Life isn’t easy. No big revelation there. Sometimes things seem all that they should be and other times we wonder how we’ll get through. I’ve said to others going through hard times, as well as to myself, that no matter how well things are going in one’s life, and no matter what seemingly insurmountable challenges we face at other times, things will change. So one must be grateful for the good times and know that the “bad” will pass. But I think I got it wrong.
Nature’s storms are beautiful and mysterious. They are awesome and powerful. And at the end of them, things are changed: the earth drinks up much-needed, life-sustaining water, debris is washed away, and somehow everything seems more clean and new. Changed. Life’s storms are the same.
If all we do during life’s trials is hold out in some safe room waiting for the storm to pass, we miss the point. If we just board up our windows, shut everything out, and hole up inside with our little, earthly supplies to sustain us, we don’t see the opportunity in our suffering.
It’s easy to thank God for the beauty of a spring day, for the promotion one received at work, for our health, for the successes of ourselves or our children. But we can not forget to embrace the trials of life and to thank God for them, too. It’s a lot like marriage; we vow for better or for worse, but it’s how we act in the worst marriage throws at us that really matters. Our marriage with God is no different. It is in this spirit that I pray this prayer today:
Father God, thank you for my mom’s final days as I sit here beside her, even though it’s hard to watch and she isn’t able to respond to me anymore, because I know you are preparing her to meet you, to see the face of Jesus and feel his loving embrace. Thank you for my husband’s brokenness, because it keeps me from using my husband and marriage as idols and placing them above you. And thank you for my brokenness, for my lack of patience and my pride, for my mini-breakdowns and mood swings, because it keeps me from depending on myself. Instead, I rest in you, Lord. I sit at your feet and I surrender. I know you are at work in all of this, that your will is being done and that you are shaping me into the person you want me to be. Thank you. In Jesus name I pray. Amen.