I have a friend, who is going through the most difficult trial of her life. A little over a year ago, her husband abandoned her, their marriage covenant, and The Lord. God has given me the privilege of being with her throughout this trial, listening to her, encouraging her, and praying with her. Recently, she said to me, “I’ve never been as close to God as I am now.”
Another sister in Christ shared with me a different kind of trial. This sister is just beginning her marriage, but she has been facing hostility from her husband’s family. They slander her when she is not present and refuse to acknowledge her when she is. With all this mistreatment, she has no idea why they hate her so much. In an email she sent to me, she wrote, “Although it hurts and I wish they wouldn’t be so cruel, a part of me feels closer to God …”
These two women are living examples of James 1:2.
“Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds”
I am sure what they are having to endure is difficult. I am sure they desire a resolution to their trial soon. I am sure they hope and pray for a happy ending: that the husband who left would come to his senses and return to The Lord and his wife, and that the strained family relationships would be reconciled for this newly married woman.
Though they would wish to be under different circumstances, I am sure they would want one thing to remain: their nearness to their God.
The Lord has crafted the trial in each woman’s life in such a way that would give Him the most glory. As they draw close to Him and proclaim His steadfast love, His empowering strength, His abundant goodness, and His sufficient grace, He is glorified!
So, here I am, trying to be a good friend to these sisters and help them in their time of need. But I am the one who has been encouraged in my own trial. The Lord has shown me by these women’s lives what true joy in the midst of a storm looks like.
I wish that I knew what exactly is going on with my son, Gabriel. I wish that we didn’t clash so much when we try to communicate with one another. I wish he got along better with his siblings. I wish he would stop all the repetition that masters him. I wish my circumstances were different.
But if, through this trial, God is drawing me closer to Himself, then I will wish no more. Instead, I will hope … I will hope in Him.
From this tangled mess of sin, frustration, doubt, and fear, God is weaving a beautiful tapestry. I can’t see it yet; I must wait … and when He has completed His work, people will behold His masterpiece and say, “To God be the glory!”
(Photo credit 1: Damian Gadal)
(Photo credit 2: Sheilasan)