If trusting God during the trouble He allows to visit my life teaches me something new about Him, it also teaches me something new about myself. Learning trust (which I can never learn unless I have something to trust God for) shows me how far I have to go in my own growth and development. It shows me the caliber of my faith. Sometimes, in our daydreams, we run through some possible scenarios of suffering in our minds and imagine ourselves coping. I have often done this. First, you set the scene. Someone you love has just been killed in a car crash. The policemen knock at the door to bring the bad news. I see myself receive it with grace and ask them in, give them a cup of tea (the English always do that in times of crisis), and witness to them of life after death. Somehow, we dream away and see ourselves doing a halfway decent job! But I have found that reality is another thing altogether.
When I was a child, the Second World War drove my father to move his family to England’s Lake District. A particularly vicious air raid resulted in our piling into the car and running as far away from the bombs as we could. Seeing that everyone was doing the same thing, my father purchased a sturdy little cabin cruiser and deposited us on it until he could find suitable housing in our new environment. We two children loved living on the beautiful lake. We learned to be up early in the morning, dive over the side for a quick bath, and be ready for breakfast and school in no time flat.
I will never forget breaking the thin film of ice on the lake as winter came. It made us gasp and splutter, and mother would cook extra bacon and eggs, knowing what the experience would do to our appetites! No matter that, we knew how cold that water was and no matter how equipped we believed we were to face it; no amount of mental preparation could help us with the actual experience of jumping into that cold water.
In the same way, no matter how well we think we have prepared ourselves for the troubles we know will be our lot, no matter how much we’ve rehearsed our part, the actual experience takes our breath away. It’s like diving into that ice-cold water. You know exactly what ice-cold water must feel like. You are prepared to pay the price and plunge in anyway, believing that, once submerged, you are equipped to cope. As soon as you hit the water, however, the shock takes your breath away, and you find yourself sputtering and gasping. You are surprised at yourself, but you are learning something new.
Pain really hurts. Bodies really bleed. And trauma is traumatic! The mind can do its best to prepare us, but when we are in over our heads, we will find out exactly who we are and what our trust is made of!
So in what spirit will we accept these dark, difficult days and moments? We can grit our teeth and hunker down to wait out the storm with something akin to fatalism, or we can begin to trust God to bring something good out of a bad situation!
Just Between Us Magazine
Just Between Us Magazine