Sometimes we have challenges. Sometimes we have troubles. Sometimes things don’t turn out like we’d hoped. Sometimes we keep hanging onto hope that something will change, and we wonder why it’s taking so long.
A few weeks ago, as I sat up one night visiting with Danny, I began to weep. I began to express how I’d been feeling. I was tired and hoping things would get a little simpler. For months Salem, our one year old, has stayed sick, off and on. After his fourth round with vomiting and/or other stomach issues in 4 weeks, things had finally mounted.
Salem has seemingly caught everything he has been exposed to in 6 months. Seriously. I am die-hard breastfeeder, I have avoided allergens for him and myself…I am doing my best to make all of the right choices and I haven’t been able to get to the bottom of what’s going on with him. He’s never slept well, and during this few weeks of sickness was up sometimes 6-7 times a night. I was/am exhausted. When Salem feels well, he sleeps better. He plays and is the most content baby ever. He eats like a horse and laughs his head off. When he seems to be having stomach issues, he cries constantly and won’t eat.
That night, as I dumped all of my concerns out with Danny, I told him how I keep hoping things will get a little easier. I keep hoping that Salem will feel well and sleep better. I keep praying I’ll finally get my schedule back, which has been greatly affected by the lack of sleep and the crying. Then I suddenly remembered all of the good stuff. The growth I see God working in my heart, and in our family in the middle of having to cope with these temporary trials. That night it hit me, and I said it to him then, “It seems to me, that the greatest peace and even the greatest revelations we receive from the Lord always come in the middle of seasons of trial.”
Everything else about our lives is soaring right now. The opportunities God has given us to minister to others continue to abound. I’m finding that in the middle of my weakness, God is able to use me. Maybe it’s because I see clearly in seasons of tribulation, how little living as a light has anything to do with me, and it has everything to do with HIM. His strength is surely made perfect in my weakness.
When we go through hard times, even if it’s something like sickness and exhaustion, it’s easy to get wrapped up in how we feel and make all of our decisions based on what tend to typically be temporary things. But when you and I know what God has said, according to his word; when you and I know what we are called to do and who is our true source, we can keep pushing forward. We can be ASSURED that victory is coming, however God chooses to work it.
But beyond that, it’s so comforting to know that the trials are never wasted. God is shaving off our selfishness in the difficulties. The Father is developing us into vessels that can be used for honor. None of the junk of life is ever for nothing. It’s all for our good and above that, for his glory.
As for Salem, we’re praying for answers and taking him to a GI specialist in a couple of weeks. I personally have a notion that he has some sort of allergy I just haven’t been able to pinpoint. I in no way believe he has some chronic illness or serious sickness, because he is developing as he should and otherwise thriving, apart from something greatly bothering his stomach. I know we’ll get to the bottom of it soon.
But regardless, it’s comforting to know that our present troubles, no matter how big or small, are developing in us a glory that outweighs them.
While the troubles won’t last…the glory assuredly will. Forever.