I’m thrilled to have my friend, Anne Peterson, sharing today. Anne is a writer, a speaker, a published author, as well as one of the most encouraging people I’ve ever had the pleasure of “meeting” in the online world.
I hope you’ll take a moment, read her words, and be encouraged today too!
We’re hurting. We can’t believe how bad the pain is. And a small part of us wonders, does God care? Couldn’t he stop our pain?
Down through the years many have asked the same questions. And while the answers seem obvious to us as we face someone who’s hurting, it’s a different thing altogether when we are the one’s who hurt.
It’s easier to encourage others to trust than it is to encourage ourselves when we get the scary diagnosis, or the pink slip.
If anyone at all wonders if God cares, perhaps a trip to Gethsemane would help. In this garden God’s own Son prayed, “If it be possible, let this cup pass from me.
Do you think God wanted to answer that request?
It’s hard to watch those we love suffer. When we sat with my brother who had pancreatic cancer, we felt helpless. Watching the disease rob him of his health was painful.
God loves us, and yet, despite his love he allows us to go through difficult situations. Why? What could possibly come of it?
Trials make us more sensitive to others.
If God had wanted, once we accepted Jesus’ sacrifice, God could have taken us to heaven, but he doesn’t. Instead he lets us be here to encourage others when they are down. In 2 Corinthians 1:3-4, it tells us why we are comforted. It’s not just about us, it’s for others.
How many times has God used another person to encourage you?
Pain teaches us to depend on God
So often we try to do things on our own, try to fix things. Jesus said, without him we could do nothing. Instead we think without him we can do less, or we can do things more slowly. Sometimes our trials get us to the place where we have to throw up our hands and cry out to God.
Or like Peter when he walked on the water. He was fine as long as his eyes were on the Master, but once his eyes moved, he went down. And God was never out of earshot.
God uses trials to teach us about him.
God uses difficult situations in our lives to also teach us about his character. By going through difficult things we learn that God is sovereign. Nothing touches our lives that surprises him.
Through our trials we learn God is ever present. Others may stand back, but not God.
I’ve lost a lot of loved ones in my life. My mother, father, two brothers and my sister. God has been a constant presence. Although people are tempted to believe God doesn’t care when they go through difficulties, I know God loves me. He trusts I will keep my eyes on Him, no matter how ferocious the wind and waves get.
Whatever you’re going through. Lean into him. He’ll get you through. He’s right there.
Anne Peterson is a poet, speaker and published author of Real Love: Guaranteed to Last, Broken: A Story of Abuse and Survival, and most recently, her first children’s book, Emma’s Wish. Anne is also the author of 42 published Bible Studies through Christian Bible Studies, an affiliate of Christianity Today, as well as the author of over 28 articles. For more information about Anne visit www.annepeterson.com, or annepetersonwrites.