We're pleased to have Shirley Williams from Barrhead, AB share today as our Guest Blogger.
I really love my church family! We’d never make it without Jesus to guide us together through life’s trials. Sometimes we all struggle accepting trials and their friends called pain and suffering. We may not be aware that trials produce spiritual character growth through cleansing, insightful and maturing experiences, that can’t be duplicated through carefree untested times. It seems that through the trials of His children, God performs His greatest works!
Joseph of the bible is a good example. He suffered many years of trials (beginning through his family), and ended up saving Egypt and the known world at the time! Through God’s almighty, merciful hand, he “Saved Many People Alive!” After Joseph revealed his identity to his brothers, he told them: “But as for you, you meant evil against me; but God meant it for good!” Only someone who had endured great trials and their blessings could say something like that! Joseph’s story is a beautiful reflection of undeserved redemption and hope, through obedience, faith and love. A foreshadowing of God’s great mercy and forgiveness to all mankind, through our Savior Jesus Christ.
Joseph’s story came to mind tonight as I pondered my recent trials, through caregiving for two family members. It has become so demanding, that my own life is at a standstill, as I bounce between them every day. Today was almost unbearable. By the afternoon, I was crying and not able to withstand the load any more.
As we joined our bible study group tonight, I hoped that ‘I could keep it all together!’ The actual reverse happened. When we began singing at the beginning of our meeting, the comforting songs of God’s love swept me away. Before I knew it, I began choking up as a flood of tears began to well up inside. God’s great love began to surround and comfort me at the end of a very long and tedious day. Fighting the tears back, I dismissed myself to the nearby washroom. I sat in a cubicle and leaned on the wall, where I sobbed for a seemingly long time.
Between my sobs, I heard our friends’ angelic voices singing hymns of faith that consoled my aching soul. I remembered that through their trials, they fully trusted God. They are truly loving and wise Godly examples, whom we dearly treasure! Tonight, they all seemed so ‘normal’ and things were not ‘falling apart’ for them. I was happy for them. “I Felt the Love Tonight”, as I listened to their beautiful voices, singing hymns of faith; I understood more clearly of God’s love, hope, wisdom, and assurance.
Caregiving stress drove me to a fragile, humbled state where I needed to be alone, collapse and let myself go, and let go of myself. I wept like a child in the church washroom tonight, while God held me up through the singing of faithful friends. As the tears flowed, so did a flood of memories, as I mourned the loss and changes in my parents during their strong and healthy farming years. I longed for those childlike days of less responsibility and I pondered the brevity of life. Suddenly I realized how fully God was the parent to me now. Jesus comforted and hugged my overwhelmed soul when I needed it the most and “I Felt the Love Tonight!”
As Joseph triumphed through his trials with God saying “God had meant it for good”, may I have the same perspective as I go through my own unique trials in life!” (PTL!). Romans 8:28
Written on January 24, 2014