James 1:2 My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials
How do we feel when we are going through storms?
Last Friday, my husband Robb had to drive two hours away (to a town called Gulu) to get something repaired for his business. They are doing construction on the dirt roads, grating and eventually paving them. It had recently rained and they poured the slippery top soil onto the road. He slid off the road and the car flipped over a small cliff and was stuck. The windshield was cracked, the side mirror came off, the body of the car was crushed in various places.
Looking at the pictures, it was obvious that at the very least Robb should have been severely injured ¾ And yet, there was not a scratch on his body.
At the time, though, I didn’t realize how serious it was. I just knew that he was stuck on the side of the road and we needed to call a tow truck. It’s not like the US, where this is easier to do and they are plentiful.
When I came back from the village, I made phone calls to friends and eventually got a tow truck to go meet him and tow him to Gulu town. After several hours, he arrived and was able to begin filing a police report.
By the time he finished that it was after 10:00 pm, and so he stayed the night at the training center of friends of ours. The next day he waited for the traffic policeman in vain. The man said he was coming to the office, but in fact he wasn’t even working or around until the next Tuesday.
After wading through the corruption and frustration, Robb took a bus back to Kitgum on Saturday night, knowing he would have to return in a few days. He was exhausted and shaken up, but he was alive.
The truck he was driving belongs to friends of ours who are on furlough in the US; we have been using it until they come back. Now the truck needs to be fixed, the police report needs to be settled (somehow finding a way to do that without paying any bribes), and we have a team of visitors coming this week.
Robb went back to Gulu by bus on Tuesday morning to meet with the police. After waiting for several hours, there was an officer willing to go to the car with him for inspection. Then he realized- he forgot the keys to the truck in Kitgum. Yikes! The next bus leaving Kitgum wouldn’t depart until 5:00 pm and would arrive around 7-8 pm, so I decided that I had to drive the ministry car to Gulu to bring him the keys. My friend Angela came with me, and God protected us on the road.
We got there and then turned around and drove back. It’s been a tiring week, with all of this plus ministry and preparing for a team to come. We are so excited for the visitors and know it will be a refreshing time! But all of this together equals a recipe for exhaustion and stress.
It seems like when it rains, it always pours.
There’s never a steady flow of a little bit of good and a little bit of trials. Not here in Northern Uganda.
There are tsunami-type trials that seem to come with torrential downpours and damaging winds that knock the wind out of you and cause you to fall on your face.Can anyone relate?
We can easily become overwhelmed in the midst of trials and storms. We can look at all of the negative, all of the stress, and allow it to derail and destroy us. OR- we can look to God.
We can trust that He allows things in our lives for a reason.
His hand protects us at the same time from so much. (I certainly am in awe of God’s protection upon Robb and I, knowing that He sent angels to hold him up and save his life!!)
How can we count it all joy when we fall into trials? How can we have His peace through the storms?
Because we know that God is on His Throne. He is still in control. Nothing slips by Him.
“And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; and perseverance, character; and character, hope. Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.” Romans 5:3-5
He is allowing the trials to build up our character. We can have HOPE that He will do a work through this storm that we are going through. He sees what we go through, He cares, He uses it.
We can be confident that our loving Daddy is doing something good in our lives ¾ and something good through us ¾ as a result of the trials He allows us to pass through. We also know that He only allows a certain extent, and then He puts up His hand. He will not allow more than what we can bear in His strength, and what He will use to accomplish His good purposes in our lives.
Hang on through the storms, and have joy. Our God is on the move!
I know that is easier said than done when your world is ripped from you and everything is shaken. It takes faith; faith in the great God who has proven Himself again and again, who has not left us alone but Has sent His Spirit and given us His Word and other believers to lean on during such times.
What about you? What things has God taught you through the storms that you have passed through? How has He shown Himself faithful on your behalf?
Hi, my name is Erica and I am a God-called missionary for Northern Uganda. It is my passion and life-calling to bring God’s word to the people of the world. Each and every one of us can do our part in spreading God’s word to people in need of Jesus’ healing touch and hope. Trying to figure out if God has called you to the mission field? Do you want to learn more about what it’s like to be a missionary? Check out my book, For the Joy Set Before Us – Insights Into the Missionary Journey today.