We run from suffering … but God invites us to join Him in it.
Financial hardship. The death of a spouse … a child. The breakup of a marriage. The list could go on, but in every case, God says to us, “Let me redeem this and use it for your good. I’ll teach you through your suffering. Just rest and trust Me.”
He’s saying we have a choice even when we don’t have a choice.
We can’t always choose our life circumstances, but we can choose our response to them and trust God with the story we’ve been given.
Growing up an orphan, I learned early in life that you can’t put all of your hope, your happiness, or your trust in your circumstances. Both the good and the bad are only temporary, and even the best of intentioned people will let you down.
Where was I supposed to place my trust?
That’s a question we all have to answer. When we experience disappointment, we go one way or the other. We either decide there is no God (or He doesn’t care about our circumstances), or there is a God who cares about us, and it’s wise to trust Him and what He’s doing in our lives.
It’s easy to question God or to walk away from Him completely if our lives don’t turn out the way we thought they would. That kind of thinking shows that, deep down, we feel trapped, that we don’t have a choice in how to respond.
Laurie Short’s crisis of faith is one I think we can all identify with. The Lord seemed unwilling to fulfill her heart’s cry, which left her questioning her faith and feeling like there weren’t any steps she could to take to move herself forward.
Her story speaks to all of us who have faced a crushed dream, a diagnosis we can’t escape, or the death of a loved one.
Her journey is our journey. Her story informs ours and sheds light on how we can reconcile our expectations with reality and trust God in the midst of a story we didn’t plan for … or even want.
We’ll talk with Laurie on tomorrow’s edition of the Focus on the Family radio program, called “Finding God in the Story You Didn’t Want.” Her response to her circumstances highlights the importance of perseverance, faith, and keeping hope alive in the midst of life’s challenging seasons.
Laurie is a speaker, an author, and an associate pastor at Ocean Hills Covenant Church in Santa Barbara, CA. Our program can be heard on your local radio station, and is available online or via our free, downloadable mobile phone app.