Recently, my children had friends over. “My dad just died last week,” a six-year old girl reported to us, her blue eyes sad yet bright. “I was at his memory – I mean, his memorial all weekend.” In almost the same breath, she called out, “Guys, we’re going to play school, and I’m the teacher!”
I was startled by the news and especially by her strong attitude and her ability to play and dream all at once as she processed this tragedy. I was also surprised that God had allowed such a trial for this little one. But then I read this passage:
“Dear friends, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal that had come upon you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice inasmuch as you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed.” 1 Peter 4:12-13
If you too are dealing with a trial today, don’t be dismayed. Give it to God and move forward on your mission, doing what is in your ability and leaving the rest with Him, just as my little friend was doing. Anticipate the day when His glory will be fully revealed.
What is God’s glory? It’s the infinite beauty and greatness of His perfection (to dig deeper, read John Piper’s article on the glory of God). In other words, God tells us, “You may be suffering, but you know the end of the story; that I will make things perfect and beautiful again. Don’t be surprised at your trials in the meantime, and remember, you will soon be overjoyed.”
Dear Father, Please help me to remember tragedies with prayer and sympathy, but also with the anticipation of Your full restoration and glory. Please bring healing to each difficult situation that I now bring to You, and help me to move forward, doing Your work, while I anticipate Your perfect plan in all things. In Jesus’ precious name, Amen.
If you have allowed something painful in your own life to stop you from ministering to others, consider trusting God with your trial and share your story, your trial, and most of all, your hope with others, so they too can share in God’s glorious and beautiful hope.
If you’re beginning to lose hope, this article is a great place to start: When Prayer Seems to Fail.