Would anyone in their right mind pray a prayer like that? I don’t think so.
Yes, it’s been one year since my husband’s fall. For those of you who have joined me since that time—and I am overwhelmed by that number—here’s a recap of the accident:
During the renovation of our church gym, my husband, Tom, was standing backwards on a ladder and reaching to pull a nail out from the ceiling. The ladder slipped, taking him sixteen feet to the cement floor below. He crushed his heel and broke his hip. Now, he sports all sorts of hardware: two rods, cabling and screws in his leg, and thirteen screws and a plate in his foot.
It’s been a long and, at times, weary road. As we look back, it’s amazing to see what the Lord has done in the past year! Perhaps the greatest blessing from it all is the love which was poured out on our lives: cards, gifts, meals, acts of kindness. When a pastor can’t preach, who preaches? Who turns out the lights, turns on the heat, cuts the grass? Who visits the sick? There are so many little jobs that a pastor often does—especially when he lives right next to the church—that are done without notice, until they are not done! Watching our people rally behind him brought joy unspeakable!
Trials—we certainly do not ask for them, but it is good to understand that they do not happen without God’s attention. They don’t hit us while He’s not looking, because He sees all! And so, the oft-asked question is:
Why does God allow bad things to happen?
My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials,
knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience.
But let patience have its perfect work,
that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing. James 1: 2
It is true that we do not ask for trials, but we do ask for patience. We do want to be “complete” or approved of God.
Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season,
if need be,
ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations: That the trial of your faith,
being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire,
might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ:
1 Peter 1:6,7
Peter knew, James knew, I would say the majority of the first century Christians knew that the trials which plagued their lives also empowered them to be the salt and light that they needed to be in a totally godless world. (And if you are looking for inspiration, try reading Fox’s Book of Martyrs—just a buck on Amazon for a Kindle!)
Here we are, in another godless age, perhaps on the brink of facing the worst persecution Satan has yet to dish out; how will we face the trials? Peter encourages us to allow them to grow our faith and ultimately bring praise and honor and glory to our Lord. That may be easier said than done, but I was recently reminded in a sermon, that with every trial a battle rages: Satan wants to destroy us and our testimony, and God wants to grow us and make life more precious!
Tom now walks with a limp. Pain is a frequent reminder of his year-old trial, but overall we praise God for allowing him to heal and to live! To God be the glory!