart was broken, my soul felt dead, I truly felt abandoned. Yet, I knew God was there. He was with me in the kind and gentle words of two of the most amazing ladies who walked through the divorce with me. He was with me in the love of Cycle Dude. He was with me in the middle of the night when I cried and Jack (my boxer/terrier) snuggled a little closer to me.
It is hard to admit that pain and heartache change us – some for the better, some for the worse. When we are faced with the trials of this life, how do we react? Do we lash out in anger because of the trial or do we say, “Ok. This hurts and I don’t want to be in this place, but teach me, Father. Let me be there for someone else who will go through this same thing.”
The trials I have endured have brought me closer to God, closer to Cycle Dude, closer to my children, closer to my two friends who were there for me. I am kinder, gentler, more compassionate and quicker to reach out to others. I know life is hard. I know life hurts. I know there are days when we want to wish it all away. Would I be a better person had I not gone through those trials? Maybe eventually. Maybe not.
If you are in the midst of a trial right now and feel you can’t endure any longer, sit down and close your eyes. Breathe a prayer of “Help!” to God. Cry until you have nothing left. Find that one close friend who will hug you as you cry or let you call her at 3am. I remember feeling so battle weary, so bereft of anything good or useful, so drained and empty. God is there. The trials of this life will draw you back to Him. Trust Him. Stay tuned . . . .