At the end of last year, after having faced more trials in my year than there were weeks or even days, I was able to go home for a month. I headed back to the coast, where the sand, salt and sea could soothe my soul. My usual escape and place for clearing my head and finding healing in my heart. I was able to come to term with many things and also found peace. I was blessed enough to witness a close friend’s beautiful wedding, get good news from other friends of their engagements and spend time with people I had missed seeing during the year.
In that time though, all was going well and God made many promises, in my weeks of getting back to Pretoria, more promises were made by God in the midst of trials. But when you’re in the midst of trials, these promises can become blurry and everything can seem pretty darn negative if you ask me. He has made good promises about my happiness but others that only bring testing, and sometimes it can get really hard to hold onto those and to be positive about it all.
God promises many things, lots being about our happiness, but many times the things God promises can be less about happiness and more about testing. But this doesn’t make them less of a gift.
This morning God drew my attention to Mary. The promise that she would have a child was both a blessing and a test. I’m pretty sure she suffered a lot of rejection from family and friends because of this pregnancy out of wedlock, and then she still had to watch her son go to the cross. In our terms this would be quite a messy situation but from God’s perspective it was a Divine Intervention that would end up saving the world and her suffering would give way to blessing.
How hard it is in the midst of a trial to see any light at the end of the tunnel? How hard must it have been for Mary to watch her child suffer on the cross? Was she so faithful that she waited in expectancy for His resurrection? Or was she too sad or worried to even think? I mean, if it were me, in the midst of sadness and worry, I hardly eat and my mind doesn’t switch off, imagine being her. Or even yourself, in whatever trial you may be facing at the moment.
When God makes us a promise, the only thing we can do is hold on to it. Even in the face of doubt and pain, we have to hold on tight to what we were promised. When we suffer, like Mary had, we have to keep our minds focused on the things we have heard from God. We have to be clear about who or what we will believe – our eyes or God’s promises.
No matter what life throws at us, not people or things, we can find a deep peace in knowing that God’s will is perfect and that He never lets anything happen to us unless it will bring good and Him glory. When His glory becomes our number one goal, we know we having nothing to fear when trials hit. When we choose to courageously look suffering in the eyes and say, “God’s will be done,” our faith will be a rock to stand on and we will find relief where others only find agony.