Opportunities to Trust
Opportunities to Trust
We all experience times of testing, which is normal for every human being. But God will be faithful to you. He will screen and filter the severity, nature, and timing of every test or trial you face so that you can bear it. And each test is an opportunity to trust him more, for along with every trial God has provided for you a way of escape that will bring you out of it victoriously.
1 Corinthians 10:13
Have you ever felt stuck? When I encounter something I can’t shake, my tendency is to pull myself up by my bootstraps and keep trudging. Outwardly, it seems I have it together, but the path of self-reliance and self-protection forms a deep trench of unhealthy habits, relational tension, and isolation that transfers to my relationships.
And then…out of nowhere…a traumatic memory or hurt from the past rears its head. We may think we already worked through this, but God resurfaces it for a new layer of healing. This happened to me recently, when a memory from my past reemerged and I felt a new level of hurt. My self-protection shielded me from those memories and prevented a deeper healing. God revealed how these feelings affect my current discontentment. Willingness to re-enter the pain would be the beginning of freedom for me.
After these memories resurfaced, God gave me a visual reminder of how suffering leads to strength. I brought home a bicycle for my son. Immediately, he was excited until he began to be afraid. He asked, “What if I fall?” I replied, “Oh buddy! You will fall and you will get hurt, but that’s what it takes to ride a bike.” As the words flowed from my mouth, the Holy Spirit reminded me that this is what He is asking of me. He wants me to enter the pain to find freedom. I was still reluctant to enter in.
Lord God, we know that suffering is part of life because we live in a broken world, but You promise to use it to strengthen us. As the verse above reminds us, each trial is an opportunity to grow in trust. We trust You to know what is best for us. Thank you that we can trust You to be faithful.
That evening, I had a dream about my traumatic memory. When I called my sister to process my dream she told me something her counselor had said. “Going back to your trauma is like learning to ride a bike. Feeling the pain is part of the learning. You can’t develop the muscles you need for balance if you don’t fall first. The falls don’t define you but make you stronger.” Through this God confirmed that he wanted me to press in and use my vulnerability to mend what was broken.
Joe’s message on the sovereignty of God was so timely for me in this. God gives the whole world free will because He does not seek to control or dominate His people. However, in the free will He gives, we sin and suffer at the hands of others´ sin. In Philippians 3: 10, Paul says, “I want to know Christ—yes, to know the power of His resurrection and participation in His sufferings, becoming like Him in His death…” In suffering we begin to know Christ experientially.
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