Saturday, November 8, 2014

When our trials don't benefit others

I have this expression that I heard from someone once.  It goes something like this: never waste a good trial.

It's been my life's adventure to continually find the good in the basic trials as well as the ups and downs in life.  Let's be honest here.  Life is filled with big crises, sprinkled with little trials.. stirred in with happy moments and punctuated by great big joys.  It's all snarled in together like a great big green smoothie.

I ordered a green smoothie at the Red Mango yesterday.  I know. I know.. most people get ice-cream there.  I can't eat ice-cream.  It's probably the only reason that I don't weight 800 pounds.  But I digress..

I ordered the smoothie on purpose.  I actually wanted something healthy.  I wouldn't just throw a mouthful of spinach into my tummy--without doing something to it first.  So, I was out-- far away from home-- and got my nutrition.

But if I were to think of the spinach part of the smoothie as the "trial" in the smoothie of life,  I would say this much: without the spinach, I would have just had  refreshment rather than nourishment.

The other ingredients add value to the smoothie, but they primarily help get the good stuff down.

So it is with a good trial.

When you have Christ, he supplies the grace, the joy, the needed rest in the midst of it.  It's the trial that teaches us the lesson, no doubt.  But the part that we can not explain.. the part that baffles others.. is really what gets us through it.

God provides comfort, resolution, peace.. in his way and in his time.

And the most important part of the trial.. is not the trial itself.  It's what God does in the process.

And just like we wouldn't suggest that our friends who want to embrace nutrition a little more probably would not enjoy just eating a mouthful of raw spinach.. randomly..  (instead of french fries, for example)..  we don't need to rush them to the conclusion of their trial before it has done its work in their lives.

It's O.K. if they cry.  It's O.K. if they are confused.  Sometimes there are no answers.
Let God work his deep work in them.. as you hold their hand and be with them.

Our trials (big and small) teach us one thing.  God is able.  He is always good and kind to those who trust in him.  Giving them a glimmer of hope is maybe all they need.

Let them taste the stuff that surrounds the spinach..  at least what you already possess.  It's hard to give what you don't have.

Finish your own trials well.  If you can't or won't, you've wasted your trial.  Whatever it is, learn it; embrace it; own it; and give it away.

God will use it.  He always does.




2 comments:

Nita Brainard said...

http://pilgrimpurse.blogspot.com/2012/09/two-teachers.html

Nita Brainard said...

"Two Teachers" -- my version of a similar idea -- but I forgot that the link doesn't link. :-)