Throughout our life trials come and go. Some trials we seem to be able to handle in stride and others are more than we can bare. Then there are those that seem to never end.
My beautiful bride is not one to complain. When things are difficult for her, she does not take to social media to beg for sympathy. Many may not even know what she has faced the last few years. Those that do, are often unaware of the severity of it. This week she posted this beautiful summary of the trial the Lord has lead her through. I think the only thing that she understated was the amount of pain she was in and how difficult the trial has been. Quite honestly, it about broke us both spiritually. We both hit the bottom of our own spiritual strength more than once. God tested us in ways we were not prepared for.
It has been my privilege to be by my wife’s side during this time. I could never explain how amazing it has been to watch her these last few years. I have seen her struggle with pain that I have never had to experience. Together we faced the deepest and darkest spiritual times. I remember when I was screaming at God, complaining that He would allow this trial to come into our lives. It was at that moment that I realized – she is the one in pain, and I’m the one whining about it!
I am not trying to say that she faced this trial perfectly. I am just saying that she faced it with a stronger faith than I had. When I asked the Lord why she had to be the one in pain, it was almost as if He whispered in my ear, “because you were not strong enough to handle it.” I will be the first to admit that my Beautiful Bride is stronger than I am, and I am glad. If it was not for her faith in the storm I have no idea where our family would be.
Now that we are three years into this trial, our outlook has changed drastically. We have seen our Savior come through for us time and time again. We have seen Him answer our prayers and love us when we were at our most unlovable. We have found joy in learning more about Him and drawing closer to Him in the midst of this storm. I believe that we have even come to a place where we can say “thank you” for the trial.
We have not been given a promise that the trial will end. We have not been given the miracle that we at first desired. My Beautiful Bride is doing so much better! Her health is leaps and bounds from where it was three long years ago. The Lord has answered prayer! But, He did not choose to miraculously heal her of all pain. He has chosen to allow this trial to continue for a while longer.
That is where our struggle is. How much longer will this trial go? There are times where we feel like we are just about out of the woods and something will happen that seems to drive us backward. We can see how God has used the pain to teach us so much, and we even appreciate it. Yet, we find ourselves wishing that it would just end already! Haven’t we learned enough?
Each and every time we come to this point of impatience, and it happens quite often, we must turn to our Savior and ask Him to help us with a bit more longsuffering. We need His Spirit to plant within us the willingness to suffer a little longer. We need to be given a renewed focus that He has a purpose for the trial. For when our eyes are properly set on Him, then we can even say that we desire the trial because the outcome is worth it!
I wish we could claim that we have faced these things with perfect attitudes, but that would be far from the truth. I wish I could say that we are facing the future of this trial with open hearts, prepared for what wonders God has for us, but that also would be untrue. We simply are doing the best we can to trust in a God that has our best in mind. We are just doing our utmost to place our faith in the knowledge that God knows this pain is the best way to draw us closer to Himself.
May I implore you to do the same. I can’t even fathom the struggles that you face. I do not understand the pain that you are enduring. I do know however that God loves you. I believe with all my heart that He has a purpose and plan for the trial you are facing. I know it is a fact that if you knew exactly what God was doing, you would be more than willing to suffer a little longer. May we learn to place our faith in God that He truly does know what is best!
Do you know what it is like to face an unending trial that is constantly about to break you? Where did you draw your strength? What is it that helps you suffer long through the trial? I know that there is a world of others in pain that would love to know what you have learned. Let us know in the comments below what the Lord has taught you.
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