Don’t Wish Away Your Trials!
Join me in welcoming one of our newest contributors, Heather Pace, to The Better Mom! Today, Heather is inspiring us to embrace the trials that come our way and to choose faith over fear. -XO, Ruth
One of my children recently auditioned for a musical. Though the chances were slim she’d get the part she wanted, she was super excited about the possibility. So in typical mom fashion, I encouraged her boldness while reminding her to keep a good attitude no matter the outcome.
Long story short, she didn’t get the part, and she was bummed!
I was sad for her too. But if truth be told, I wasn’t sure I wanted her to get the role. Not because I don’t love her or don’t want her to be happy, or because it would take extra rehearsal time (though it would!). I just couldn’t help but think sometimes it’s more valuable to not get something you want.
Isn’t it often those smaller letdowns that prepare us for life’s bigger trials? Or isn’t it the little disappointments that serve to strengthen our character?
In that sense, a discouraging audition is a mild way to majorly grow. And so as counter-intuitive as it seems, I didn’t mind her facing unmet expectations. Reason being, I care far more about her character than about her role in this year’s cast.
And so, with that being said, my daughter may have wished the outcome would've been different, but I had to think this “trial” (mini-trial, mind you) was for her good.
The Blessing of Trials
Dealing with disappointment is the same process for us as it is for our kids. The way I explained it to my daughter was: life’s difficulties give us the opportunity to “lift spiritual weights.” It’s like our souls are having to pick up some dumbbells and get pumping!
In other words, when everything is good and we get what we want, we can just coast through life; but in the hard times, our character gets the exercise it needs to mature.
Very much like real physical exercise, it’s not always fun, it’s rarely easy, but it’s what we need to get stronger. Therefore, we don’t “wish away” exercise, we embrace it (or at least we should).
And that sounds a lot like what we read in James 1:2-4:
Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.
Difficulties, unmet expectations, disappointments… trials of all kinds are worthy of embracing with joy. For in them, we (both our kids and us) gain the opportunity for growth, maturity, and the kind of character development that lacks nothing! What else in life promises that?!
Embrace Your Trials!
Your trials (and mine) are usually going to hurt more than a discouraging childhood audition. Probably a lot more. However, the spiritual dumbbells an 8-year-old can handle are a lot less than a middle-aged mom. And the trials you are given are ones you can handle (1 Corinthians 10:13), and they are what you need to get spiritually stronger.
But remember, we don’t become stronger by merely looking at weights — we must lift them. To lift our so-called spiritual weights, we must fight to respond right to the trials that come our way. We must choose contentment over complaining, faithfulness over frustration, godliness over grumpiness. Perhaps most of all, we must choose faith in God, instead of fearing the unknown. And when we do, we will gain increasingly robust spiritual muscles.
So when you find yourself in the middle of a trial, don’t wish it would just go away. Remember it’s there for your good.
That is, if you choose to embrace it.
Trusting in Jesus,
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