Yesterday my husband, Stan and I were racing to get home to our small hobby farm to meet the Fish Wagon. Fish Wagon? Yes, a Fish Wagon. A company from Arkansas came to deliver 100 bass, 200 catfish, crappie, minnows, and 900 brims to our pond. As we were watching this unfold, our guests from our bed and breakfast (fairbreezecottage.com) walked up to meet us. I hardly meet a stranger, and soon found myself in a deep conversation with a sweet woman named, Lynn. I’m not sure how it happens, but it seems my conversations with people often turn towards the subject of God. I sensed that she loved God and was a strong believer. Soon she shared that her sister’s two boys are presently battling cancer, and now the sister (mother of the two boys) just found out she has the disease. Lynn’s husband is also having health issues.
With tears in her eyes, she looked at me and asked me, “How do you trust Him in times like these? I know He loves us and knows what’s best for us, but it’s so hard sometimes.” Unable to express my sympathy into words I remained silent while simultaneously asking our Lord to give me some words of encouragement, or some great words of wisdom. And yet, all I could do was just hug her and say, “I know.” Because I do know. I have been there. “There” meaning trusting God during a trial. We all have had hard times in our lives where as Christians we find it hard to trust Him. But in all the trials that I have trusted Him, He has brought me through and taught me many unseen beautiful things about Himself and myself that I could not have known had I not gone through the experience. Because of those battles that waged long, I now have a better knowledge of God that I would never have gained otherwise because who else could I cling to for help? No human being or man made thing could have given me the guidance, peace, comfort and strength to persevere. Only Jesus could. It was during those earthly battles that I not only clung to Him, but also depended on Him to give me all these things. And He did. Every day of every moment, He did and still does. Jesus didn’t tell us that it would always be easy sailing through this world. He did promise that He would be with us though. “Don’t be afraid, for I am with you; don’t be dismayed, for I am your God.I will strengthen you; I will uphold you with my righteous hand.” Isaiah 41:10
I remember that Stan’s grandfather once told me that in this life “anything worth gettin, is hard gettin at”. Isn’t it so with God? I think about all the patriarchs and saints of the bible – Moses, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, David, Peter, Saul, John, etc., and all those hard places that were the very school of their faith and character. And so it is with each one of us. What we must always remember though, is that God is with us just as He was with them. And that to me is simply amazing.
As Lynn and I continued to walk around our property and share with each other just small remnants of our personal story, I realized that I didn’t really need to come up with words of wisdom, hope, or encouragement on my own. God already provided them for me through His Word. All I had to do was just gently remind her (and myself) of what is there and what we already know. Romans 8:18 came to my mind: “For our light affliction which is but for a moment works for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory.” Then I gave her a cd for her and her sister and pointed to the following song hoping that it might touch her heart and remind her to “Hold on” and let all of those seen and unseen beautiful things and blessings flow in spite of the hard places knowing that all the while God is present and always “working all things together for good for those that love Him and are called according to His purpose.” Romans 8:28
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