FACING TRIALS

10 Jul

10

IT IS EASY TO IDENTIFY with Job in chapter 29 as he speaks of his former life, “When the friendly counsel of God was over my tent” (v.4).  But one lesson from Job’s life should be that hardships and suffering are inevitable in life.  If you haven’t already faced significant trials as a couple, you will eventually.

Here’s what we’ve learned during these times:

First, we need to use times of suffering as an opportunity to draw close to God.  Nothing happens in our lives apart from what He allows or ordains.  As Psalm 23:4 tells us, “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; for You are with me; Your rod and your staff, they comfort me.”

Second, we need to be there for each other.  A husband and wife must be involved with each other during a crisis.  When our teenage son, Samuel, was diagnosed with muscular dystrophy, I remember it took a deliberate act of my will to move toward Barbara and the pain she was experiencing because I wasn’t at the same place she was.  I wasn’t as ready to talk about it as she was and she needed to talk about it.  So I took the initiative to talk with her.

Third, we need to make our marriage a priority.  We know that if our marriage remains on solid ground, our children will feel stronger and more secure as well.

Fourth, we’ve learned that we need to allow the body of Christ to minister to us.  The biggest way our friends helped during the situation with Samuel was in writing letters.  These letters really broadened Samuel’s perspective of the body of Christ.  I don’t think he had any idea that people cared like they do.

Finally, we have learned to hold to the truth of God’s Word no matter what our emotions told us.  We can’t deny our emotions, but we can’t allow them to control our responses, either.  You’ve got to hang on to the truth of Scripture and let that be the foundation of your home.

Even when we don’t feel God loves us, we know from Scripture that He does.  When we don’t feel any good can come out of a trial or calamity, we know from Romans 8:28 that all things really do “work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.”

Through the experience with Samuel, we saw that our son was learning to trust God even when he didn’t understand His plan.  I remember one evening a few months after the diagnosis, when he and I were driving home from the grocery.  We had been talking about his limitations, and I shared how God has always used people regardless of their situation.  My feeble efforts to comfort him seemed shallow.  A moment of silence filled the car.

Then Samuel turned from looking out the window and said resolutely “Well, Dad, I guess you don’t need legs to serve God.”

Tears filled my eyes.  My son was teaching me a lesson on trust.  And as I drove home I prayed silently, “Lord, increase my faith and use our son for your purposes.”

NOTE:  This article came from the book Family Life Marriage Bible by Dennis and Barbara Rainey

NOTE:  Daily there is a new post to help your marriage succeed.

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