2 Corinthians 1:3-5 3Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, 4who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God. 5For just as the sufferings of Christ flow over into our lives, so also through Christ our comfort overflows.
The fall of ’07 was horrid for me! We were re-doing our 90 year old house and about everything that could go wrong did, money was flying out the window, our family of four lived in the homes of three sets of friends over seven weeks (I felt homeless), my husband seemed to change personalities in a bad way, my then 1 year old got an ear infection that did not respond to the first round of antibiotics and lasted a month (and caused screaming that I thought might seriously put me into insanity--sort of how flashing lights can cause seizures in some). She also was six months behind developmentally which worried me (would she ever crawl or walk?). Anyway, those were bleak months and I do sometimes think it was a miracle that I survived. At one point, I took my kids to the park and literally could not lift myself off the bench to push a swing.
I just (tearfully) kept going and passed through that very horrible “season” and it has taken me a while to feel recovered from it and I am very grateful to have passed through. Now, I feel like I can relate and empathize with so many more people in crisis (whether with their house, marriage, children, finances, etc). I was reminded of the scriptures (above) about comfort when I was driving through a huge storm last fall. I kept driving on, and praying for those who were on the side of the road. I felt like the storm was an illustration from life, to keep on and saw this perspective of cars ahead, beside, and behind me on a journey. The storm was like many trials in life. For a time it was really strong, then stopped abruptly at one point, and later re-started. We really can’t get away from them in this life!
A couple weeks ago in my EGP Bible Study we had a very thought provoking lesson and discussion about tests in our lives. The notes from the class will be posted on this website:
God gives and uses tests to humble us, let us see what is in our hearts and our level of obedience, and to causes us to depend on Him. Tests can grow our faith, deepen our relationship with God, and let us recognize what we don’t believe about Him. We may think that this life and all of the problems in it are all about us, but tests are another way God is drawing us to himself. This world is temporary, but eternal glory awaits believers. Per 1 Peter 5:10, after suffering, God will perfect, confirm, strengthen and establish us.
When I look back on that fall’s stressors, I can see a lot of ways in which I didn’t respond well. I went into control and worry mode versus depending on and communing with God. Now I can look back and see how silly this was—I was living out a belief that I could out-smart God by trying to take care of everything myself instead of letting God take care of it. I was focused on my own circumstances instead of focusing on God and the big picture. This is quite a reminder of what NOT to do and it certainly led to despair, not peace. Through all of this, I became more aware of my tendency to try to do things my own way instead of trusting God and it is a lesson to remember. I’m told that if we don’t learn the lesson to totally rely on God, he will give us more opportunities to grow in that!
God was faithful, too (whether I recognized it or not at the time). We were provided wonderful, free, housing from friends. My husband has since returned to his normal self. We financially recovered from the endeavor and corrected dangerous structural deficiencies. My daughter caught up in her development and her ear infection eventually subsided. Our house is lovely now, and I even lost ten pounds through the process (but I’ve found them again).