Our family experienced some difficulties a few months ago. As I’m sure happens with most people who are going through trials, while you’re in them, you don’t really have time to process, analyze, or wonder “why” because you’re so busy putting out fires, taking a breath before the next wave hits, or trying to build a storm shelter because the tsunami isn’t letting up anytime soon.
One day toward the end of the trial, I was having a conversation with one of my kids (one who was dealing head-on with some of the struggles) and mentioned that since we could now see a light at the end of the tunnel, maybe God was ready to start using that child to encourage someone else who was going through something similar.
He thought for a minute and shared with me how he had actually done that toward the beginning of the storm that was brewing, before the full eruption.
That was a great reminder to me. Whether you are of the mindset that God allows trials to build our character, trials come exclusively due to sin in this world, or another reason why humans suffer, one thing we can all agree on is this: God doesn’t waste suffering. If we stay pliable and allow God to use us as He wants to during or even after the storm, our suffering hasn’t been wasted.
You can share with others how God helped you through the storms in your life and when they are done with their storm, they can “pay it forward” and share with another how God helped them … and the circle continues.
If storms have crashed into your life, take heart. Be encouraged. Ask God to bring someone who can encourage you through your storm … and then be ready to encourage someone else in their storm. It is only then when storms aren’t wasted and instead God gets the glory!
© Cheri Swalwell 2020