-written by Kristen Ebensberger
Have you ever felt like you were the only one who is suffering?
When you are knee-deep in the muck, you may think it’s only going on in your world. We can get caught up in self-pity. We start thinking “if only…” and it’s usually followed with a thought of how someone else should have acted differently.
I can promise, you are not alone.
Scripture tells us our trials, or “heat,” has a purpose and it’s our job to figure out how God wants to use it for our good. Our trials reveal what is at the heart level.
Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing. – James 1:2-4
Have you ever wondered why your children won’t listen to you the most when you’re out in public? Why can’t they react the way you want them to? (Or maybe it’s only my children that misbehave.) Maybe God is using their disobedience to teach us how to respond in adverse and uncomfortable situations. I know for me, my response to my children’s behavior in public is very different than at home. When I know others are watching, I seem to show a little more grace. Maybe I need to be more grace-filled at home and be more patient, even when no one else sees.
What about when your spouse didn’t do what you wanted them to do? How did you respond to the “heat” when he didn’t say or she didn’t do what you wanted? If we respond how we ought to, we see God can use these moments to strengthen our relationships. And usually to our surprise, the response given back is even better! If you respond in a way other than glorifying God, you’ll quickly realize your “heat” is only going to get hotter.
Trials can bring us something we need if we allow them to. And in James, we are reminded that trials are inevitable and it is not “if” we face them, it is “when” we face them.
You are not alone in your trials so let’s comfort each other during our difficulty and lift each other up to see what God is teaching us through it all.
-Kristen is a mother of 4 children and has been married for 17 years to her wonderful husband, Drew. She is the Elementary Pastor at SoHills and strives to make a difference in people’s lives because of Christ. Any extra time she has, she enjoys spending with her family having fun.