Trials. They come in life – in some cases they are here today and gone tomorrow, but sometimes we feel like were living in a long time trial, its not comfortable, and we do sometimes wonder “Why?” we had to go through something in the end – and those answers aren’t always apparent, I mean I don’t always completely understand why I went thru anxiety which held me back in life, but I know I had to grow some to overcome it.
This video (shared with me by Daisy!) I think speaks highly of what trials can do for us, take a peek:
This mouse had it good – The Carpenters singing in good times… a piece of cheese, yet the cheese was placed upon the trap – I honestly was sad when I hear the *SNAP* thought it was a bad way for it to end! Then to see him breathing slowly, The Doors tell us “this is the end!”, but then… *WHAM!* Survivor takes us home with the mouse skillfully working the mouse trap like a bench press! And yes while its a advertisement for STRONG cheese, I think its a great example of what trials can do for us.
They Strengthen. While not the first thought we think when we go thru something difficult in life, but think back to something that was a trial in your life, and think of where you are now? Your stronger right? Look at the mouse, trapped in the mouse trap – and yet, he overcomes and takes where he is and gets a workout!
Romans 5 (NIV)
3 Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; 4 perseverance, character; and character, hope.
Perseverance, or as it goes back to the base of the word “Persist” which I think defines it quite nicely “lasting or enduring tenaciously” – key word I like there is enduring because to endure requires strength - and sometimes in trials we learn the ultimate strength of our weakness which is God’s perfect strength to lead us through a trial to the other side – but God does desire for us to try and have wisdom to rely on him.
I recently started at the gym after many years of not going, in signing up I picked up 3 training sessions, having gone thru all three now I’m done with training, but boy did those hurt after each one! I’ve been walking for the last year not really working the arms and they are sore after a workout! And yet thru the soreness, muscle is formed – thus the old saying No Pain, No Gain sometimes trials knock us down, sometimes they shake up our entire life – but once thru the trial, if we learn from it, we grow from it. Which leads to the next thing….
They Teach. I don’t think many folks look at life and say “I’m so glad I got into this trial!” but what if we did? Job didn’t likely start his day saying “I hope God takes everything from Me!” and yet thru his trial he was faithful to God, and that is where in our own trials, not maybe the same as Job’s but even in our smallest trial at say work, if we focus on God we can learn the lesson that it brings, because God’s never going to leave us even in the midst of a trial:
Deuteronomy 31 (NIV)
6 Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.”
Just like a teacher stays with you thru your education, God tells us to not be afraid – for me Math has never been my strong suit, sure sure I can accomplish basic bits of math, my dad who’s a math guy taught me ways to overcome multiplying 9′s and it helped! I learned! But too God can take us through the valley – and the key there is through – but like the journey of school you must learn to move forward, you must take away from it what the teacher speaks and have it settle in you as knowledge to move onto the next year towards the completion of your education.
But let’s go back to the example in this video, he knew the trap, he saw though the cheese, and from what we see on the video as a whole, he knew the risk of the cheese and was prepared for it, maybe he experienced a weaker trap before, maybe he made it out with a scar on his tail previously, but going into things he knew he needed to be strong enough to hold back the bar from crushing him entirely, the teaching of a trial builds knowledge.
They Reward. Now that one may be one you didn’t expect to see coming, but this is part of the entire process, if you Learn and You Prepare you have received your reward, even Job going thru his trial came thru better than he started:
Job 42 (NIV)
12 The Lord blessed the latter part of Job’s life more than the former part. He had fourteen thousand sheep, six thousand camels, a thousand yoke of oxen and a thousand donkeys.
God blessed him as highlighted above “MORE” than he had been, and while we may not go thru Job style trials in life – maybe you feel like a trial your going thru or have gone thru was Job-Like – but now that thru it, you’ll come out on the other side changed – just like my experience at the gym has show new muscle, new endurance – even thru the discomfort of the training, or thru the pain of time on the elliptical all things said and done I’m changed – thru that pain new muscles form and I’m stronger, and that reward is I’m healthier!
But what did the mouse get out of it? Well end of the video he has a block of cheese, he made it through, he was caught, he worked it out (by working out) and in the end he got the Cheese he had hoped for! And that’s too what God has for us, he wants us to have good things in our lives, and yes sometimes trials shape and form us, we aren’t always as obedient as we should be, and sometimes correction is required – but God is a good parent, He desires the best for us (Jer. 29:11) and He wants those of us who truly love Him to have things work together for GOOD (Romans 8:28).
Last thing I leave you with is this verse:
Romans 8 (NIV)
25 But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently.
Life is a journey – Today you may be in a trial, things may not make sense – focus instead of on the trial on God, let Him build you up! For if God is preparing you for something this is a workout you should not try to escape, it’s something you should let strengthen you, change you, and prepare you for what God has for you next, because even exercising patience for what we do not yet have builds us up and prepares us for when the blessings do come after the trial, even if it is learning the lesson we were given thru it, that in itself is an incredible reward.