Trials/challenges + TRUST (in God) = GOD gets all the GLORY! (Pastor James Sunnock)
This year on the first Sunday in January our pastor gave a very encouraging sermon. He talked about if we dedicate each new year to God, it should build excitement in us about the adventure we’re about to travel with Him. To illustrate his point, he used the above equation.
I agreed with the sermon wholeheartedly and could even relate when he said “some people will experience more trials/challenges this year than most.” However, during the closing prayer, I had a little talk with my Father about how I would love a reprieve from “trials/challenges” for a few months. I wonder if He laughed at me or if He just gently said, “Buckle your seatbelt, little one – we’re going for a ride, but if you let Me drive, it won’t be as bad as you fear.”
Our family had been feeling “challenged” since 2013. To be completely honest, we’d been challenged since December 2006 and I was tired. Besides that, ushering out 2014 had been difficult for our family…a painful anniversary falls on December 14th…we unexpectedly said goodbye to our four-legged family member on December 16th…and then December 21st began the cycle of an upper respiratory infection which knocked out four of the five of us for over a week.
At the close of the above Sunday night, God invited me to spend time with Him. We enjoyed fellowship for 90 minutes while everyone else slept. Our kids were returning to school after their two-week Christmas break and even though I’d had quiet time while they were home, it just wasn’t “quiet.” During that night God reminded me of so many promises He had given to our family, starting back in June of 2013. I was enveloped in peace as I drifted off to sleep.
Monday morning brought the harsh reality of our regular routine. I was greeted with an email from my boss, explaining that due to electronic medical records, my job would be phased out effective February 1st. I believe God asked me for a date the night before so He could cushion my heart with reassurance before the blow. I had a choice: I could use this trial to strengthen my trust in God, giving Him the glory for the blessings that would follow…or I could try to solve this challenge on my own with no guarantee of a positive outcome. I chose to trust God and do it His way. Come back next time to find out how God used a smaller challenge not even 30 days before to begin the exercising of my trust muscle when it was needed most.
© Cheri Swalwell 2015