What’s God Teaching You in Trials?

Early February, my cell phone dinged. My friend and mentor, Loretta, had sent a text.

On my way to the E.R. Seems like a stroke.” 

My breath caught. “Wait! What? Who?”

I re-read Loretta’s text and responded with a prayer. “Sweet Jesus, please heal my friend. Make your presence known while she’s at the hospital. Remove all fear.” 

Three hours later, Loretta texted back. “I’m okay. Weak left leg. No Fear! Not a Drop!

Loretta wasn’t okay.

She came home that evening, but the next morning Loretta returned to the hospital. Symptoms (weakness and slurred speech) were worse and pointed to a TIA (mini stroke) even though medical tests appeared normal. 

Six weeks later, Loretta’s life is far from normal.

Although her speech is good, she relies on a red-framed walker to get around. Simple household tasks aren’t so simple. Her steps are slow and measured when she moves about the kitchen so she doesn’t fall. 

I want to spare my fun-loving, independent friend from this misery. I want the Lord to heal her body and return life to normal. Now!

“It seems sometimes that there is no way to God’s Best but through pain, and yet how earnestly one longs to save a dear one from it.”

Missionary, Amy Carmichael

Loretta doesn’t pretend life is easy. Every day is a struggle. Even so, Loretta said:

“Could have been worse.” 

“I’m grateful for God’s faithfulness.”

“I’m at peace. Just have to walk it out.”

Walk it out means. . .

Live one day at a time

      Rely on the Lord (more than her new-fangled walker) to cope

            Learn to submit to God’s will and trust Him in the process.

Loretta’s God-centered attitude doesn’t surprise me. We’ve been here before. If you’ve read Lunch with Loretta: Discover the Power of a Mentoring Friendship, you know that my friend views life through an eternal lens.

“Every circumstance is an opportunity for God to teach and change me to become more like Jesus.”

 

This latest incident in Loretta’s life is no exception.

“I don’t want to go through this,” she said. “I pray for physical strength. But God is Sovereign and I know that He is able to use everything for my good and His glory.”

I asked my friend with the teachable heart, “What is God teaching you now?” 

She sighed. “It’s too soon to know. But I do want to learn.”

I wonder what God plans to teach her. How long will the lesson last? So far, it’s been an arduous one.

Or maybe, this recent incident is a test, examining the summation of everything Loretta has learned over a lifetime—and knows to be true—about her loving Sovereign God.  

Whatever God has planned for Loretta, tears come and I’m encouraged when I watch how she continues to praise and trust Him even in this . . . . 

*Do you ever ask God to teach and change you during personal trials?

*Consider sharing how God used one of your trials to teach you more about Himself. How did that knowledge change you?

Graphics: Jennifer Wrede

Author: Karen Foster

I'd like to say I've changed, but after decades of living, I still have the same four passions. My relationship with Jesus, spending time with family, attending live theater, and writing devotions & first-person stories about a loving, faithful God who reveals Himself in our every day circumstances.

One thought on “What’s God Teaching You in Trials?”

  1. I’m so sorry for the pain that Loretta and those who love her are suffering. Praying that God’s presence is felt and experienced in new and deeper ways. ♡

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