Thursday, October 29, 2009

Fiery Trials

I remember way back when we were missionaries in Mexico and we had four young children all under the age of six, thinking to myself, "I can't wait til my kids grow up so they can be a little more independent." I suppose I felt a little overwhelmed at times with the constant needs of my little ones, in addition to raising them on the mission field and the additional stresses that can add to family life. One of the trials we dealt with in Mexico was trying to keep them healthy--I had to be careful about what they ate, drank, and put in their mouth or else they would end up with parasites, or some other ailment.

Now as our first four children have reached adulthood, I find myself "worrying" about them in different ways. I find myself taking their trials upon myself, feeling their pain as they experience the everyday problems of life. Parents don't want to see their children suffer--so we want to fix every situation and do what we can to deliver them from the unpleasant circumstances in life. The trials of can be fiery at times, and who wants to see their children go through the fire?

The problem with this is that God uses these situations to grow and mature them. Suffering is sometimes necessary in our lives to purge us, and make us stronger. I have to somehow look aside and realize that God is working in their lives, and not let my emotions become too deeply involved--something I haven't been too successful at because of the love I have for them.

I have been meditating a great deal in the book of Philippians lately, where the apostle Paul instructs us to "Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God." (Phil. 4:6)
Moreover, I Peter 5:7 commands us "Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you."

How often do we fail to turn our worries into prayer, and cast them upon the God who cares for us and for them, and promises to make intercession for us according to the will of God, and work all things together for good to those who love Him. How often do I pray for God to work in a specific situation, then five minutes later take the same problem back upon myself, and let it steal my joy and peace?

Philippians 4:7 tells us that if we are diligent to do what is written in verse six, then "And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus" will follow.

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