This morning in our prayer call, the pastor made the following statement: A faith that is not tested is a faith that cannot be trusted.
Reminds me of another quote that the saints like to throw out: You cannot have a testimony without a test.
I understand that there is definitely a wealth of truth in both of those statements, but it's a little hard to hear when you are the one being tested, don't you think? I used to think that way. Until one day a friend of mine told me, "you know that the trial you are going through has been SPECIFICALLY DESIGNED just for you, don't you?" and my perspective about trials shifted. See, what she was telling me was the trial I was going through at the time (the illness and eventually death of my paternal grandfather) was a part of God's purpose for my life - there was a reason behind it - it was NOT just some random, incomprehensible, makes no sense, happenstance to make me go crazy - there was a purpose, a design, a reason for why it was happening to me at that time in that way. Once I realized and recognized that - the paradigm shifted and things became a little clearer. And over the past 8 years since his passing, this has become more and more true for me.
I am not saying that it is not sometimes hard, difficult even, to go through the trial...believe me, it is, or can be. But once I realized that there was a lesson to be learned by going through it and focused on learning the lesson rather than dealing with the chaos: the trial itself became easier to bear. I have friends who right now are going through unexpected trials - 24 of my co-workers lost their jobs unexpectedly last month; others are facing terminations within a specified period of time; a dear friend lost her brother in a car accident just hours ago; single parents who are feeling overwhelmed by the "burdens" of doing it all by themselves; I cannot even count the number of friends who have health issues to deal with on a daily basis; friends whose parents are getting older and requiring time, energy and attention beyond what should be required and expected of their children - and yet, I want to encourage all of them: Your trial is SPECIFICALLY DESIGNED for you! You will survive it and be a better person for it. Just trust in the One Who has only your best interests in His heart. You will get through this! We all will. Just hold on. Better days are coming.