And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm, and steadfast. – 1 Peter 5:10
When I was a child, I dreaded anything going wrong. I’d have nightmares about my parents dying. I grieved deeply at the idea of losing my grandparents. I couldn’t imagine how I would handle even the death of my pet cat. Nothing went wrong, and so I didn’t learn that I could survive devastation.
Things have gone wrong for my kids. I prayed they would not have to experience a broken home, but they did. I prayed they would not be rejected by friends, but they experienced some of that, too. I prayed for health, but sickness arrived to stay. They lost their pets, which turned out to be practice; they also lost a grandparent.
But I have noticed something amazing. They survived it all! In fact, with each blow their faith was secretly strengthened, like a stalwart tree that flourishes by resisting the buffeting winds. It was hard to watch them struggle to grow without the presence of a father in the home. I hated telling them when their pets died, and I buried the remains in the back yard by myself, trying to lessen their grief. When one child was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, I was horrified; yet he faced it with a resolve that had become strangely familiar.
Trials have fused their residual strength into my children’s personalities. I don’t believe this was inevitable, although we certainly can’t take credit for it. I believe it is the outcome of a habit I can only say we were forced to develop. (“Forced” in the do-or-die sense.) We learned to hold onto Jesus for dear life. Hardly heroic! Yet this is how anyone learns that God is faithful, no matter what. Experiencing His grace, guidance, and peace through trials is the surest way to assuage our fears. We learn that we can trust Him, no matter what. He will bring us through.
Whatever you’re facing, He’ll bring you through. I know it. I’ve seen it.