Glory in Suffering
“Sell the farm,” our banker said.
It had been in my husband’s family for five generations. Now it would end with us.
The last three years had been full of challenges, but I kept expecting things to turn around. Surely our hard work would redeem the low markets and Mother Nature’s hits. We’d done what we could, but it wasn’t enough.
I tried to cling to the truth that God is good and His plans are greater than our own. I tried to stay positive and have hope, but I was angry. I was in the fire, and it was all I could see. I watched our life start to crumble.
No one asks to walk through the fire, but it’s unavoidable. I sat at our dining room table as tears stained the pages of my Bible. I read Romans 5:2–5 and soaked in the words of the apostle Paul. There was no rejoicing in my sufferings, though. There was wallowing, blaming, and coldness of my heart. I didn’t think I could persevere. I didn’t have the hope I needed to pull me through.
But it wasn’t going to be my hope that pulled me through; it was going to be Jesus who walked the path with me, leading me step by step.
Even though I felt there was no light ahead, when another bill came that we couldn’t pay, I reminded myself of Paul’s words. When another collector called, I clung to the truth I had been guarding. When it all felt like too much, I leaned in closer to Jesus.
Then one day I noticed something. I lifted my chin, looked around, and realized the fire was still raging, but Paul’s words had changed me.
Today, we are still hanging on by a thread, but the thread is a little thicker. The pile of bills is still high, the stresses are abundant, and the banker is still on our heels. Things are no easier now than when we got that first call, but we’ve changed. Though the fire still rages, we know we don’t walk through it alone. We know that whatever fire we are going to walk through will bring perseverance, character, and hope. We can let it be redeemed and used for God’s glory.
What fires threaten to consume your life? How might you rely on God’s promises even when they feel hard to believe?